Despite the threat of exams a strong British team made it to the Dutch Europa cup, this year raced in the Hague as part of the North Sea Regatta giving strong currents as opposed to the usual no current of Hoorn.

The first day of racing things started well enough with a short delay to the start whilst the 83 Radials were sorted into four groups for the event, with each group racing a different group every day. Top competitors came from as far a field as Australia to compete so it was always going to be a tough regatta.

Unfortunately half way up the first beat for the second start the fog rolled in so thick that you could no longer see the windward mark or indeed the committee boat. Competitors were then herded back to the committee boat, and when it became clear that the fog was not lifting they were sent ashore… Getting ashore was no easy feat as no one could see the harbour, so everyone headed dead downwind to find the shore. It came as a surprise then to the sailors to see some people walking on the beach just a few metres in front of them. At this point the fleet turned right and sailed along until at last they found the harbour and that was the end of racing for the day.

Day two and the first pair of groups arrived at the windward mark and were not sure whether the course was inner or outer loop (despite the large “O” on the committee boat). Half the group sailed the inner loop and the other half of the group sailed to the 4.7 windward mark meaning no one sailed the correct course…. This race was later resailed!

The second pair of groups did however sail the correct course with Ben Koopelaar leading Jon Emmett around the windward mark, Koopelaar went left down the run and pulled out a commanding lead but was caught and passed on the second run by Claire Blom when he went too far left.

For the second race of the day both groups sailed the correct course. Yuri Hummel who was loving the light winds won the first start from Dennis Van de Burg Marit, and Brouwmeester sailed a perfect first beat to win the second group with Koopelaar pulling up to second.

Day three and only one race could be sailed with Charlotte Van Asset winning from the ever consistent Koopelaar. Hummel again showed great light wind boat speed to win from Ross Harvey who was pushed hard down the final run by Emmett.

Day four, and once again the wind was light. The first race was the resail from day two with sailors only just making it upwind against the tide. It took the leader 40 minutes to reach the top mark and in the end only 11 sailors made it around before the wind died and they started being pushed back to the start line. This was a no discard series, so all these sailors had to count a DNC.

By the time the second start tried to get off the line there was definitely no way you could go upwind. Some sailors elected to sail to the shore and hang around the beach or tied up to anchored coach boats. Eventually when it became clear that there was going to be no further racing, the whole fleet was towed in.

The ever consistent Koopelaar was a worthy overall winner but you had to feel sorry for Hummel who won two races but had to count a DNC from the final resailed race.

Overall: 1st Ben Koopelaar NED 6 pts 2nd Marit Brouwmeester NED 10 pts 3rd Jon Emmett GBR 15 pts 4th Krystal Weir AUS 19 pts 5th Rory Lynch 24 pts 6th Sam Vandormael BEL 24pts Other GBR: 8th Ross Harvey 26th Chris Earnes 37th Harvey David 40th Alice Burford 42nd Sophie Mckeeman 58th Doug Horner 61st Jamie Diamon 73rd Oliver Machell 77th Ben Elvin Full results may be found here: