Euro Cats Cup 2008

This is a classic long distance raid not to be missed. Altough... we were very much doubting if we would participate or not. Mainly because every weekend of August had been full of races with lots of wind and we didn't really feel like "surviving the winds" again. BUT Saturday was announced as a lovely summer day, high temperatures and a moderate Easterly breeze. The perfect conditions for this long distance. So we entered. The good conditions showed: we had 80 participants! The club really was alive and kicking. Very nice to see.

And we had great fun. Wind was a bit more than announced, with again high winds of up to 5 BFT, but the sun and the not too big (it still is the North Sea ofcourse) waves made up for this.

For the first time ever I trapezed with the kite up: what an experience! Very mixed emotions: very scared and very excited all at once. But we went fast and didn't really stuff the nose. I am still on the learning curve, I hurt myself a fair bit while falling backwards between the rudders or while hitting the side stay and the dagger board at the same time. But well, once I am more experienced I will have a more stable position and the bruises always disappear anyway :-)

The long distance starts with a buoy triangle race in front of the club, an upwind and a downwind beat and we did very well on this triangle. I think we were between 10th and 15th at that time and we were even in front of some of the better sailors of our club!

Ready to hoist the spin....

Then we were off to Holland, back to the club and then off to Holland again. Finish was in front of the club. We really felt our muscles while trapping upwind! Gill would have really enjoyed a crew who did the main sheet ;-) The downwind legs were very long, with some really big waves in the beginning. And not being used to trapping downwind I felt it!

It was an exciting race, we were close to 2 other club boats and we finally finished between 15th and 20th place.

But... a major but! We got an OCS :-( DAMN! What a pity. We apparently went over the starting line a few seconds early and got disqualified, together with 4 other boats. There was an individual recall but we decided to race on because we were convinced we didn't start early. Well, tough lesson learned. No finishing place for us.

But we know we did good, better than last year. So we are learning and evolving. Great news!

The next few weeks no races scheduled. If the weather cooperates we can enjoy some casual sailing and prepare for the last big race of the season: our Club Championship. To be continued...

This year's flyer made for this race:

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