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RS800 European Championship - McEwen's successful defence

Luke and Emma McEwen successfully defended their RS800 European title in Medemblik last week.

The 18 entries were welcomed on day 1 with rain for rigging, followed by a briefing from the race officer to assure us the rain had stopped for the day and then we went racing in rain.

Race 1 saw Ella and James Moorland get off to a flying start and led round the whole track . . . until of course Luke and Emma spotted a beautiful gust on the final downwind and pipped them to the post.

After that warm-up Luke and Emma got off to a flying start in race 2 and pretty much lead all the way round, followed by Phil Walker and John Mather, and then the Moorlands.

Day 2 and Luke and Emma fired straight out of the blocks with a win with Martin Orton and Ian Brooks putting in a great race for second, followed by Paul Jenkins and Colin Hutton in 3rd.

The second race (R4) of the day was pretty spooky with the wind shutting off on different sides of the course and big shifts.

However, it did provide a change of winner. The French team of Gilles Peeters and Lavauzelle Mateo had managed to work it out to claim first, with Andy and Allyson Jeffries 2nd and Andrew Blundell and Maddie Fenner 3rd.

Race 5 was set to be another interesting one with Team France leading all the way round, until they were found to be OCS!

Luke & Emma had sailed a solid race so upgraded to a 1st following the French getting the chop, with Daniel Goodman and Debbie Clark claiming 2nd and John and Debbi Booth in 3rd.

Race 6 saw Goodman and Clark build on their recent 2nd place to take the win, followed by Walker and Mather then Jenkins and Hutton.

Into the final day and Goodman and Debbie Clark read the course just right and came flying out of the left hand corner to take a convincing win in race 7, followed by Peeters and Mateo, followed by Walker and Mather.

Race 8 and Peeters and Mateo spotted the right shift and rounded the windward mark first. However, over the two lap racecourse, Luke & Emma’s immense pace reeled them in, with Phil & John taking another 3rd.

The final race had arrived and after the right looking to deliver on the first beat, it was a pure trick, left paid!

Luke & Emma sailed a pretty conservative race to play the shifts to round the first windward mark in a solid position and then continued to climb forward to take another win.

Overall Luke and Emma McEwen GBR took the RS800 European title, 2nd Gilles Peeters and Lavauzelle Mateo FRA, 3rd Phil Walker and John Mather GBR.

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