Friday night at Assens was very windy. Forecasts for Saturday varied. Mine (XC Weather) suggested 24-29mph until about 1400 when it would reduce to 17-26 (still a lot). On the other hand the locals’ forecast was in metres/second which was bound to cause confusion. They also seemed to have a rule that they wouldn’t race if the average exceeded 12m/sec which would be about 24 knots. They seemed confident that conditions would be eminently sailable by 1330 allowing time for two more races. ...read more
The equation was simple. If Mogens Just won both races he would win the title from Mac on countback repeating his victory from Heeg a couple of years ago.
Boats were rigged (some of the fleet with reefed sails and masthead buoyancy) and the fleet launched into a breeze which was in truth, by then, a touch less than the previous day.
Mac and Simon had their serious heads on. Mogens was seen doing some serious stretching before he launched.
Not long before the scheduled start a lone Wayfarer was seen sailing back into the harbour. This was Mogens whose back (injured while sailing a Melges) was causing too much pain for him to race. Indeed, Anders, his crew had helmed the boat home with Mogens sitting as still as possible and in obvious pain.
This could have been an anticlimax but Mac and Simon stayed afloat and delivered a masterclass in heavy weather dinghy racing, winning both races and with them the Championship. The boat-handling of all the boats who ventured out, especially those who flew spinnakers, was exemplary. It was a joy to watch.
Congratulations to Mac and Simon for retaining the European title.
Well done, also, to Brian and Liz McKenzie who sailed all the races and finished 6th overall and second placed UKWA boat.