ISO Eurocup - Fraglia Vela Malcesine YC, Lake Garda, Italy. (4th - 8th August 2003)

"Benvenuto tutto !", "Bienvenue tout le Monde !", "Welcome everyone to the stunningly beautiful Lake Garda !" These were the opening words from ISO chairman Bob Ladell at the ISO, Buzz and BOSS 10th Anniversary Eurocup 2003 during the week of 4th August 2003.

Gianni Testa, also celebrating his 10th anniversary as Fraglia Vela President, welcomed the three Classes, new to Fraglia Vela, in uncharacteristically hot temperatures approaching 40 degrees. Explaining that the lake was low Gianni and his team wished us well for the weeks challenge of 10 races. With thanks to Ian Keam-George and Paola Galli for organising the event with the Fraglia Vela team. We all then tucked into an excellent lunch, whilst the wind filled in along with the anticipation for a great weeks racing.

Day 1

The Ora filled in and Race 1 started with a good force 3 with 38 deg C. JP Dellapierre and Ben Vernieres sailing ISO 800, led at the first top mark, very closely pursued by the remaining 19 ISO's on the run. Team RWO, sailed by Pete Lindley and Adam Savage, took the lead on the run, but this was very short lived as they sailed into a massive wind hole 200 yards later. The remainder of the fleet eagerly took the opportunity to catch the front runners - before also falling into the wind hole and a large ISO raft was formed. The race committee abandoned the race 5 minutes later to cheers from the leaders, who had by now been overtaken by many of the mid fleet!

After what seemed like hours drifting around, the wind filled in for the restarted race, the fleet got off to a nice clean start. The first boat round the top mark was 1192 Team Perry, sailed by Mike and Andrew Perry. Enigma Vehicle Systems, Ian and Katie Keam-George followed very close behind. The remainder of the fleet followed en mass, with all the fleet round in the following 30 seconds! Team Perry disappeared off into the distance and led for the following 3 laps and were never challenged for the remainder of the race. Places changed constantly throughout the race with variable pressure across the course. Enigma Vehicle Systems won the battle and finished 2nd, with Team RWO moving from 7th at the last mark to 3rd on the finish, half a boat length ahead of 815 Mike and Dean Lillywhite.

Race 2 saw JP and Ben Vernieres attempt a gutsy port flyer but were over the line and were forced to re-start. This however must have been part of their plan as they rounded

the top mark in the top 5 after giving everyone a head start! 1176, Neil Pryde, sailed by Jonny Wells and Bugsy, had a go at leading the fleet round the course. They did so successfully for the first lap, only to be finally overhauled by fellow Essex YC club mates Ian & Katie Keam-George in Enigma Vehicle Systems, who held on to win the final race of the day followed by Neil Pryde and Team Rooster.

Pro-Am pairings were drawn up at the end of the first day with the usual matching of leaders to trailers - in deep dialogue on boat settings and racing tips. Chairman Bob, sailing with younger daughter Emma, made it into the Pros for the first time, putting both KGSC boats in the top half of the fleet.

Day 2

Due to the heat, now risen to around 45C (!), Race 3 was postponed for quite a while until the wind filled in enough, which it managed to do by 14:30. 800 did their usual port flyer and successfully pulled it off, with Team RWO to windward and Team Perry to leeward. JP and Vernieres were squeezed out though and Team Perry rounded the top mark in first place. Team RWO were on the case and kept the Perry's in their sights eventually taking them out on the second run and allowing 1013 to take the winning gun after the third lap. Enigma Vehicle Systems fought hard and pulled through into third place.

The fourth race started in light variable winds but was abandoned after a massive wind shift and a large drop in speed. All racing was cancelled for the rest of the day due to the highly unusual lack of Garda wind. Chef's huge tray of pasta beckoned with more beer to wash it down. Overnight positions after 3 races were 1188 (6 points), 1192 (7 points), 1013 (9 points), 815 (12 points).

Day 3

The fleet ventured out, rather optimistically, onto the water for more racing in the afternoon, but after 3 attempts, racing was abandoned for the day due to lack of wind. Heat = 1, racing =nil !! Massive thunder clouds building all around the lake with a few flashes of lightening in the next valley as the afternoon wore on.

In the evening, under even more threatening skies, the Official Dinner was hosted by Fraglia Vela. Yes, you've got it  Chef excelled himself with salad and even more pasta for the masses, 60 sailors plus families bringing the numbers up to around 80. Plus more beer and wine for everyone!

As the festivities got under way the weather broke with some impressive thunder and lightening all around us resulting in a few minutes of large spots of rain. That didn't develop into anything but did cause a power cut. One candle lit dinner later and most sloped off to bed as the Race Officer had declared an early start for Thursday morning to catch up on the 3 lost races. 8am so that meant up at 6; on holiday!!

