GBR takes Gold and Silver in toughest final of the Eurosaf 2K Championships

Eurosaf 2K Keelboat Team Racing Championships at the Batavia Sailing Centre Lelystad Holland GBR takes Gold and Silver in the toughest fought final of the Eurosaf 2K Championships at the Batavia Sailing Centre at Lelystad Holland.. The Royal Thames Yacht Club team skippered by Andy Cornah and Claire Lasko finished the three day championships with only a single loss to take the Arthur Little Trophy and the 2nd edition of the Eurosaf Championships. GBR Itchenor Saiing Club, skippers George Yeoman and Andy Shaw, took second place while ITA Yacht Club Costa Smeralda ,skippers Jacopo Pasini and Antonio Sodo Migliori took Bronze.

Source: Bruce Hebbert

The final day of racing again with fully reefed sails and very marginal sailing conditions placed huge physical as well as tactical demands on the teams. With the top three teams decided from the round robin the format then moved to a winner stays on series to decide fourth place and the last semi finalist… all to play for Germany wins against the host team Batavia then stumbles against GBR Serpentine who in splendid form move up to beat the young Dutch team from DMTRA( Dutch Match and Team Race Association)…but against the Belgians they met their match. Belgium the surprise team at the event had gained a reputation for superb boat handling and speed in the wild conditions of the Batavia racing area.

The first semi final saw the Belgians facing the Royal Thames to then unbeaten…. now evenly matched in speed the superior tactics of the Thames team won out…. but the second semi final was to take all to the limit. As so often in 2K the teams moved from winning to losing combinations again and again. The Brits losing each of the upwind legs had to concentrate on freeing their team from last place, allowing the Italians the upper hand. Then the runs… and now the young GBR showed their strength… relentlessly attacking from the left forcing the Italians into a desperate defence. With possibly as many 20 gybes per boat on the run the action moved with ferocity from one side to the other, luffing duels, pass backs and a shower of protests finally ended with a GBR victory.

The Petit Final a one match decider again showed the benefit of a season of 2K racing for the Italians. Matched for speed the slick team work of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda team quickly gained the lead and with a tight defence held it to the end.

The finals were to prove a series of set piece moves… with Victory going to the team who made less mistakes. Winning the first race the Royal Thames looked set for a 1-2 victory. but again some brilliant work on the final run forces Lasko into an impossible defence… and within seconds of the line a penalty ends the race in favour of Itchenor. Now all to play for and Itchenor with their tails up dominate the first beat. Cornah trapped by Yeoman fouls as he tacks out… Itchenor now have it in their grasp… Lasko now on the top reach has only 5 boat lengths to change it…. a brilliant defence at the offset mark locks Yeoman lo leeward… now blanketed by Lasko their is no escape and Yeoman is forced to concede a penalty. Now with only Shaw to contend with the Thames quickly break free, split across the run making it impossible for Shaw to get the leverage needed for a comeback…and so to victory.

With the completion of the second edition of this Eurosaf Championships 2K has established itself as a major European Sailing Discipline… the addition of 2 nations from the first event a year ago is a major step forward. 2K now has a growing circuit across the continent with events in no less than 8 countries.

The success of this year’s edition raced in the harshest of conditions is a credit to the massive support from the City of Lelystad and the Batavia Sailing Centre and their team of volunteers.

Final Rank

1. GBR Royal Thames Yacht Club
2. GBR Itchenor sailing Club
3. ITA Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
4. BEL Snipe Team
5. NED Dutch Match and Team Racing Association
6. GBR Serpentine Team Racing Club
7. GER Bayerischer Yacht Club
8. NED Batavia Sailing Centre