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BENELUX 4000s make their mark on Europe

4000 EUROCUP 2016

The location : time => Riva del GARDA: July 2016

The 3 BENELUX teams => BEL: Alex & Delphine : LUX: Yves & Jean-Paul : BEL(EUR) Trevor & Adrien

Team intros:

  • Alex & Delphine: New to 4000s in 2016 this was their first ever 4000 Eurocup and first competition on Lake Garda. Placed 5th in the Belgian Open Skiff 2016.

 

  • Yves & Jean-Paul: Previous winners in a 4000 of the LUX Open Skiff 2015 this is a competitive and experienced team who do well in light winds. Placed 6th in the Belgian Open Skiff 2016.

 

  • Trevor & Adrien: Started racing 4000s by entering the 2013 Eurocup the 2016 event was their 4th Eurocup trying to move from "swimming" to "success". With a Belgian Open Skiff 2016 win in light winds they knew that the 4 day Riva del Garda event would be significantly tougher challenge.

This was excitment and some apprehension amongst all BENELUX teams heading towards Garda. And also teamwork between the BENELUX teams with Trevor & Adrien being very grateful to Yves & Jean-Paul for organizing the way-there boat logistics and especially to Yves and his family for their generous hospitality. Also a big thanks to André for lending us his double trailer. The first challenge for Trevor, Adrien, Yves and Jean-Paul was the heavy (+130 Kg), precision (mm clearence) and at height lifting of the 4000s on their trollies  onto the double trailer.

30 teams from 5 countries assembled at Riva for 4 days of competitions and social events. The shore based pre-competition good humoured claims to forecasted final positions between the closely matched teams of Alex & Delphine, Yves & Jean-Paul and the UK team of Martin & Tom was to be a reurring theme of dinner and bar dicussions over the following three days. A quick glance at the results of the races only begins to describe the effort these teams put-in right all through to the end of the final race.

Adrien & Trevor who had never conquered strong winds found to their surprise that it was the first days windy races that proved to be their greatest success. The middle two days were hard work. Their boat was pointing as high as anyone else but they had not enough speed, despite every effort. Luckily when back on-shore the ever-friendly 4000 fleet leaders were there to share some advice which when digested and applied allowed Trevor & Adrien to be at the very front of the fleet in the first race of the last day, again in high winds planning upwind and flying downwind. This team also showed the importance of boat preparations with Trevor departing the boat because of a toe-strap cord breaking which resulted in a capsize just 300 metre from the finish line. Needless to mention with a disasterous impact on their race position. They also had many problems with a persistently knoting spinnaker halyard. Anyhow good news for Alex & Delphine. Alex after witnessing the toe-strap break capsize checked his own toe-strap ropes only to find that they were also at the point of breaking.

One fantastic idea brought by the Italian 4000 fleet was to employ a photographer for the 4 days. And "Wow", what brilliant pictures he took!

Eurocup 2017 is scheduled for July and it is planned to take the European 4000 fleet back to the fantastic sea sailing venue of Quiberon in France. And the BENELUX teams will be there!!

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