420 European championships day 2 – Heavy weather sailing suits Aussies

420 Europeans fleet - 420 International Europeans 2011
Rob Cruse
420 International European championships are being held in Nieuwpoort, Belgium from 7th to 15th August. Another day of tough conditions and 18-22 knots on the 420 race course.

The heavy weather sailing skills of Australia’s two crews in the championships for the International 420 class again paid dividends on day two of the regatta.

Queenslanders Angus Galloway and Alexander Gough scored their second win but a seventh in heat four has dropped them back to second overall. However, they only one point behind the French crew of Guillaume Pirouelle and Valentin Sipan.

Tasmanians Alec Bailey and Doug Shephard, sailing together for the first time in a regatta, have jumped up the leaderboard from 24th to 11th overall, with a third and a fourth place overnight.

The 101 boat fleet raced in a confused sea state with winds of 18-22 knots on the 420 course. The wind had changed direction 90 degrees compared with day one, creating bigger waves on the chilly North Sea.

Many crews capsized, with a lightweight Austrian girl crew reporting 20 capsizes, one in heat four described as a ‘work of art’, with the spinnaker wrapped around the mast, forestay, spreaders and shrouds.

Alt Angus Galloway and Alex Gough racing in the 420 class in 2010 - 420 International Europeans

The two Australian crews got a cracking start in race three out of the port end of the line which gave them an advantage for the rest of the race, with Galloway and Gough going on to win, Bailey and Shephard a close third.

In heat four the Queenslanders capsized, but recovered quickly to finish seventh, while the Tasmanian crew came in fourth.

The overall scoreboard of the two fleets continues to be exceptionally close.

The French crew are on 10 points with a 2-2-1-5 scorecard, Galloway and Gough are on 11 points with a 2-1-1-7 result, followed by a Dutch and a Spanish crew both on 12 points and a crew from Israel on 13 points.

Bailey and Shephard’s score after two days is 1-18-3-4 for a total of 27 points.

However, after discarding their worst race, the 18th place, the Tasmanians would be up in seventh place overall and only five points behind the leaders.

With one discard, the Queensland crew would be equal first with the British crew of Tim Gratton and Ed Riley whose overall placings have been 1-14-2-1.

Event website