An amazing 101 boats made the trip to the small town of Gottkar in Sweden for the 2007 29er Open European Championships. Situated in a small estuary just south of Gothenburg it was a very picturesque venue to hold a sailing championship. The fleet consisted of the usual European countries such as France , Germany, Great Britain, Spain and the obvious large contingent from Scandinavia. A sign that the European fleet is held in high regard is that 4 boats made the trip from the USA.
The original entry was expected to be 50 â€“ 60 so boat parking was somewhat limited. Club and class rallied to make it a memorable event. Special thanks to all the helpers who spent many a day up to their neck in water getting the fleets away down the slipways. The fleet was split into 4 flights racing on 2 race tracks making life a little easier on the slipways.
One of the most amazing feats of the week was the measurement of 101 boats in one day- including weighing. This must be a record and a special thanks to Arthur Allen and his team.
The weather forecasts were not promising and sure enough when racing started the light and fickle wind came from the opposite direction the fleet had been practicing in. There was still some excellent sailing and racing to be had and as usual the best teams were at the front.
The early heats in the qualification series brought the usual suspects from GBR, FRA and DEN to the front. However it was the stunning performance of the USA boats that made the fleet take note.
After a very tough qualification series with abandonments and much waiting, 7 of the planned 8 races were completed. It was tough for the competitors and race committee alike.
The light and variable wind continued into the finals and the USA girls Dellenbaugh /Provancha who lead into the finals and boys Anderson/Price continued to show their form.
Going into the final day the USA girls had a narrow lead over Frances Peters and Hannah Diamond but the GBR girls last 2 races let them down and they fell to 4th overall allowing the USA boys and the Polish team of Przybytek/Mongird to overhaul them and take the European title
The Jury was kept busy with a number of interesting protests and outcomes which had a big effect on the overall results of a number of the front runners.
The members at Segal Sall Skapet Kaparen ran an excellent week with a very varied lunch / dinner supplied every day from the small but efficient team in the kitchen. Everyone was well fed every day! A championship dinner with a band also used up some of the energy not spent on the race course.