Garda Final Day – Race Report !!!

Competitors arrived at Fraglia della vela Riva at 10.30 for a 12 o’clock start and were greeted with overcast skies and a feel of rain in the air.  Looking down the lake, conditions looked like being a light northerly and plenty of shifts.   As the fleet neared the start line the wind increased and veered to the northeast and at the start it was blowing a good 20 knots plus!  The first start (race 8) got away with a couple of recalls.  Title contenders, Wells/ Rigg and Goacher/Evans started next to each other near the committee boat with Wells taking control and forcing Goacher to tack off. However Wells was pinned by another boat and couldn’t tack to cover. From the Torbole side of the course  Goacher hooked into a massive right hander and led by miles at the windward mark followed by Hamish McKay/andrew lawson and then gill browning/Tom pickles.
Wells worked the shifts in the middle and rounded 4th. Down the first run the wind veered more and increased to almost 30 knots giving everyone a spectacular broad reach down the lake. At the finish Goacher was 1st, McKay 2nd and Browning 3rd.  Wells was 5th behind Lavery/O’Brien but they were called ocs so this promoted Wells to 4th.
With 2 more races still scheduled Goacher could still win the title but needed to win both races. Race 8 started in about 20 knots form 050.  Wells and Goacher were again seen close to each other near the committee boat but Goacher saw an opportunity to get clear and reached off to start down the line while Wells started right on the committee boat and tacked towards the Torbole shore. This proved to be a regatta winning move as this time it was Wells who hooked into a 10 degree right hander and led at the windward mark with Goacher back in the pack. 2nd at the top mark were Browning/Pickles who were having a great day. 3rd round was Robert Hogben and Glyn Morgan.  As the race progressed the wind increased and Wells extended to win comfortably the race and with it the 2012 Flying Fifteen European championships.  2nd were Gill Browning and Tom Pickles which made them the best boat of the day, a fitting result for Gill as she has sadly announced her retirement from FF racing after many years always near the top of the fleet. 3rd to finish was Hogben following a great battle with Charles Apthorp.
With conditions deteriorating and the championship decided, race officer Antonio Micillio made the wise decision to abandon the final race and send the fleet home.
This bought to a close what can only be described as a terrific and memorable week of racing in one of the great sailing venues.  (Although I admit I may have a slightly biased opinion!)
Click Here for theOverall Results
Greg Wells

Garda – The Last Day Starts…….!!

So how does it all look at the start of the final day?!

They are hoping for three races, but the breezes this week seem to have been a bit variable to say the least.  Seven races are in the bag and if they get to nine races, a second discard kicks in. So lets hope they get to eight of ten!!

There’s plenty to shoot for if they can get another three races on top of the seven they have… Just 20 points separate the top 5 teams. Greg Wells and Richard Rigg are in a terrific position – a superb and consistent scoreline has delivered them just 9 points so far, a very handy 7 points in hand over Steve Goacher and Phil Evans. Then teams in third, fourth and fifth are really close in the points standings.

Fingers crossed they have a terrific day!

Garda – Day Four Race Report……!!

The day dawned with some high clouds and higher humidity. There was enough heat to kill the peler and generate the Ora but only about 10 knots at 1.30 when the postponed race was started.  Those that started near the pin end and tacked onto port benefitted from a 10 degree lift and it looked certain that a group of boats led by Charles Apthorp/Alan Green would lead at the windward mark.  However, towards the top end of the course the wind veered and Greg Wells/Richard Rigg and David and Sally McKee came in from the middle right to round 1st and 3 rd respectively with Apthorp sandwiched between.  Most boats did a gybe set onto the run but halfway down the wind shifted back to the south east and increased to 15 knots. Steve Goacher/Phil Evans and Anthony Osman/Andrew Murphy gained from this to move into 3rd and 4th behind Wells and Apthorp. The McKees were one of many boats to be caught out by this violent change. Up the next beat the wind once again veered at the top of the cause which allowed Wells to extend and in a dieing breeze crossed the downwind finish comfortably ahead. Apthorp was 2nd and Goacher 3rd. Shortly after the last boat finished the wind disappeared and despite an effort to start a 2nd race the race officer abandoned racing at 4.30.
Going into the final day Wells/Rigg hold a 7 point lead over Goacher/Evans.  3 races are scheduled with a 2nd discard kicking in after 9 races.

For Results after 7 races click here

Greg Wells


Garda – Day Three ….!!!

Again the Ora came in at 1245 a little later and a little lighter.  However, After a 30 min postponement the orange flag was raised and suddenly the  wind increased to 18-20 knots.  Following a clean start the boats which started by the committee boat and tacked came out on top. This pack were lad by Greg wells and Richard Rigg followed by Steve Goacher and Phil Evans and the two Simons – Patterson and Thompson. Wells and goacher pulled clear to take first and second. Alan Bax and Simon childs surfed past charles apthorp to take 3rd.
At the start of race 6 the Ora was still blowing strong and again despite more port bias the boats starting near the committee boat came out ahead. Goacher and Evans led the way at the top mark followed by Patterson and Thompson and then bax and childs.  As the race progressed the wind eased a little.  Goacher extended and Bax moved into esecond and gill browning and Tom pickles moved upto third.  Behind the pack greg wells and Richard Rigg were starting to move through the fleet following a poor start and On the approach to the final windward mark wells passed browning to move into third. So at the downwind finish it was 1st Goacher 2nd Bax 3rd wells 4th Hamish Mackay and Andrew Lawson who had sailed a stunning last lap.
Overall results available by clicking here
Greg wells

Those Garda Triple FF Trailers…..!!

A couple of people have now asked about those intriguing triple FF trailers that we saw in photos from Garda. They were being used by two professional boat transport companies.

Our on-the-spot, special correspondent, Gill Browning, has got some links to the two companies so you can investigate some more if you wish:- and

A couple of things spring to mind:-

(i) unlike containers, the keels stay on!!

(ii) you might think about moving your kit to the 2014 Europeans this way.  A little birdie suggested to the Blog that Bilbao may be nominated as one of the possible next venues!!

Garda Leaders – Lavery and O’Brien…..!!

Just if you are wondering whether the names are familiar…. John Lavery and David O’Brien were World Fireball Champions in 1995.

Not everyone you meet gets mentioned in Wikipedia, but they do!!

While I was checking out their entry, I came across this charming little video…. hadn’t though about putting the camera on the spinnaker pole before!!