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Bécassine set off from Cheshire at 8.30, had a pit stop for a sausage sandwich with a friend, before we knew it, the A14 was at a standstill. There’s been a monumental pile up we st of Cambridge and the Police have turned me back, any advice?’ ‘A1 south, then east’ came the answer – sadly the same as everybody else. Chris rang DFSS saying we might be ‘slightly’ late, while I trundled on at 5mph. Eventually, I pit stopped in a lay - by, Chris boarded and the speed camer a negatives began to accumulate. We sped across the empty Harwich car park, and careered to a stop as the ramp closed. The ferry was al most a cruise ship with fabulous Danish food on board. 20 knots on a flat sea, a good luck from Mark Antonelli, and 18 hours later we set off across Denmark from Esbjerg. Being last on, my little boat was first off the big one. ‘Remember, drive on the right side of the road.’ The 200 mile drive across Denmark was a breeze compared to Britain, and the Storebælt bridges which span 1600m were amazing. We pulled in to the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub just after the office closed, our tents were pitched in the dinghy park and Bécassine was pulled off the trailer ready for measurement

The Seniors joined the Juniors for their prize giving, and the Brazilian champions Alvaro Martinez and Mauricio Utrera held up the trophy. Tuesday saw the practice race and we stood by our motto of ‘stay upright and out of trouble ’. We finished a great first leg and rounded the top mark 30th . We were dead chuffed, and when we returned to the shore, 19 th was on the board because we’d signed on.

Dawn brought 35 knots of wind and the 1 st race was delayed hourly until 5 o’ clock, when finally the fleet launched. There was a slight port bias, but it looked like Piccadilly circus, so I went for the boat end of the line and crossed right on the gun. Béccy started her campaign with the best start of the week, leading to the best finish. We were 49 th , which we took as a good omen for the regatta. The Scottish temperature and rain for 2 days were undesired but this did nothing to dampen the wind, and the snipes were blessed with 3 days of championship racing conditions. Sadly the rot had started and I was never to get back inside the top 50, despite some excellent crewing by Chris.

The championships were sponsored by North Sails and Carlsberg. We didn’t get any free sails, but the fleet were given a complimentary pint each day, when they arrived ashore. This began by marking your hand but by the end of the week if you wanted one, you poured one. Each night the fleet were well dined in the yacht club, and afterwards the teams went their separate ways for coach talks or sleep. An ‘ally in arms’ would have helped, but we always knew we were on our own. We had the honour of dropping the Union Flag after the prize giving. Chris reorganised the tables for a dance floor, the Brazilians provided some music and we danced the night away.

It was amazing to be sailing in such high calibre company. The highest of which were the Brazilians, whose team took all of the silver wear. Alexandre Tinoco and Gabriel Borges sailed off with the trophy, without taking a race. ‘It is better to sail with the fleet in these conditions, for any mist ake can create a huge difference’ - they were 31 st when they went their own way. The racing was close with 8 th & 9 th both winning a race. The British crew were touchingly given Icelandic scarves to keep us warm on our next Danish excursion.

As you would imagine, the atmosphere amongst the snipes was wonderful and the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub put on a first class regatta. There was a lot o f Serious Sailing, Serious Fun. Thankyou for all your support and particularly Mark who, not only is the reason we went to Denmark but also the reason I went snipi ng originally. Lastly, a thanks to Chris who showed us snipers once again, just how im portant the crew is.

Rungsted? We wouldn’t have mis sed it for the world. Role on Rio de Janeiro 2013, does anybody have any surplus AirMiles?

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