from 18footer.org → The third day started as the last two ones: sunny and with postponement! After the breeze started to build around 1 pm the race officer called the skiffs out for the start. When the first four teams were out on big rig it was already blasting and the forecast was even up to forty knots in the evening. Soon every of the four, Pica, the Black Dog, Hyde Sails and Magic Marine took their “Pitch Balls” in the Bear away and it became visible, it was too much for big Rig.
After a fast skipper meeting ashore the teams decided to stay ashore for the alternative would have been to change rig, go out and sail a race in a safety window of 120 minutes for three hours later there were 40 knots predicted. So everybody was happy to stay in and what for the next day with predicted 20 knots, dropping to 12 during the day. Also there would have been a chance for sailing one or two races with delivering proper informations to the sailors in time and call out the fleet on second rig in time.
The last day saw the whole fleet on small rig but even so only six of ten teams managed to cross the startline in 26 knots and five finished more or less fighting tough. At that time the wind was around 30 knots and the next races were cancelled, the weather forecast has been completely wrong. So Hyde Sails with Jack, Mike and Sam won their first European Grand Prix with two wins and one brave third place in front of Pica with Jamie, Tristan and Stu. On third place the local team of Liberty Sailing with Miklos finished ahead of “The Black Dog”, “Eurolink” and “Magic Marine”.
Altgough from this year on the European association offers an advantage (second windward mark with shorter course) for teams with non-competitive material like boats before 1996, Pinhead Mains #1 or Rookie-Teams, nobody claimed it. We like to attract more teams to participate in the races and be part of this unique 18foot Skiff community. So facing this it was a shame that even not all Hungarian teams participated for it’s a courtesy also to the teams traveling a long way.
A big Cheerio to all the winners