Yacht Club de Carnac
23rd - 28th July 2018
Javelin European Championship at Yacht Club de Carnac
by Neil Reid - 23-27 July 2018
The Javelin Class chose Carnac Yacht Club for the 2018 European Championships. A fitting venue for our 50th year celebrations. With racing at the top end of the fleet as competitive as any class, the friendships between the 3 main associations Dutch, German and British, plus the mixture of boat crews including; fathers and sons, husbands and wives, all-female crews, brothers and juniors and so on... all emphasise the Javelin family sailing tradition is alive and well.
The light winds on day 1 resulted in only two races being completed, the first of which was a practice race. The first competitive race saw the lighter crews taking advantage of the conditions with Malte Reisnier & Joern Pietsch leading from the start and finishing well clear of 2nd place Christian Wirts & Malte Dreyer. Third place went to Jan de Groot & Nick Szejnoga.
Although still light, the improving wind on day two left us with three different race winners. Race 1 saw Jens Schlittenhard, now sailing with his nephew Robin, make a tactical move in-shore up the second beat to round the windward mark in 1st place - a position he maintained to win the race. Ralf Wilhelms & Knut Ziolkowski held on to 2rd place with Richard & Kathryn Smith coming in 3rd after passing Reisnier & Pietsch by carrying their spinnaker to the finish line. Race 2 was a close affair from the start with first place going to Brian & David Earl, 2nd to the Smiths with Dutch father-daughter team of Olav & Xanthe Kerssemakers coming in 3rd. Race 3 had a similar feel with de Groot & Szejnoga taking a deserved win from the Kerssemakers with the Smiths coming home 3rd. At the end of day two we'd had four races and four different race winners. The Smiths held the overall lead after never being outside the top 4.
A further strengthening of the wind on day three resulted in a change of fortunes for the heavier and lighter crews. But by the end of the day the top three overall placings were beginning to take shape. The Earls finished the day as overall leaders after 2 race wins and a 4th place. De Groot and Szejnoga were lying 2nd having finished fifth in the first race and second in the final two. The Smiths were in 3rd after coming fourth in the first 2 races and winning the 3rd. Riesnier & Pietch consolidated their 4th position with solid performance throughout the day in conditions that didn't suit their lighter crew weight. The Reid brothers took full advantage of the breezier conditions making a significant move up the leader board to end the day in 5th place after finishing 3rd in all three races.
With the top three places still up for grabs, day four (the final day) saw a return of the light winds. As a result, and with the sailors floating around the committee boat, a wind postponement was imposed. After two hours of waiting and with just enough wind, the racing finally got underway. A poor start from de Groot and Szejnoga put them out of the running and left the Earls and Smiths to battle it out. With the Smiths leading and the Earls in 2nd place, the race seemed to be heading to a familiar conclusion. That was until Jen Schlittenhard took another tactical flyer in-shore up the final beat, having rounded the leeward mark in sixth place. He rounded the windward mark 100 metres in front of the fleet. Schlittenhard finished 1st with the Smiths 2nd and Earls 3rd.
The final race began with the Smiths and Earls level on points. The Earls managed to lose the Smiths on the start line and with a clear and flawless first beat, rounded the windward mark in 1st place with the Smiths back in 9th. Although Richard and Kathryn worked their way back up to 4th place the race and overall Championship win went to a very deserved Brian and David.
The UK Javelin Association and all competitors would like to send their appreciation and thanks to Carnac Yacht Club and our two main sponsors, Selden Mast and Rooster Sailing.
Next year's Europeans will be hosted by the Dutch Association, all being well we expect to be joined by some of our Danish and Polish Javelins.