International Canoe Europa Cup 2022
Hayling Island Sailing Club, England
Editor's note. This was the first International event held after the hiatus of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 on. Two reports for you here.
The first report, by Phil Robin, first appeared on Yachts and Yachting
Hayling Island SC hosted the International Canoe Nationals and Europa Cup from 18 to 25 July. Competitors enjoyed sailing in Bracklesham Bay in sunny conditions throughout the week in winds ranging from Force 2 to 4.
Unfortunately, some entries were unable to sail having succumbed to Covid and two of the German entries had forgotten that following Brexit, a passport is needed to enter the country, so did not get past customs.
Race 1 was sailed in a Force 2 south-easterly with plenty of pace changes, and at the finish Tont Robertshaw took the gun from World Champion Robin Wood with Gareth Caldwell coming third. Race 2 followed was in similar conditions, but Gareth Caldwell took an early lead, holding it to the end, a sign of things to come.
Robin Wood finished second with local sailor Phil Robin in third.
A Force 5-6 delayed racing on the second day, but by the afternoon it had dropped away completely to be replaced by a Force 1- 2 south-easterly, that enabled one race to be sailed before the wind disappeared again. Tony Robertshaw rounded the windward mark in the lead followed by Perham Harding in his new Warren designed boat.
Gareth Caldwell had a premature start but went the right way on the beat and then showed devastating downwind speed, possibly partly attributable to his foiling rudder to take the gun followed by Tony Robershaw, Phil Robin and Robin Wood.
A Force 4 south-westerly greeted the fleet on the next day, with bigger waves, that made tacking successfully more difficult, especially for sailors not used to sea sailing.
But the greater challenge was the abundance of sea weed across the course, difficult to clear from daggerboards and rudders in a narrow boat in waves, but making it almost impossible to steer for the four boats with rudder foils, none of whom (including the series leaders Caldwell, Robertshaw and Wood) to complete the race, which was won by Dan Skinner, followed by heavy weather specialist Chris Hampe and Phil Robin.
Race Officer Greg Lamb wisely concluded from the attrition rate to send the fleet home, who enjoyed a fast reach, playing waves across Chichester Bar, back into the harbour.
Racing in the next day was postponed until the afternoon to allow the forecast south-westerly breeze to fill in, which reached steady Force 3, and best of all, much less sea weed. The first race was won by Gareth Caldwell, again quick downwind, followed by Class Chairman Steve Clarke, again fast downwind but without a rudder foil, and Phil Robin, who rounded the windward mark first, but was slower on the downhill legs.
The second race was similar but this time Tony Robertshaw rounded the windward mark first, but could not keep ahead of Gareth Caldwell downwind, with Phil Robin finishing third.
The final race of the day was sailed in late afternoon in a dying breeze. Dan Skinner rounded the windward mark first, but could not keep ahead of Gareth Caldwell downwind and then losing a places to Phil Robin and Chris Hampe following a capsize clearing the dreaded sea weed.
A force 6 greeted sailors on the last day, so the decision was taken to abandon racing, with Gareth Caldwell taking a well-deserved championship, in his American designed Maas boat and the first European sailor, Niklas Steirmann from Germany in seventh position.
In the top six there were five different hull designs, three different sail lofts represented, and two boats having rudder foils, demonstrating the continuing scope for development in the class.
This second report is extracted from Gerald New's reports on Sailweb.
Day 1 leader is Gareth Caldwell (4, 1) and Ska'd For Life tied on 4 points from the first two races with Robin Wood and Black Betty.
Next is Tony Robert Shaw (1, 4) in third place with 5 points and then Philip Robin (4, 3) and Little Scarlett with 7 points.
With talk of record temperatures for the UK over these opening days, the fleet had a pleasant beat out of Chichester Harbour to their race area, threading their way through the 250+ ILCA's . . . the class formally known as the Laser, are also holding their UK Nationals at HISC.
Robert Shaw won the first IC race ahead of Wood, with Caldwell in third and Robin fourth.
The second race was a win for Caldwell ahead of Wood with Robin in third place and Robert Shaw fourth.
Day 2 - making the right decisions.
Gareth Caldwell and Ska'd For Life take a clear lead after winning the third race of the championship.
But it was not as straight-forward as it seems, as the day produced a complicated weather pattern and required some clever decisions on the part of the Inter Canoes to get any result at all.
As the 250+ ILCA Laser Nationals fleet launched in the fresh early breeze to head out into the Bay, the small, 16 strong Canoe fleet decided to to take a wait-and-see approach, and stayed ashore.
Several hours later the Laser fleets returned to consider their options, having failed to manage any racing in the tricky breeze.
The breeze then settled to a steady 5 to 10 knots from the SE and the Canoe fleet launched.
They managed one race before the breeze died again, and were safely back at the club ahead of the 25 knot breeze which blew in from the West.
Result . . . Canoes 1, Lasers (ILCA) 0 !
Caldwell won the third race ahead of Tony Robert Shaw, with Phil Robin in third, Robin Wood fourth and Stephen Clarke fifth.
Overall Caldwell leads with five points, two ahead of Robert Shaw, with Robin Wood third on eight points and Philip Robin fourth with ten points.
Just one race completed for the Inter Canoes and it was something of a shake-up.
Conditions were 15 knots gusting to 20 and this caused some changes to the leader board after just five boats completed the single race.
Dan Skinner was the winner of race 4, ahead of Christ Hampe with Philip Robin taking third place.
Also finishing was Alasdair Alston in fourth and Stephen Fleming in fifth, with five others DNF.
Overall after four races, Philip Robin and 328 Little Scarlet leads with 13 points.
Second is Gareth Caldwell with 22 points and third Tony Robert Shaw on 24 points.
After a wait for the wind to appear at around 13:00 hrs the Canoes were able complete three races, a total of seven to date.
It was a return to the top of the leader board for Gareth Caldwell and Ska'd For Life after winning all three of Thursday's races.
Caldwell now leads into the final day with eight points, nine ahead of Philip Robin and Little Scarlett. In third place is Tony Robert Shaw with 23 points.
Caldwell won the first race (R5) ahead of Steve Clarke, the second (R6) ahead of Tony Robert Shaw and the third (R7) ahead of Philip Robin.
Due to inclement weather conditions on the final day of the 2022 International Canoe Championships at Hayling Island SC, no further racing was possible.
Gareth Caldwell, sailing GBR335 Ska'd For Life, is the 2022 International Canoe UK National Champion.
In second place is Philip Robin and third Tony Robert Shaw.
© Gerald New. This report was based on reports posted on Sailweb.