Snipe Team Belgium in the European Championship Team Race
Article by Jo Vos In the 3rd weekend of June, Snipe Team Belgium competed in the European Championship 2K team racing in Lelystad, Netherlands. What brought us there? If you have been fleet sailing for decades, team racing is a fantastic new thing: it stands in relation to fleet sailing as fast chess to chess: Chess is also nice, but fast chess is much more tactical and exciting. ...
Article by Jo Vos
In the 3rd weekend of June, Snipe Team Belgium competed in the European Championship 2K team racing in Lelystad, Netherlands.
What brought us there?
If you have been fleet sailing for decades, team racing is a fantastic new thing: it stands in relation to fleet sailing as fast chess to chess: Chess is also nice, but fast chess is much more tactical and exciting.
Therefore, in the Belgian snipe class we started an annual team race event several years ago. After these years of internal competition, we had taken up the plan to confront the international competition.
How does team racing work?
A team of 2 or 3 boats, depending on the formula, sails against a team of an equal amount of boats.
In these Europeans, it was the “2K”- formula: two against two. In this formula, the scoring is very simple: the team of the last boat loses, other places do not count.
In practice, the boats are usually close together and it is a constant maneuvering to the optimal positions.
You have to know the rules well, but once that’s done, it is fun to experiment with all the possible tactical options.
We already had a suspicion that the Belgian level was far below the international, so we have prepared a little . We once participated in a team race in the same boat type (MaxFun 25) as the in the European Championships, and we had a specific 2K team racing training day in our snipes at our trusted little lake in Antwerp.
We can probably summarize the European Championships as follows:
In fleet racing, we might have beaten them all, but this was team racing and the better teams were tactically far better than us, so we never really had a chance against them.
It was started with a round robin: any team meets all other teams. There we got a first image of the opposition. A few teams were not very strong, but against others, we were actually out of the loop. The round robin was instructive and towards the end we started to get the hang of it more or less. We finished 4th in the intermediate standings, so we just made it to the semifinals.
In the semifinals we met the 1st in the intermediate ranking. It was very instructive and they did not get it for free free, but a real chance we never really had. In the small final we honorfully lost of the Italian team, so the our final ranking was 4th place, a place with which we could be satisfied.
1st and 2nd place were taken by british teams. They are way better than we are in team racing, but they should be, as they do it every week.
We could go home with a satisfactory feeling, with a lot of new knowledge about team racing and a pile of enthusiasm to go team racing more and better. In a few years time, we take up the confrontation with the british again.