Europa Cup 2000
The International Canoe Europa Cup took place in Germany at Wilhelmshaven on July 29 to August 3. Just two British sailors, Simon Allen and Colin Newman joined IC competitors I from Sweden, France and a full turn out of the German fleet. Racing took place over a trapezoidal course with a triangle replacing the more usual final run. The wind was mainly light with a strong tide making it difficult not to be over the line at the start.
Reflecting the current supremacy of British IC sailing at international level, Simon Allen won the Europa Cup, coming first in five of the seven races. Nearly 58 year old Colin Newman finished second overall, just one point ahead of the French national champion Patrick Nicolas who won the first race after the British sailors sought redress on his behalf following confusion over the position of the finish line. Well ahead on the final beat, Patrick Nicolas re- crossed the start line rather than the finish line, which was still being laid on the opposite side of the committee boat.
Colin Newman followed him, but on getting no gun sailed back round the committee boat to take the winner's gun still just ahead of Simon Allen. However, the committee accepted Colin's request that the win be given to Patrick. Canoe sailing takes place in this sporting fashion. The only other entrant to win a race was Peter Ullmann from Germany who, in Race 3, started on port and led from start to finish, just ahead of Simon Allen. Peter eventually finished seventh overall and won the German national championships which was part of the same event.
Towards the end of the final race, Simon Allen, who had already convincingly won the championships, had built up his usual substantial lead, with Patrick Nicolas lying second. Colin Newman, who had either to beat the Frenchman or finish immediately behind him to stay in second place overall, capsized on the final beat and fell back from fourth to l3th and out of the medals altogether. However, on rounding the windward mark he noticed that the strong cross current was carrying all the boats ahead well above the final reaching mark. To sail the shortest distance he then set off on a run about fifteen degrees lower than everyone ahead of him. By the end of the leg he was third, back in the silver medal position, immediately behind the Frenchman, the position he held to the finish, a true 'Boy's Own' story at snatching victory from the jaws of defeat after the sporting gesture in the first race! The event was shared with the German national sailing canoe, the 'Taifun' from which German juniors often move on to the International Canoe.