10th of June 2005, Greece, IFWC European Championships

I arrived at Rhodes 10 days before racing to test out the conditions for the European Championships and had perfect conditions between 10-15 knots every day, so when the first day of racing finally came, I was shocked to see no wind!

Day 1 we waited on shore until 3pm until there was a nice 10-13 knots building. I was really stoked to have some light wind races and with my 9.8 managed to achieve 2 bullets on the first day. Unfortunately it was close to sunset after 2 races so we packed it in.

Day two would have to be one of the most frustrating racing days of my life. It was a very long day for the women's fleet due to the start boat being late by one hour to the course area, marks drifting, and the men doing numerous general recalls (because competition for the men is so fierce and everyone wants to make it into the Gold fleet!). Unfortunately though, the women missed all the good stable wind and didn't get to race until late afternoon, which allowed only enough time for two races after the long wait. I managed to win the first race even with overlaying the bottom mark by quite a long way with some of the other girls following me. I struggled with my choice of fin in the 2nd race and lost a lot of speed upwind. I had to fight to the end catching Lucy by 200m on the last down wind and was just pipped by 1m on the finish line. By then it was a sunset finish for the women's fleet again!!

Day three, and finally this morning I managed to get a replacement 490 mast after breaking my spares in training before the regatta started, so now I could rig my 9m. It wasn't a race mast but I still managed to get around the course with a freeride mast! I'm sure it was better than taking out my 9.8m sail, when even Wojtek was using a 9m! Results were mixed up a little more on the third day with new conditions showing different sailors coming out on top. Race 5 saw me as the only one port tacking the fleet and meeting the girls at the top mark but I made the huge mistake of double tacking and losing hundreds of metres. I managed to catch up to 3rd place after Lucy stacked it at the bottom mark. Race 6 was even windier and Sarah and Lucy where ripping upwind while Verena and I were battling it out for 3rd and 4th.
The results as they stand show that I am still leading with Sarah and Lucy in reach of the title with two more days of windy racing to go.

I have had a lot of fun sailing here in beautiful Rhodes. The conditions are really great for Formula. Hopefully for Day 4, the race committee will do their job well, and conditions will again be great for the competitive women's fleet, that is scheduled to race first today.

Allison Shreeve
AUS911
www.aus911.com
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