Whilst Lake Como can probably lay claim to having the largest number of 4000s in Europe regularly racing on it, the Euros – when hosted in Italy – have normally defaulted to Lake Garda.
This year however, the Italian 4000 Association and the sailing club at Gravedona, AVAL CDV, hosted a brilliant event at Como, which saw 35 boats competing to win the championship.
Any fears about wind strength in Como were put firmly to bed, with the Brevia thermal wind kicking in beautifully on three of the four race days, and the practice day, to deliver 15-20 knots in close to 35oC sunshine.
Day 1 saw Cedric Gendron and Anthony Scouarnec (FR 4599) take two firsts and a third, and establish a lead that they built on throughout the event. Trevor and Adrien Pierce (EUR 4423) also made a very strong start, taking two seconds and a fifth. Some other UK teams had a slightly more variable start, John Reynolds and Fran Howell (GBR 4682) took a third in race 1, but gear failure dropped them to 29th in race 2. Meanwhile Alex Cramp and Charlotte Heffernan (GBR 4600) had their bow u-bolt fail and made a surprise arrival on a beach full of German tourists that ended their racing for the day. Neil Heffernan and Jo Morrison (GBR 4343) took 13th and then 8th, but despite having all the rights in the world, got stuck in a raft-up around the leeward buoy and were holed by the racks of an adjacent boat; no choice but to turn for home for early pasta and repairs.
After a great evening and seemingly unending food at a local ‘crotto’ restaurant, plus some speedy boat repairs at the local boat shop, everyone was back on the water ready for Day 2. A storm the previous evening meant it was unlikely that the thermal wind would kick in at full strength, and indeed racing took place in much less wind, with the wind eventually dying at the end of the second race and racing being canned for the day. Still some good results today for the UK teams with Trevor and Adrien taking another 2nd in the second race of the day, David Marchant and Matt Reynolds (GBR 4568) scoring a first, and John and Fran taking a 3rd and 4th.
Day 3, and the wind was back to strength. Right at the front of the fleet Yannick and Loic Gaboriuad (FR 4534) scored strongly and kept their compatriots Cedric and Anthony on their toes. Keri and Theo Harris (GBR 4363), sailing a 4000 together for the first time since last year’s Euros, took 3rd, 1st and 7th – which teamed with their results to follow on Day 4 delivered a strong finish to the regatta for them.
After a great dinner hosted by the sailing club, and an entertaining talk from Dario Noseda, a local sailor who crossed the Atlantic in a Star keelboat, Day 4 again saw great conditions. Cedric and Anthony cemented their lead, and congratulations to them on the 2018 championship, whilst Yannick and Loic secured second to complete a French 1-2, with Fabio Cattaneo and Alessandro Zanini (IT 4684) taking overall third.
Huge thanks to the Italian 4000 Class Association, to AVAL CDV, and all the sponsors of the event. Next big event in the UK calendar is the Nationals at Rutland SC, 20th-23rd September. More details at www.4000.org.uk.
Full results can be found here (PDF format)
by Neil Heffernan