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We had photographer Alexander Panzeri at the event who has showered us with photos.  Some are below.

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Day 5




Gravedona, Como lacks Riva del Garda’s innumerable restaurants and bars. Rarely will you see a white-legged, fat German businessman saunter past in white sports socks and deck shoes.  You are also spared the sight of RS800 crews swinging from their rubber tyres outside the Oca Bar.  Gravedona is smaller and populated by Italians, and the better for it. It is also one of the friendliest places I have ever been. The sailing club is located on the outskirts, just 5 minutes flip-flop from the middle of town. At first glance the club seems a wee bit fly-blown and manky, with the bleached bones of the ubiquitous 420s and 470s calcifying in the sun. But underneath all that is a big dinghy park full of chestnut trees and a north-facing slipway (of which more below).  It also has a serviceable bar, and a big balcony. From there, Andrew Peters and I were pleased to jeer and sneer like Waldorf and Stadtler from The Muppets as some 70 RS500s (mostly Dutch) tried to recover their boats in a Northerly.  The sense of betrayal on the face of one team who discovered you cannot sail upwind under jib alone was a joy to behold. They were rescued before hitting the rocks. Reader, please note, firing your 500 at the slipway downwind in a f5 gust with the main up was reminiscent of D Day. Muppets. On the plus side, the club had laid on a team of small, brown and skinny trolley urchins, all happy to put their ribcages between their concrete and your gelcoat. Anyway, all entertainment money just can’t buy. It wasn’t just the Dutch - John McKelvie was penetrated by an Italian torpedo in the practice race.

Old Garda salts researching the winds at Como were pleased to note that Como winds are leant human personality in their characterization.  The two are the Breva and the Tivanoi. The Breva ‘she climbs up the lake currents, wrapping herself around everything and spreading over the surfaces. She starts out moderately, then she stops for a little while and in the end she howls.’ We’ve all been there. I think this was a poetic attempt to say that when the Alps get hot, it blows its norks off from the south. As it turns out, due to thunderstorms Sunday, the wind was a reliable as Pecorino percolator. Monday’s racing was canned – the northerly came in hard, and launching all the 500s would have taken too long. (A couple went out, binned it a few times, and returned to massed hooting and applause).

Tuesday we managed three races, in a shifty, treasonous Northerly.  Ben Palmer and Walsh (C) got the first race from Andy and Gill Peters.  MarAYa Stanley and Rob Henderson got the second race from myself and Cafferata.  Hamish and Emma got the third , also from Shrimp and me. Wednesday involved staring at the lake and Alps for a very long time indeed – canned. (As indeed, soon were we). Thursday we sneaked in two in a Northerly. Hamish and Emma from Maria Stanley and Ollie. Race 5 Hamish from Shrimp and me. I was actually hoping for a drift off on Friday, as we were third after 5 races – no such luck. The Breva got her kit off and was up for it around 2.00 pm, a steady f4+. Great sailing, albeit on a port-biased short course, chopped up by loadsa 400s. I’m pants when it’s lumpy, or at any rate, not as good as the likes of the Incredible Chunk, Peters. As is traditional, the Royal Navy are contractually obliged to sink another boat, - weapon of choice, a pink torpedo.

Gravedona is an utterly charming place to be, not least if you’re not sailing.

Highlights of the week:-

  • Gill Peters’ ‘Northern’ accent
  • Cavorting on our harbor front balcony ‘like Turkish rent boys’. Apparently.
  • The RS500 AGM - the crowded hot room described over-loudly as ‘ A Dutch oven’.
  • The Van
  • The dogs that walk themselves – they all seem to be Going Somewhere, unattended. Probably a Dutch AGM.
  • Boat park badinage and bimbling
  • Wafting a dry Martini bottle in the vague direction of icy Vodka. 

The incredible chunk

Hairy poppins

How do you solve a problem like MaarAYa?

AKA Our special Julian Bradley (sorry Dutchies ...)





Results are provisional as of 16:50 on July 28, 2017
RS200 Class
Sailed: 8, Discards: 2, To count: 6, Entries: 15, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Class nat Sail No Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Total Nett
1st RS200 UK 1657 Hamish Walker Emma Hivey (3.0) 3.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 (4.0) 1.0 3.0 17.0 10.0
2nd RS200 UK 1642 Maria Stanley Rob Henderson (4.0) 1.0 (4.0) 2.0 3.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 18.0 10.0
3rd RS200 UK 1628 Ben Palmer Claire Walsh 1.0 4.0 (7.0) 3.0 (6.0) 2.0 3.0 2.0 28.0 15.0
4th RS200 UK 1559 Andrew Peters Jill Peters 2.0 (8.0) 3.0 4.0 (5.0) 3.0 4.0 4.0 33.0 20.0
5th RS200 UK 1178 Julian Bradley H Cafferata (7.0) 2.0 2.0 (7.0) 2.0 7.0 5.0 7.0 39.0 25.0
6th RS200 UK 1228 Joe Adams Emma Lucas (16.0 OCS) 5.0 (6.0) 6.0 4.0 6.0 6.0 5.0 54.0 32.0
7th RS200 UK 1546 John McKelvie Sarah McKelvie 5.0 6.0 5.0 (16.0 OCS) (10.0) 8.0 7.0 6.0 63.0 37.0
8th RS200 UK 1257 Phil Hardisty Ciara Kaneen 6.0 7.0 (11.0) 5.0 7.0 5.0 (8.0) 8.0 57.0 38.0
9th RS200 UK 876 John Turley Anne Saul 9.0 10.0 8.0 (16.0 OCS) 8.0 9.0 (11.0) 10.0 81.0 54.0
10th RS200 UK 558 Rosie Johnson Alice Smith (10.0) 9.0 10.0 10.0 9.0 10.0 9.0 (12.0) 79.0 57.0
11th RS200 UK 1218 Ben Easton Alex Pickles (16.0 OCS) (12.0) 9.0 9.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 9.0 91.0 63.0
12th RS200 UK 1428 Richard Brown Judith Brown 8.0 13.0 12.0 8.0 11.0 13.0 (16.0 DNF) (16.0 DNF) 97.0 65.0
13th RS200 UK 1638 Kevin Woolnough Deborah Woolnough 12.0 (14.0) (16.0 DNF) 12.0 14.0 11.0 10.0 11.0 100.0 70.0
14th RS200 UK 1616 Cath Longhurst Tracey Newman 11.0 11.0 13.0 11.0 13.0 15.0 (16.0 DNF) (16.0 DNF) 106.0 74.0
15th RS200 UK 1486 Nigel Sheppard Deborah Thompson-Brown 13.0 15.0 (16.0 DNF) 13.0 15.0 14.0 (16.0 DNF) 16.0 DNF 118.0 86.0
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