Wells club brothers Euro best

Wells Sailing Club brothers Chris and Tim Gibbs sailing GBR125 Windspiel won the European Sharpie Championships hosted by Brancaster Staithe SC at the end of July.

The fleet of 62 sharpies including crews from Holland, Germany and Portugal as well as the East and South Coast of the UK made a fantastic spectacle as they raced on open waters in Brancaster Bay.

The dominant South Westerly wind failed to arrive, leaving the mainly northerly breeze to create big swells and rolling waves.

The crews who mastered the seas had some of the best sailing conditions to be found

The fleet included 10 previous winners of the trophy and so the regatta was always going to be keenly contested. The competitiveness of the fleet was clearly demonstrated by the remarkable statistic that the first six races were won by six different boats.

There was a good mix of wind-strengths over the week varying from a gentle Force 2 through to a vicious Force 5.

All racing on day one was postponed as the seas were simply un-sailable. Even the fishing boats returned to the safety of the harbour.

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Going into the last race it could not have been closer between the top three boats. Weller was one point ahead of Gibbs with Volwater just three points behind.

The race was comfortably won by Eissenblatter but Gibbs’ second place was enough to give him the series.

The class continues to attract new sailors lured by the winning combination of classic (ex-Olympic) boats, very competitive racing and a superb social scene.

Top 10: 1 Chris & Tim Gibbs, GBR125; 2 Tom Weller & Jeroen van Veen, NED119; 3 Job Volwater & Ton van Berkel, NED15; 4 Daan Versteeg & Arnold Mulderij, NED14; 5 Paddy Spink & John Ellison, GBR9; 6 Klaus Eissenblatter & Sven Owe Baumgartner, GER377; 7 James Case & Bob Bradshaw, GBR12; 8 Patrick van Raalte & Jamie van Dorst, NED128; 9 Jan Pieter Braam & Martijn Cornelissen, NED8; 10 Dennis van Vliet & Jeroen Liesveld, NED135.