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23/07/2007
RS Fat Face Eurocup Travemunder Woche, Germany

  • 49 RS400s at the Irish Nationals!
  • RS400s in the sun at Lymington, 2015
  • RS400s in the sun at Lymington, 2015
  • Howard Farbrother & Dan Martin win the Gul RS400 Inlands 2015
  • JP Watersports RS400 Scottish Tour at Royal Findhorn, July 2016
  • Jon & Nicky enjoying the 2016 Inlands
  • RS400 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
  • RS400 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
  • RS400 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
  • RS400 Eurocup, YC Carnac, May 2018
The RS400 fleet headed to Travemunde  in Northern Germany on the Baltic for this years Fat Face Euro Cup. Although the turnout was a bit disappointing at 16, with a similar number of 200s, 600s, 700s and 800s the RS fleet put up an impressive display and had a special course (Fox-trot) allocated to themselves.
 
For those who only do the Euro Cup every other year when it is on Lake Garda it is worth painting the picture of what you missed this time just so you don't make the same mistake twice. Travemunde Woche (week) is supposed to be the largest dinghy event in Europe and having seen it that sounds about right. Over 1000 boats compete on a number of different course set in Lubeck bay. On shore there is a huge tented village supplying all imaginable types of food, drink and entertainment at all hours of the day and night - estimates are that over 1 million visitors attend during the week.
 
The RS course was situated 4 miles ( yes 4 miles) off the beach between the 18 ft skiffs who were posing for the beach spectators and a couple of local keel boat classes who sailed half way to Denmark each day to race. The formula for the week is that it runs from Saturday to the following Sunday and classes can choose how much racing they want in that period on a kind of "a la carte" basis. The RS classes chose to race 5 days, two races per day starting on Monday 23rd July. The format was standard RS trapezoid courses with the 400's on the outer loop
 
Monday's racing was due to start at 1 but with most of the fleet under estimating the distance to sail to the course area the inevitable AP was flown. Racing got away about half an hour late and anyone could see from the 200s all being lifted on port tack that the left hand side of the beat was the only place to go. The fleet got away cleanly and it was to everyone's surprise that boats on the right picked up a huge lift from the right and boats rounded the windward mark more or less in the order of how far right they had gone. Stephen and Jane Robertson in their first event 400s having moved up (down?) from 200s showed there was nothing to this 400 sailing by taking best advantage and holding the lead to the end. Heather and Giles Chipperfield spent much of the race catching the leaders but had to content themselves with second place. Ian Robson and Sandy Johnson also catching up made 3rd and Howard Farbrother and Louise Hosken 4th.
 
With the wind dying the fleet waited for race two but when most of the 700s failed to complete their last downwind leg from race one the writing was on the wall and racing was abandoned for the day. The evening presented another of the joys of Travemunde. For one evening of the week each fleet is invited aboard the Passat, a four mast square rigger, for a reception by the mayor. A spirited attempt was made to drink back the entire entry fee in one evening and as a result a good time was had by all.
 
Tuesday dawned overcast with a SW 2/3 wind. No one was making the same mistake as the day before and with racing bought forward to 11.30 ( where it stayed all week) the fleet were ready on time. Another clean start was followed by the usual suspects getting into some tight boat on boat racing on the first downwind leg. Suddenly AP over H appeared and the competitors all headed back to the shore. A thunder storm warning had been issued and as it remained in force until the evening after a further short delay the racing was abandoned. The loss of races presented a very tough schedule if things were to get back on track an in the event gave two of the biggest days sailing of the year.
 
Wednesday blew a steady 22-25kts with the occasional gust of 33. Standing instructions for the week are to abandon in more than 25kts but with a truly Nelsonian touch the Race Officer was able to report 24kts of wind each time he was asked by race control. The result was 3 races back to back in very demanding conditions which on top of the sail in and out made for a tough day. Robson/Johnson won the first race slipping through John Cooper and Becci Wigley by going for the slightly more favoured end of the finish. Farbrother/Hosken took 3rd and Bill and Lynda Handley 4th. Next race Robson/Johnson went from 4th to 1st on the last beat with an inspired left side move. They won from Farbrother/Hosken,Cooper/Wigley and the Handleys. Final race and Robson/Johnson had no need to play catch-up, they led from start to finish and put in their third bullet of the day. The Chipperfields got a 2nd as their best result of the day. Farbrother/Hosken took 3rd to complete a very good day at the office and Malcolm and Andrew Ritchie weighed in with a 4th which was to be their best result of their series.
 
