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Dutch Open Skiff Trophy

RS Vareos at Dutch Open Skiff Trophy 6-8 Oct 18

The weather forecast was dire but two intrepid RS Vareos from the UK still ventured across the North Sea (with some help from Stena Line) to compete in our European championships on beautiful Grevelingen - a massive lake in South Holland.

The event is part of the Open Dutch skiff series and we sailed in a fleet of 12 mixed in with the other py >900 dinghies.

As is often the case, the forecast for storm weather did not materialise and on practice day we were treated to some lovely sunny weather but not much wind, so most of the day was spent on boat park tuning before a few boats eventually took to the water for a little drift around.

On Saturday we had another sunny day and after lunch at the marina cafe the competition started with four races as scheduled.  Race officer Arkie showed his experience in this location and rightly kept us waiting for the sea breeze to settle in and we were then treated to a gradually increasing wind strength throughout the afternoon.  Results were mixed with all RS Vareos ending up in the top half of the fleet sailing nicely to handicap.  The first RS Vareo took one overall win and was second by two points to the leading Iso.

In the evening there was an all you can eat lasagne event organised by the club at the harbourside sailor’s inn - just the job after over six hours on the water and a great chance to discuss the detail of the day’s racing.

On Sunday we had three more races starting in the morning.  There was some confusion for the first to set sail as they went left out of the harbour towards Saturday’s race track, but the course was in fact set over to the right this time.

More breeze today and the waves not quite aligned rolling in from a different direction further across the lake.  The wind strength varied from Moderate to Stiff and we had the influence of the shoreline to the right to take into account as well.  This did make for a fantastic combination of surfing and wave-hopping on the downwind though.  Not surprisingly the results were a little less consistent than those previously posted, but leading RS Vareo Nick Crickmore managed another overall race win to stay second in the mixed fleet and as first RS Vareo retained the European Champion trophy.

Photos courtesy of Richard Holmes

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Report by Nick Crickmore

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