55th European Sharpie Championship at Itchenor Sailing Club.
Report by James Case.
Record breaking fifth European Sharpie Championship win for Gibbs brothers.
A forty strong International fleet of Sharpies arrived at Itchenor SC for the European Championships.
The classic gaffers designed in 1931, are a former 1956 Olympic class. They still have an enthusiastic following in Europe, and the event is held in the UK every four years. Other participating nations are Holland, Germany, & Portugal.
The excellent Itchenor SC race team delivered a faultless championship, coping with winds of force 6, sailed within the safety of Chichester harbour on Monday, to compact courses in light airs sailed in the Solent off Hayling Island on Friday.
The hotly contested event, delivered an exciting battle at the top of the fleet, between three previous Euros winners.
Mondays strong winds suited Chris & Tim Gibbs in Windspiel GBR125, posting two first places. Race 1 saw them complete a late overhaul of Daan Versteeg & Arnold Mulderij NED14 on the final leg. Race 2 had the three leading contenders in close company throughout, with the Gibbs coming home just in front of GER377, Klaus Eisenblatter & Sven Ove Baumgartner.
These three leading contenders sailed consistently well all week in the ten race series, with all 3 still having a shot at the title by the final day.
GBR125 eventually secured the title by winning the last race on Friday in very light airs, despite their preference for strong wind conditions.
Apart from the leading three, NED8 Jan Pieter Braam & Patrick Neal deserve a special mention. A first day capsize whilst well placed, and an unfortunate collision on day 4, added 3 high scoring DNF`s to their scorecard, wrecking their series overall. Despite scoring three impressive first places, the DNF`s dropped them down to 7thoverall.
NED181 Geep, Frank Steeneken & Cees van Dijk, also spoilt the top boats domination, by winning race 8.
The overall result means that the Gibbs brothers now have a peerless record, winning the last five European Sharpie Championships hosted in the UK, dating back to 2003.
The Gibbs brothers may now aspire to a win, outside of the UK, when the Championship is hosted in Portugal in 2020.
TOP THREE OVERALL.
GBR125 15 points
NED14 20 points