Although it is always a little disappointing to miss out on the podium, we are proud of our 4th place finish. The Europeans felt like an extremely long event with a bigger fleet and tough breeze patterns, especially with our challenges with starting. Every time we were able to get off the line, we found ourselves in the top group battling for the lead. The fleet was neck and neck around every mark with very little separation around the course. There were many races with extremely long oscillations, making many legs one tack beats and extremely hard to pass boats. Many tactical lessons were learned about persistent shifts and positioning on the fleet, especially regards to downwind.
The days were extremely long! There were numerous postponements waiting for the sea breeze to fill and many breakdowns in our rigging. We stayed three days post racing until 8 pm fixing main bridals, resplicing our vang, rerigging our spinnaker halyard, replacing jib sheets and changing our compass bracket. In retrospect, we are very fortunate that these breakdowns happened during Europeans and not Worlds! We have a big check list the next time we head to Europe going over every piece of the boat.
A big highlight of the regatta was our medal race where we finished second! The points were extremely close behind us and we needed a good race to secure fourth. Starting at the pin, we were able to use our speed to extend out to the left hand side, hooking into a nice shift taking us across the course. The Dutch girls had a killer first beat and were launched from the get-go. The spacing from second to sixth was quite close at the top mark, but with our great downwind speed we were able to extend at the leeward gate. From there, it was all about managing the boats behind us in the shifty off-shore breeze. At the last top mark we had actually managed to extend our distance and were able to easily finish in second.