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18ft Skiff Team Pica - Mark Foy 2011 report 18ft Skiff Team Pica - Mark Foy 2011 report

The Mark Foy Trophy is a relatively new event that has quickly become one of the must dos on the 18 foot skiff world tour. This year the event represented 3 major milestones as it combined the world championships, Europeans and 2nd leg of the European Grand Prix. For us with our current form over the season we were keen to see what the new skiff and our team would be capable of on a world stage.

Day 1 dawned with high temperatures and untraditional light winds in Sonderborg and saw the fleet get away with a light 5 7 knot breeze that was due to clock right. We managed to get off the line well and held a good lead over the 20 boat fleet which lasted for 2 laps when the wind died completely and clocked 180. This gave the fleet a big advantage as the new wind built from behind us but we were able to cover the fleet and take the bullet. With the second race held in 12 -15 knots the boats were fully in the power zone with the big rigs and an exciting race ended up with us in 2nd to Yandoo.

Day 2 was unfortunately abandoned due to lack of wind allowing us to hold our lead.

Day 3 was again held in a light 5 -7 knot wind and we pulled out a healthy lead over CST with all eyes set on the finish line and another bullet, unfortunately the wind gods were not in our favour and the race was abandoned when we were minuets from the line.

Day 4 provided more traditional Sonderborg weather with 15 20 knots down the course, everyone bar the brave (and after this day very tired) Liberty Sailing Team opted for the small rig and three races were sailed in perfect 18 weather. We scored an 8th in the first race due to going up the wrong side on the first beat, a 2nd in race 2 and a solid 5th in the final race. The day was won by Yandoo however with 2 bullets and a 2nd who took the lead of the event.

Day 5 saw the return of the big rigs in a decreasing wind that was still strong enough for the 18s to pull three strings and get in three races. We scored solidly with a 5th, 2nd and 3rd but it was still not enough to catch up with Yandoo who led into the final day.

The final day provided similar conditions to day 5 but with an increasing wind the race officer opted for 4 races which tested the endurance of the 18 fleet. We had one target and that was to close the 5 point lead Yandoo had and try and win the worlds for the UK. Race one proved that we were not in for an easy ride with a capsize which put us down to 12th though with a second discard we were able to drop this result, race 2 provided us with a 2nd and Yandoo was in 4th which boosted our confidence however in race 3 we were 3rd to Yandoo. This left us with a final race in which we concentrated on defending 2nd overall and even with our bowman almost losing an entire eyebrow, he patched himself up and we completed the race in 6th thereby finishing with a combatable 2nd overall and winning both the Europeans and round two of the European Grand Prix.

We would like to thank our sponsors, Allen, Pica floorings, Musto, DRisk and everyone at Sonderborg who helped to organise and hold such a fantastic event.

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