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over 8 years ago by Paul Goodison

European Silver Medal

Silver at Laser Europeans

After what seems to have been a long week I was left with a silver medal at the close of play.

After a night home after Holland regatta it was off to Estonia for the Laser Euros. Sailing out of Tallinn. The course area was a little restricted by the shipping channel sailing close inshore. The conditions were generally offshore with shifty challenging winds and a sharp chop.

With 150 boats we were split in to 3 groups for qualifying, I got off to a good start with a couple of seconds on day one. Day two was much trickier getting stuck on the wrong side of both first beats recovering well in the first race to get back to 10 but struggling in the second race.
Day 3 brought much stronger winds with gusts up to 25 knots . In the first race I recovered from a poor windward mark rounding to get back to 6th at the last mark but had a incident with a German boat. With my discard all ready used I chose to take a penalty rather than go to the protest room which ended up costly loosing a lot of boats and finishing 12thI could well regret later in the week. After a good talking to myself I sailed to 3rd in the next race to keep me in the running.
For the final day of qualifying we saw the most stable breeze all week with smaller oscillations and more normal racing, I sailed well to pic up a 1 – 2 and put me right back in contention.

After 4 days of qualifying it was pretty close with it all to play for in the finals.
After being held ashore we launched in to a building breeze of up to 8 knots, with the shifty wind I just made it over to the favored side to round in the top ten and pull up to 4th. The second race was a disaster, after a reasonable start a Polish boat tacked to try and duck and sailed in between my mainsheet blocks spinning me round and wrapping the boats together. After untangling it was always going to be difficult the Polish boat took its penalty as I tried to catch up. After rounding in the 20s the wind shut down to under 2 knots. I chose to take a big risk and head for a breeze line hard left on the second beat. I never got to it and was heavily penalised rounding in the 40s what a shocker…

It was game on for the final day being only 5 points from the lead. After a solid 4th in the first race it was pretty much down to the Croatian and I for the title.
I managed to edge ahead up the first beat trying to lay cover. I rounded mark one in front but he slipped by on the run and repaid the favor up the second beat., to hold me off at the finish. It was a good race but a little frustrating if only!!!

I am a little disappointed not to have retained my European title but credit were its due, Tonci sailed great all week and made the most of the tricky conditions. I suppose seconds not too bad!

On wards and upwards, its home now for the final two days of the Farr 45 nationals. I then have some time for a spot of Laser training in Weymouth and then off to Italy for some more Melges 32 racing with Red, busy busy busy…..

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