With a third and a second on the final day, Oscar Strugstad with Dawn Raid, took the Farr 40 European Championship by a comfortable 11 point margin from former world champion, Jim Richardson of the United States.
It was a triumph for the British-based Norwegian skipper who had gathered around him a formidable crew.
Dawn Raid had looted the GBR Challenge's top talent, using the America's Cup challenger's Sailing Manager, Ian Walker as tactician; Julian Salter as navigator; Simon Fry as the principal sail trimmer and the best bowman in Britain, James Stagg, on the point. Their contribution to the success was inestimable.
There were surprises on the final day, held in perfect sailing conditions - 15-20 knots of north-westerly breeze in the eastern Solent - and organised by the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The most surprising of them was the post-race retirement of Mark Heeley with GBR-25 from both of the day's races in which he had finished third and second. Heeley and his crew were not available for comment - they were out running prior to the weigh-in for the world championship.
In fresh winds, the fleet stretched more than it had in earlier races and Steve Kaminer's Predator gave ample example of this in the first race of the third day when she leapt into an early lead and capitalised on it to lead the reigning worlds champion, John Calvert-Jones home by almost a minute and a half. In the last race, Philip Tolhurst in Warlord VII performed a similar feat, this time with Heeley's boat between him and Dawn Raid.
Where Dawn Raid has scored highly, apart from her consistency, has been in the ability of Strugstad and his crew to dig themselves out early in the race to a position where they could control those who threatened to take their overall five point lead with which they started the day.
It was an eighth in the morning race, started after a general recall, that took Richardson's Barking Mad out of contention for this championship, as it was a fourth and the final race win which lifted Tolhurst's Warlord VII from sixth to third. A last race 16th, quite uncharacteristic of the series, dropped John Oswald's Game On from third to fifth behind Southern Star.
1. Predator Steve Kaminer (USA)
2. Southern Star John Calvert-Jones (AUS)
3. Dawn Raid Oscar Strugstad (GBR)
4. Warlord VII Philip Tolhurst (GBR)
5. 2XL David Murrin (GBR)
6. Game On John Oswald (GBR)
1. Warlord VII
2. Dawn Raid
3. Barking Mad Jim Richardson (USA)
4. Struntje Light Wolfgang Schaefer (GER)
5. Forza Mark Timbrell (GBR)
6. Alinghi Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI)
1. Dawn Raid 23 points
2. Barking Mad 34
3. Warlord VII 47
4. Southern Star 52
5. Game On 52
6. A Bit of a Coup Tony Buckingham (GBR) 58
Note: The photo is not from the 2001 Europeans.