Postcard from Wales : Junior European 420 and 470's, Pwllheli - Day 2

420 fleet 420 and 470 Junior European Championships 2013
© Alan Dop Photography
Rob Burn sends this postcard from Wales - Qualifiers Race Day 2, Junior Euros 420 and 470 Champs, Pwllheli

Postcard from Wales -

Kia Ora all
Having tried the Welsh, best stick to the native tongue...

Taylor and Henry, our Kiwi 420 crew, had a mixed day today with the second day of the Qualifiers. Pwllheli is a tough place to sail, blown out and raining yesterday, sunny and perfect the day before, today 14-18 knots, very shifty and a bit nippy.

Girl Power rules on the waves over the last two days, those top girls can sail......and are disproportionally represented at the top of the Leader board on the first day and four crews in the top 10 after today. The Polish girls as the current race leaders didn't go the the Youth Worlds or the Worlds in Valencia, amazing who pops out of the woodwork.

With the Aussies included with NZL under Coach Sarah's care, and us trying not to wind them up about the Bledisloe Rugby result, we have the Trans Tasman co operation thing going on. Yesterday the Kiwis and Aussies, plus a couple of random Americans and Portuguese from the NZL Team van, got banned for life from the soggy Go-Kart Track, thus cementing good relations for the foreseeable future....great what bored sailors can get up to in really bad weather.

Taylor and Henry started today in 10th position, the first race race knocked them down a bit, the second brought them back up.

They were in Blue Flight today, this flight included the top five boys crews, plus some top girls, our Aussies cousins in Yellow flight, first Start.

Our boys had a great Start, but not looking so good at the Top mark, getting into 8th at the Downwind Gate mark, looking to the gathering clouds out to the right and expecting a big right shift that never came, finishing 20th, more than disappointed with themselves. What was very spooky was the Aussies finished 20th in the first race and the second ....according to our count.

Race two was another Black Flag start, our lads got away clean and well, 8th at the Top mark and in touch with the leaders, the top group see sawed back and forth and it was hard to tell where our boys were. The last downwind gate mark soon sorted that out, 8th again, then 7th but just on the Finish you could have thrown a blanket over finishers 4-7. A much happier result.

The 'powers that be' have degreed 2 races per day. Could have done three the first day but the RO wasn't allowed to get ahead of schedule, a day lost with bad weather that all knew was coming, now the Qualifying series down to two races per day, this scribe in his humble opinion, sees the lack of concentration that a late start and a rather too relaxed series brings. The Final series will certainly see a ramp up in concentration when the Fleets divide into Gold and Silver.

Currently the Polish Girls lead, Portuguese boys 2nd, French girls third..

Tomorrow is another day!
Many thanks to all sponsors and supporters, back home we hope the quakes are dying down and the rain is stopping.

Happy sailing
Rob