NORTH WEST EUROPE ARMY WINDSURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS RENESSE
24th – 27th AUGUST 2004
15 racers attended this year’s premier funboard event in Holland from both the UK and Germany. The event included Master Blaster, Course racing, Slalom, Giant Slalom, Long distance and freestyle held over 3 days. The forecast was good and hopes were high for for a windy 3 days. We were not to be let down as we had the windiest Renesse for many years.
Event 1. We started of with 3 rounds of Master Blaster. The wind was up so the course was set. The racing was very close and competitive from the start, but Capt. Allan Cross RLC had the edge in each race and came out on top to sound a warning to the rest that he was up for this event and meant business. In second place came WO1 Mel Brooks RE followed by WO1 Brian Grieve REME.
Event 2. Taking advantage of the conditions a box course was set. 5 races were held in very up and down winds, squalls and a lot of rain. 3 times races were abandoned after the start as the wind dropped below 10 knots. Not to be out done by the weather we raced late as the forecast was for strong winds. The winds duly came and a lot of rig tuning and changing commenced. The top 3 fighting out were again Alan Mel and Brian with each of them taking a win and the odd swim as conditions got a bit gnarly for 11.0m race sails. At the end of a great day Allan came out on top winning 2 of the 5 followed by Mel who’s consistency saw him pip Brian for the runner up spot.
Event 3. Long Distance. Due to the extreme conditions on day 3 it was decided to hold the long distance on the Grevlingenmeer. The course was set from the clubhouse to the far corner by Scharendyke. Luckily for WO2 Steve Myers SSgt Paul Finn had an injury. So Paul was volunteered for race officer and Steve came out of retirement for the Race. What a great race with 15 boards blasting across the lake in 18 knot winds. The TV cameras are never there when it’s windy! At the close of the race Allan pipped Steve by 25m with Brian coming home in 3rd.
Event 4. Figure of 8 Slalom. By now something special was going to be needed to pip Allan to the title. With 3 event wins he was almost home. In race 1 he got it all wrong and missed the mark. Was this the chance for Mel or Brian to close in. It could not have been closer, but after changing is equipment from the vast array stored in his monster bus, Alan just squeezed home again to take win number 4.
Event 5. Giant slalom. The wind was so good it was decided to run a giant slalom followed by a giant downwind slalom. The down wind Slalom was that long it ended up being a bigger course than the long distance event. As it was the last event Paul was made race officer and Steve joined in the race. This event was great fun and tested the gybing skills in the high winds. In both races Steve made the mark and held the lead, but he could not hang on and Alan superior board speed closed him down to make for a very close exciting finish. In the end Allan was first Steve second and Cpl Russ Jenkins Third. A result he was very pleased with after fighting hard for 3 days, but never quite making the top 3.
So after 5 events 3 great days and a lot of rain Allan Cross picked up the Winners trophy Mel was second and Brian third.
Thanks to the helpers Tracey Grieve Paul Finn. To Steve Myers the race officer and event organiser. To the BDYC for the equipment and boat. To Russ Jenkins collecting the Buoys, Mel Brooks for eventually collecting/posting the trophies and all the wives and children who supported everyone from the beach. Last, but not least thankyou to the ASA Windsurfing Secretary for help with the Trophy’s and to ASA Germany for help with the shirts.
Next years event will be 22nd – 27th August 2005. Any potential race officers who would like to run the event or help out please contact Steve Myers *00495447453