Magic Marine Solo Nation's Cup Day 4
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
With the efficiency of a Japanese bullet train, Lake Garda once again delivered the Ora right on time for the finale of the Magic Marine Solo Nation’s Cup. Shadows contracted as the earth’s rotation dialled into the sun and once again the majesty of this stunning location was revealed. On shore a short mysterious figure wondered through the abandoned dinghy park, repositioning the generously large sunglasses that had served him so well through the decades. Funny how fashion does a circle, not unlike Haley’s Comet.
About the man, an A4 clipboard, protected by the elements with a plastic bag jostled for position with his whistle, yearning for the tease of a ball point pen, three days and still no protests to write about. The whistle hung in silence, throat dry. On-water Jury Steve Watson, often mistook for Harry Secombe continued to peruse the scene, making mental notes on hastily written compass bearings which clearly perplexed him, surely a big arrow pointed towards the cliffs would have done.
Event leader and soon to be Magic Marine Nation’s Cup Champion Charlie Cumbley made his entrance into the paddock, onlookers and fellow fighters marvelling at his ability to still look cool in flip-flops. Steve Watson, keen to grab an incite to the event leaders thoughts darted forward like Ronaldo, surprising many with his step overs before Cumbley could get even a sniff of the Gelateria.
Cumbley; “ This is one of the best Garda events I have done, fantastic breeze with awesome sailing plus a lighter day yesterday for a change. Hopefully the National Championship at Hayling Island 21-27 July will be the same and I will be a happy man. One down side, my legs are caning.”
With that, he made off for the ice-cream bar, wincing as he ascended the marble clad steps.
Once on the water, Steve brought meaning to his clipboards life with some scribbles.
My local friends said today’s Ora was a classic. The wind switched on and sped up to 20 knots giving a healthy rolling wave action with the power to drive through.
Race 9 started with 44 boats and was easily clear. The race officer Raoul commented “they are gentlemans”. One boat kicked off the eventful day by capsizing on top of another just after the start.
At the first mark the blue bib of Oliver Davenport took the honour with Peerke Kortekaas and Charlie Cumbley in close pursuit. Cumbley closed rapidly on Davenport snapping at his rudder as the leeward mark approached.
Hundreds of brightly coloured windsurfers decorated the water as we waited for the next beat. Davenport is clear front with Cumbley still in second. Peerke and Tim Law follow.
By a mystery too far away to see, Cumbley powers by to take another bullet from Davenport, Kortekaas and Law.
Quick review of the leader board means that there are two major battles ahead for second place and fourth place. One slip and the two point cushion is deflated!
Race 10 starts and a perfect committee boat start by Cumbley may help his chance to win this event! Dutchman Kortekaas tried a cunning port tack start. Ian Hopwood tries a less than cunning port start and finds another cat from his dwindling number to survive a port/starboard incident. There’s no shout of “protest” but only the squeal of a murdered cat.
At the first mark it’s Cumbley’s honour with the Hopwood in second and Tim Law in third.
Tension is high amongst the english members of the race team, i.e me, as the race unfolds. At the leeward mark boats start to fall in, even amongst the leading pack. We observe that Davenport is in a bit of trouble with several wrong places between him and his place rival Law. Andy Tunnicliffe is a couple of boats ahead of his rival Kortekaas.
Meanwhile a Solo is being bashed against the Lake’s wall and is receiving safety boats’ assistance.
At the windward mark Cumbley is ahead by miles but it’s game on between Hopwood and Law.
The latter uses his reported cunning and takes Hopwood to windward and inside at the mark. There is no pause for breath as the boats plane in spray down to the regatta finish. Hopwood, the capsize king comes in third and relinquishes his place to Law. Looks like Kortekaas has done enough to take 4th.
Ziggy has battled around and shown plenty ‘this girl can’.
However, our last commentary is reserved another stoical NED 606 Klaas de Vries who capsized a few times at the last leeward mark but still finished despite the finish mark having gone. The M flag was swiftly produced on a rib.
I have really enjoyed my time on the committee boat. Unfortunately for me, not a single protest was held! I have watched and learnt the unhurried in-depth competence of the Fraglia Vela Riva team from office to catering to bar to the race management.
So, to conclude, which will please my ever patient wife Caroline, who commented that “I might just as well have been there”, it has been a hugely successful regatta with excellent race management, catering and camaraderie between these three nations. Norbert Zonneveld and his committee have provided another great reason to support our friends in Holland and Fragilia del Riva, though they do not need to, have once again delivered life long memories for all the sailors.
Congratulations to all the competitors, Jack Holt built us a fantastic dinghy which has the pedigree and manners to race in all conditions, the warmer the better.
Charlie Cumbley goes into the Magic Marine National Championship in three weeks as a clear favourite though we know that Hayling Bay can be a tricky little venue. Oliver Davenport has arrived and will be clearly focused and hungry to make the podium again. Tim Law is an absolute legend, if we had a category to reward total commitment he would win it every time. I hope he considers the National Championship, 92 pre-entries so far.
Thanks to Magic Marine who are supporting the Solo class home and abroad, the sailing apperal is of the highest standard and the team, enthusiastic sailors who want us to get the most from our kit.
Lastly, thanks to Steve Watson and Doug Latta who provided me with a clear incite of the regatta. See you in Carnac next year to contest the 2019 Magic Marine Nation’s Cup.