Day 4

7am brought some much fresher air after the storms. A choppy force 5 - 6. This is why we came to Garda!! Hundreds of sailboarders thought the same and filled all available Malcesine car park spaces as well as the road sides. It was a good decision by the committee, although many of the competitors were suffering from the previous evening festivities

Wind was gusting up to 25 knots when race 4 started with both upwind and downwind legs were proving a challenge and most of the fleet managing to misjudge the leeward mark layline due to the effect of apparent wind sailing. Delapierre & Vernieres established a big lead and were unchallenged throughout. Racing behind was both close and frantic with Enigma Vehicle Systems eventually closing out second place and Neil Pryde coming in third.

This race saw the only major breakage of the week with Team Essex 1178 ripping off their rudder and being towed in. At lunchtime everyone chipped in with spare bolts, instant setting resin and loads of advice ( of course ) and got them back out on the water for the final race. Thats ISO fleet sailing everyone pitches in and helps!

Delapierre & Vernieres set off into a big lead in race 5, after an incident with Team RWO on the first beat, followed by Team Rooster and Enigma Vehicle Systems. The wind, still gusting 25 knots made conditions difficult with many taking an early bath. On the last run Enigma Vehicle Systems capsized during a gybe allowing Team Perry to blast past into third place.

Once ashore Team RWO lodged their very loudly called protest on the water, against Delapierre after a port & starboard incident on the first beat. Delapierre was eventually disqualified elevating Team Rooster to first for that race, Team Perry to second and Enigma Vehicle Systems to third.

After some time ashore to recover, races 6 & 7 were held in a gentle force 2-3 Ora. Team RWO showing some excellent lighter wind speed convincingly took race 6. Racing was close throughout the fleet with Enigma Vehicle Systems taking second from Team Rooster in third.

A quick turn round between races ensured the breeze held with the port end of the line yet again being favoured. Enigma Vehicle Systems rounded the windward mark first and took a commanding lead from Delapierre & Vernieres who could not match their downwind speed in the lighter breeze. Team Rooster sailed a consistent race to finish third, thus consolidating their position in the overall standings.

Day 5

Races 8 & 9 were scheduled for another 08:00 start and big winds of over 30 knots were forecast. This did not materialise with the breeze rarely getting above 20 knots with some large and unpredictable shifts. Neil Pryde led at the top mark followed by Delapierre/ Vernieres, Team Rooster and Enigma Vehicle Systems. Unfortunately both Neil Pryde and Enigma Vehicle Systems sailed to the wrong leeward mark and never challenged for major places again. Team Rooster fought hard to get into the lead, which they held to the end, followed by JP & Vernieres in second with King George boat Steve Bell & Declan O'Keeffe in third.

Race 9 and the wind dropped, but still enough to run the penultimate race, and became even more shifty. Team RWO making use of their lack of weight in the boat, stormed up into second place by the first mark. However, they were pipped to the turning mark by Richard Salter and Tim Berriman in 828, who were on the completely opposite end of the weight range! Team RWO took the lead on the run, which was retained to the end. Team Perry held on to second with Neil Pryde coming home third.

A gentle force 3 - 4 breeze filled in for the final race of the series. With still all to play for in the top 4 places, as well as throughout the rest of the pack, tensions were high. Team Perry led at the top mark followed by Enigma Vehicle Systems, Team RWO and Team Rooster. Enigma Vehicle Systems overhauled Team Perry on the second beat and were never challenged for the lead for the remainder of the race. Team Perry held onto second, thus securing third overall. Team Rooster managed to get past RWO on the run and stayed in third to secure second place overall. RWO were then pushed back into fifth by Northern guys Dave Burke and Steff Lucas in 682 from Glossop & District SC. This was eventually changed after a great tacking dual between the two, with RWO just pipping the Glossop pair over the line by half a boat length.

After a great week of racing when it clearly paid to have a father/son or father/daughter team together and much close competition throughout the fleet the final positions were as follows:-

1st 1188 Enigma Vehicle Systems Ian & Katie-Keam George Essex YC
2nd 815 Team Rooster Mike & Dean Lillywhite Emsworth Slipper SC
3rd 1192 Team Perry Mike & Andrew Perry Shoreham SC
4th 1013 Team RWO Pete Lindley & Adam Savage RYA
5th 800 Team France JP Delapierre & Ben Vernieres SN Le Bono
6th 1176 Neil Pryde Jonathan Wells & Bugsy Essex YC

President Gianni closed the weeks racing with some very welcome words of encouragement to the gentlemen of sailing, as he called us and an invitation to hold our Eurocup at Fraglia Vela in 2004.

And so another excellent, adrenalin filled, week of ISO racing came to an end. With a repeat thanks to everyone involved for an absolutely superb, not to be missed event. You missed it?? Well there's always next year.

Next opportunities to show the Champs how it's done are Weston, Glossop and the Inlands at Datchet !!! See you there...


Full Results Here....


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