Thursday winds had moderated to a 3/4 and we needed 4 races to get back on track. By the end of the day we had sailed those 4 races with the sail in and out probably giving the fleet more sailing in one day than ever before. Race one and Richard Graham-Enock and Roland Walker (the History Boys) won by way of compensation for their broken rudder which gave them 3 DNSs from the day before. The Robertsons got 2nd to go with their 1st from the first day but again were carrying a DNF and DNS as a result of the previous days broken mast. The Chipperfields managed 3rd as the only representatives of the leading bunch and Kevin O'Brien and Uel Webb got a series best 4th. Next race and normal service was resumed with a win for Robson/Johnson. While the Chipperfields and Farbrother/Hosken were busy match racing on the last run the Handleys slipped through for 2nd, the History Boys 3rd and Cooper/ Wigley 4th. Next race and Robson/Johnson do it again. This time the Chipperfields ignored distractions to take 2nd, the History boys 3rd and the Handleys having an unusually consistent day with a 4th. Last race of the day and the History boys do it again. Robson/Johson could only manage 2nd but with two discards this gave them the series with a day to spare. The Chipperfields got 3rd and Farbrother/Hosken completed a not so good day for them with their best result of the day - 4th.
 
Friday morning and with the racing back on track ( 8 races completed) the series was won but there were plenty of places to play for. The wind came with its full force and racing was postponed while the fleet kicked their heels. All the other dinghy fleets had cancelled when the word came to go afloat. Only three 400s had launched when the further word came to stop. This was all too late for the Chipperfields, the Handleys and Cooper/Wigley who sailed out into a recorded wind of 40kts plus. Special mention to the Handleys ( well I'm writing this so I am entitled to) as the only boat to fly the kite in 40 kt gust and manage to get it down again without major incident - the fastest sail for a number of years. Back on the beach racing was called off for the day and the week was over.
 
Final results shown Robson/Johnson clear winners on 7 pts, the Chipperfields 2nd on 17, Farbrother/Hosken 3rd on 21 and the Handleys 4th on 25. Special mention for the History boys who managed 6th on 30pts having to count a DNS.
 
So a fantastic week with fantastic conditions and fantastic racing. No one loves Riva more than I do and I will certainly be there next year but for all those of you who didn't come this time, there is life after Garda and it's a good one, try it sometime.
 
Bill Handley

1 GBR 1263 Robson, Ian
Johnson, Sandy
AYC
AYC
[3] 1 1 1 [5] 1 1 2 7,00 1
2 GBR 1296 Chipperfield, Giles
Chipperfield, Heather
LTSC
LTSC
2 5 [6] 2 3 [6] 2 3 17,00 2
3 GBR 1251 Farbrother, Howard
Hosken, Louise
Queen Mary
QM
4 3 2 3 [10] 5 [8] 4 21,00 3
4 GBR 1274 Handley, Bill
Handley, Lynda
Restronguet [10] 4 4 [6] 6 2 4 5 25,00 4
5 GBR 1304 Cooper, John
Wigley, Becci
L.T.S.C. [12] 2 3 [8] 7 4 5 7 28,00 5
6 GBR 1066 Graham-Enock, Richard
Walker, Roland
Aldeburgh Yacht Club
AYC
5 [DNS] [DNS] DNS 1 3 3 1 30,00 6
7 GBR 1218 Robertson, Stephen
Robertson, Jane
Bowmoor SC
Bowmoor
1 7 [DNF] [DNS] 2 7 9 6 32,00 7
8 GBR 1248 O'Brien, Kevin
Webb, Uel
RAFSA
RAFSA
6 [9] 7 7 4 [9] 7 8 39,00 8
9 GBR 1046 Ritchie, Malcolm
Ritchie, Andrew
Hykeham SC
Hykeham
[11] [DNF] 5 4 8 8 6 9 40,00 9
10 GBR 870 Horsefield, Simon
Herod, Lea
BMSTC
BMSTC
7 6 8 5 9 [10] [10] 10 45,00 10
11 GBR 626 Speame, Jonathan
Fitter, IAN
RNSA
RNSA
8 10 10 10 [12] 12 [13] 12 62,00 11
12 UKR 1181 Heijne, Ian
Young, Terry
BBSC
BBSC
13 [DNF] 9 9 11 11 11 [OCS] 64,00 12
13 GBR 959 Cross, Adrian
Davies, Tony
BMSC 9 11 12 11 [14] [14] 12 13 68,00 13
14 GBR 1272 Wilcox, Andrew
Christan, Hannah
RNSA
Ely SC
[14] 8 11 [DNS] 13 13 14 11 70,00 14
15 GBR 757 Barber, Simon
Hay, Emma
ASA [15] 12 13 [DNS] 15 15 15 14 84,00 15
16 GBR 494 Rennie, Donnie
Rennie, Mike
  [DNS] [DNS] DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 102,00 16

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