The 6mR European Championship – summary

We got asked many times since we are back in the US why there weren’t more blogs of LUCIE from the European Championships, and how did LUCIE do, and how was the food, weather, hospitality and so on.

Well, the main main reason that there weren’t more blogs is simply that there were no 6 Meter European Championships… We all tried, really hard, even went out on the reserve day before 8 am – but at the end of a full week in Falmouth, UK there were only three races on the score board. Three races in five days! In Falmouth, at the English Channel, notorious for lots of wind – but we had only little to none at all.

On day 3 of the regatta some small weather system passed over Falmouth, bringing some rain and some very shifty winds, that day saw two races started and finished, so by the end of day 3 we had three races scored. But the rules state that it needs five races to constitute a European Championship, so the whole fleet focussed on Thursday – which came with lots of sunshine again, and no wind! 27 boats from all over Europe and North America were just damned to sit at the dock, hope for some thermal to develop and eagerly watched the AP. Nothing… The organizers, the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, lots of volunteers and after all 27 crews had put a lot of work and effort into this event, so the decision was made to put the “reserve day” (Friday) on the schedule and hope to finally get some wind then. Not an easy decision as no race could be started after 12:00 noon on Friday as per the NOR, but we needed two more to make it a series. So the whole fleet went out very early and actually found a very light morning breeze (around 4 knot), so at around 9:30 two races got started (one for the modern division, one for the classics). All looking good for the first two of four legs, but on the third leg (upwind, but against the tide) it all came to an almost standstill. Some of the moderns (which got started around 10 minutes earlier) made it to the finish of the shortened course but the classics just came to a halt and floated backwards on the course. It was reported that some crews were actually getting their 14 kg anchors out to at least not get pushed backwards by the tide… The race for the classics had to be abandoned due to exceeding the time limit of 55 min per leg.

By this time it was already past 11 am, the moderns now had four races on the score board and had a minor chance, with just a little breeze to get the so urgently needed fifth race started before noon, but the classics still only had three races completed and no more chance of getting to five races by noon. It was clearly noticeable in the voice of the race committee how difficult it was for them to send the classics back to the docks without having finished what we all came to Falmouth for…

Just a little while later the moderns came back in as well, no hope for any more races on the reserve day.

So – what about LUCIE? Well, since we returned about a year ago from Flensburg, Germany we were working on improving her capabilities in stronger breezes as we all had expected lots of wind at the English Channel. We obviously did not utilize any of LUCIE’s improvements, but – they are not going away and we will capitalize on what we learned over the past year, if not this year then perhaps next year in La-Trinite-sur-mer in France. We did see in Falmouth though that LUCIE is very happy in light winds (once we get racing) – or maybe it is the crew work and has nothing to do with how hard it blows? We may find out next year in France…

LUCIE is already back home in the US, we will post an update shortly.


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