by Rob Burn
Things Kiwi in Ouistreham, Harakeke flax in the beautiful seafront gardens, Cabbage trees, our Flag flying in the main streets, walking past a fishing boat daily called 'Tangaroa' the mythical Maori god of the sea, other called 'Yakka', more good old Kiwi slang, us Kiwis have somehow made our mark here.
Start line - 420 Nationals - France
In another reference to the D Day Landings, it was remarked on the Committee Boat today that almost all the Allies are here, just like in 1944, French, British, USA, NZ, Canada but no Germans ....the French onboard have a great sense of humour.
All this takes our mind off some disappointing results plus some really good ones, and ones that could have been good if the Protest hadn't been lost.
Nice and warm today, summer at last for us, clear blue skies, sparking water and an incredibly low tide. No launching until 12.30pm so it was always going to be touch and go to get at least three races in.
Both Kiwi crews were seeded into the Gold Fleet so made easier watching and coaching for James and the hardy parents in the 'Orange Roughy', the NZ Team support boat.
Race one got under way in 7-8 knots of breeze with the promise of more as the wind slowly clocked to the Right. Local Lore here says never go left up the course but that seems to have escaped our crews. The Taylors had a reasonable start, speed off the line looked good but didn't deal that well with the wind shifts. Brittany and Emma started like a Possum stuck in the glare of the headlights and paid the penalty finishing at the back of the fleet in 41st, Taylor and Taylor in 16th.
Race two wasn't much better. A P Flag start, General Recall, a U Flag start, then a General Recall, then finally a start on the Black Flag. Just as well it was the U flag as the Girls crew were well over. Pity the U flag wasn't used yesterday, the boys wouldn't have been disqualified.
Finish boat head for Lock as 420s head home - 420 Nationals - France
Emma and Brittany made the best of it and finished 10th, a handy keeper. The boys completely got on the wrong side and ended up like the girls in the previous race, at the back of the pack, finishing 36th.
Race three hit the giddy heights of just over 9 knots and very sailable ...but shifty. Again, more than one attempt at starting saw more disqualified but the girls got off the line very well, hard to make out from the Committee boat but they were first or second round the Top mark, the positions changed several time, they had the Lead but got past on the downwind to finish Second, a great race for them.
The boys were tangled up in a Pin end Start, had an altercation with another boat, ended up dipping the whole fleet but finishing eighth, pretty good considering, but......
Race Officer Raymond was a little disappointed with all the General Recalls and finally called it quits with the Silver fleet as thy once again lost the plot starting. They were sent home after only completing two races.
Everything here is timed around the opening of the locks to get up river into the Marina. It is not usual for this scribe to see the Committee boats bolting after a Start, we had to substitute the 45ft Jenneau launch Finish boat for a small Rib so it could make the lock opening.
Taylor and Taylor got protested, they protested in return, they got disqualified but somewhere along the way hopefully the lesson about doing penalty turns to exonerate oneself whether in the wrong or right has hit home.
This regatta was about having big starts, tough racing and good preparation for the real deal, the 420 Open World Champs, they are getting every bit of that.
Overall results weren't out by the time of our leaving the Club, maybe tomorrow.
Last day tomorrow before pack up and head to Germany, only an 11 hour drive, all going well.
Ouistreham lock filling around Committee Boats - 420 Nationals - France