Lake Garda was true to form with 20-25 knots of winds and bright sunshine for the European Laser4000 Championship which started on Thursday 12 July 2001
Lake Garda was true to form with 20-25 knots of winds and bright sunshine for the European Laser4000 Championship which started on Thursday 12 July 2001.
In the first race one of the Team Control boats – Pete Barton, fresh from his honeymoon, and Simon Knatchbull, shared the lead with current UK Grand Slam leaders Luke McEwan and Emma Evans from SP Systems.
Unfortunately due to testing launching facilities (which caused more anxiety than the racing itself) led to a few boats not making the start of the first race – one casualty was Mark Richards and Sam Hoyland from Whitegrove. However, on day two, despite a holed boat and bent mast they showed their true colours by notching up a fifth in race four and a third in race seven.
However, it was Douglas Baker and Hilary Suttton from Preferred IT who dominated the second day of racing with two first places.
Day three promised some light relief to the sore muscles, blistered hands and bruised bodies as the day started a little overcast but alas the cloud lifted and the breeze just pumped in and kept building until finally the race officer was able to finish his wine and lay a course! Again Barton and Knatchbull from Team Control showed they were certainly in ‘control’ with two bullets for good measure.
Going into the fourth and last day the points were very close through out the fleet with one point separating first and second between Barton and Knatchbull, and Baker and Sutton.
As predicted race nine turned into a match race with ace team racer Barton and Knatchbull sailing Baker and Sutton down the fleet. Luke and Emma convincingly winning the race and putting pressure on Pete and Lisa.
In race 10 the roles were reversed with Pete and Lisa sneaking a win and Baker and Sutton coming second.
With the wind conditions easing to 10 -12 knots, a black flag flying and a port-bias start line – it was all on for an exciting finale. First and second were on equal points. Baker and Sutton powered out of the start to lead around the first two laps. At this point Barton and Knatchbull shrewdly escaped Baker and Sutton’s cover to close the gap to within two boat lengths at the last top mark. On the last run down, Barton and Knatchbull managed to snatch the championship.