Hobie Multi-Europeans Youth Championship in the Netherlands

Fine weather, light winds and a strong tide under the fleet greeted the 27 young catamaran sailors in Katwitz on 3rd-4th August. After the Black Flag was used to control a general recall, the 7-strong RYA supported British team began the series well; Ben Mansfield/Ben Hinks and Ben Cutler-Sharpe/Rupert Stock taking 1st and 2nd places at the first mark and holding those positions to the finish.

The tide turned against the fleet for the start of race 2 and a pressure band close to the shore with a starboard lift into the windward mark meant that any boat falling outside of this zone would not be at the top of the fleet. Unfortunately the British team chose to head out on starboard looking for a port lift and, whilst they fought back throughout the race, a shortened course meant that only a few places could be made up. The race was won by the Greek team of Mauros/Kosmoglou, followed by Marfaing/Poiret of France. The highest placed Britons were Cutler-Sharpe/Stock (10th) and Mansfield/Hinks (12th).

Day two dawned to heavy showers and, once again, light winds, making for damp and challenging sailing. Race 3 started with the port-end favoured to avoid fighting the tide down the line. The wind however, filled in from the right, giving starboard boats the advantage. Thereafter, it was hard for the following pack to regain contact with the front of the fleet. The Bocklemann siblings (Ger), followed by Houdet/Gac of France won the Race. Highest placed Britons were Cutler-Sharpe/Stock (10th) and David Wood/Andrew Beale (14th).

During Race 4, the British team sailed a varied programme, with Jenny Deyes/Toby Orpin performing magnificently to finish 9th. Houdet/Gac, followed by the Dolans from Ireland won the race. Well placed also were Cutler-Sharpe/Stock (12th).

For the final race of the Championship, the course was moved along the coast to take advantage of better winds. At the windward mark, Mansfield/Hinks rounded in 2nd place and held that position to finish just behind the Bocklemann team. Other well placed Britons were Wood/Beale in 12th place.

The other British teams enjoyed varying fortunes throughout the event. James Winfield/ Rhys Pickett enjoyed a 23rd place on both races 4 & 5; Kevin Cooper/ Justin martin achieved a 19th place in Race 2 and Ross Clark/ Richard Deyes remained focused in spite of the calling lights of nearby Amsterdam to finish 12th in Race 1.

Results: 1st Bocklemann, H and Bocklemann, L (Ger)

2nd Mauros, N and Kosmoglou, S (Gre)

3rd Houdet, D and Gac, L (F)

British teams Mansfield, B and Hinks, B (8th)

Cutler-Sharpe, B and Stock, R (9th)

Wood, D and Beale, A (17th)

Deyes, J and Orpin, T (18th)

Clark, R and Deyes, R (22nd)

Cooper, K and Martin, J (24th)

Winfield, J and Pickett, R (25th)