Peter de RIDDER sailing Mean Machine is the 2004 Mumm30 European Championship having sailed to a 6th place in the only race sailed on the final day of the Championships due to light winds.
The fleet sat waiting for the breeze to arrive and at the first attempt to get the fleet away the wind dropped to less than 3 knots during the starting sequence so Race Officer Tony Lovell aborted the start. Eventually after waiting some 2.5 hours the fleet got away with the wind at 7 knots, the Mumm30 Class have a minimum starting wind speed requirement of 5 knots so it was always going to be a close call whether racing would take place at all.
Left up the beat leading up to the entrance of Southampton Water was the way to go on the first beat. Continuing their better run of form from the previous day Rainbow helmed by Mark Heeley lead to the first mark followed by Peter Bonham-Christie's Bite the Bullet and Louis Browne's Asterix. With 11 points between Mean Machine and Bite the Bullet overnight, the crew on board Bite the Bullet must have been disappointed to see Mean Machine round the windward mark in 5th place.
Downwind and the current pushed the boats to the west away from the leeward mark. The leading bunch extended their lead but there was no place changing in the places that mattered, apart from Mean Machine dropping a place. So with the wind dropping and becoming patchy and a deadline to meet to get the crews off the water the race was sensibly shortened at the next windward mark. So Rainbow won Race 10 from Bite the Bullet and Asterix.
Racing throughout the Championship had been very tight with 7 different winners of the 10 races, consistency is the name of the game when no discards are allowed. No doubt Louis BROWNE on Asterix would be reflecting 'if only' had they not be disqualified from Race 1.
In summary a smoothly run Championship both on and off the water with a healthy mix of competitive racing and good social.
Full results are available on the even website at the address below.