23rd of May 2006, Portugal, IFWC European Championships

Resume of the Europeans by Jesper Vesterstrøm

Hi there…

Just thought I would give my view of the championships, without mentioning my sponsors in every 2nd line

I was there 7 days in advance preparing for the event with Gonzarlo and we had normal windy side/off conditions every day. We where super prepared and flying in all sorts of wind. Portimao is a great place we where just not lucky to have the best conditions for the event and the organiser is not to be blamed for that. Overpower did a super job and I think every sailor would agree on that.

Bruno did a good job as well, we where up early and we tried every possible way we could to make some racing, but we didn’t really get the amount of races in that we all hopped for. This I think could have been prevented if there were some changes to the rules and some more efficiency in the way the races are structured. Ceri, maybe we could start make some preparations in some changes so we don’t have to go trough those panic races again, because there is no chance that the wind in the last race was ok for racing. I have never seen Miguel, POR5, pump on a 10,7, the guy is 74 kg.

The event was seen split in 2 fleets, Yellow and Blue, based on the Formula world ranking. Some racers where not to happy with that, but hey, guess what there is an annual meeting every year at the worlds and every country have a vote so “you” can all make a difference on that J…

The first few days where hard on the beach, we had wind every day up until the event and as it starts the wind shuts off completely, what a shame, but what to do. Days went by with playing Volleyball and soccer on the beach, and then there was Devon who have taken up Golf and he was practicing hard every day together with other racers.

Finally the wind kicked in and Blue fleet was sent on the water and they had one race completed. I was in Yellow and starting last after the women who was also presented at the Europeans. We had 3-4 starts and in one of them there was a general recall and some of us made it up all the way to the windward mark before they came and showed the flag. The funny thing was the wind dropped and we could not plane back. So the race director starts the race as we are half way back and was in no position to make the start. Luckily the wise race director call off the start and we where sent to the beach.

So Blue fleet had one race and we had none, that’s really a problem with the split fleets when the weather forecast is so bad. Anyway, our chance came later in the week and suddenly on Thursday night we had our chance once more.

In the first Races it was the yellow fleet and Pawel gets a good start follow by my self, ,Steve Allen and Arnon… I am catching on Pawel on the downwind but hit a nasty chop in the jibe and dropped my sail. Steve then had a chance to pass me and he did. Suddenly I was in 4th with Arnon in front of me as well. I passed Arnon on the 2 downwind and finished in 3rd just behind Steve and Pawel in front as 1st. In the blue fleet Wojteck to the victory with Antoine in 2nd and Ross in 3rd place.

Next race was a bit draggy…Thanks to some pro sailors who took out half the fleet because he was 1 min to early. I can only say it looked great from a distance, I was at the pin end on port enjoying the view. Also pro sailor Mike Porter was over by a min, guess a lot of people got stressed by Steve...As we finally starts I am in 1st position on my 9.8 and winning the race in a comfortable lead, no more races that day, thanks to 3 general recalls and a massive over early that some sailors will never forget

The last day, I was on tied first with Wojteck. We had an early start in the morning and it was me and Wojteck in 1 and 2 fighting, but the wind dropped…
1 hour before the last possible start the wind came, very light. We where 15 guys in our start I was ahead on my 10,7 but on the 2nd upwind mark I stopped planning with no chance of getting going. Julian arrives to the upwind mark and stops too and then Portugal 5 passes us both. I finally get going and then I stopped again on the last mark. And FRA192 and POL10n passes me on their 12,5 pumping their guts out…

The wind was super light, to light to race, but because that we needed 3 race to a valid championships the race was pushed trough and that is just facts…I finished in 3rd overall and in the evening at the prize giving and party all where forgotten and we had a great night out, much better than expected.

Well done, Overpower