European Championships – Report on first championship day (Monday)

The Wayfarer European Championships are taking place at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy from 20 – 25 July 2014, sponsored by Hartley Boats and Craftinsure.
The venue has proved to be superb for these championships. The sailing area, Weymouth Bay, is a large area of protected sea with the magnificent backdrop of the Jurassic Coast.  This event has brought together sailors from Denmark, Ireland, Holland and of course, the UK – 60 boats all together.
The first day was a practice day with several practice starts and one finish. The most spectacular event was the impressive capsize recovery by Michael McNamara.  Another boat was de-masted but repaired in time for the following day.
Two races were held on the first championship day, 20 July and the race  team was able to get the Wayfarer fleet away in a 5 – 7 knot north westerly wind, although the sailors had to contend with challenging wind shifts off the land.
On the first race three boats went over the start line and were disqualified.  The first boat to reach the windward mark was Cloud Nine, helmed by Liam McGrath and crewed by Sue Mc Grath; the second boat was Revival helmed by Roger Challis and crewed by Mark Johnston.  In third place came Nimbus helmed by Phillip Manning and crewed by Dennis Manning.
Places changed throughout the race, but the winners were still  Liam and Sue Mc Grath on Cloud Nine.  In second place were Roger Challis and Mark Johnston in Revival and in third place came Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend in The Poacher.
Conditions remained stable for the second race.  Because of the excellent sailing conditions, the race officer set a reasonably long course, taking into account the wind forecast for the rest of the week of little or no wind.
The winners of the second race were : first place, Michael McNamara and Simon Townsend
in The Poacher; second place, Richard and Mark Hartley in Just Chance; third place Bill Whitney and John Shelton in Big Dipper.
From the committee boat it looked as though all the competitors enjoyed the magnificent weather and ideal sailing conditions – a perfect day on the water.
Report by Angela Garcia, UKWA Press Officer