March 18, 2024

European weather came with vengeance, both RQYS Sailors Frances Beebe and Mara Stransky battle it out in Spain.

By Frances Beebe

The Europa Cup in Spain was a three-day event with winds ranging from 15 to 30+ knots. This event boasted a strong international fleet, with 124 boats competing in two fleets. As you can guess, with 62 boats on the starting line, there were many general recalls, which led to long days on the water.

I think both Mara Stransky and I can agree that the European weather came with vengeance, with both of us sharing moments complaining about the cold.

ropoa Cup ILCA 2024

The regatta was held in Port de Pollença, which is a bay surrounded by large mountains, causing large shifts and unsettled breeze. As a result, our intended eight race series turned into five races, with hours under AP on the water, waiting for the breeze to become consistent enough to race.

On the first day of racing, all three scheduled races were completed, however one of blue fleet’s races had to be abandoned halfway through due to an 80-degree shift. On the second day of racing, the 20-30+ knot breeze meant that the radials were postponed on land for a couple of hours and then sent out to attempt two races. Only one race was completed for both fleets, however this allowed the drop to come into play and the fleets to be separated into gold and silver. The final day of racing, and the only day of the finals series, we were sent out, but held under AP for three hours while we waited for the wind to settle. Finally, the wind became consistent enough that, after many general recalls, gold fleet was able to start a race.

Mara sailed a very strong regatta with consistent results at the front of the fleet, which led her to finish in 6th place overall. For Mara, this regatta was a chance to begin preparing for the Princess Sofia regatta which begins on the 1st of April, so good luck to her for this event!

Eurpoa Cup 2024 Mara Stranskey

My highlight of the regatta was the finals race, where big shifts in the first upwind of the final race caused the fleet to split over both sides of the course. However, the land on the left side of the course allowed the boats on the left side of the course to come into the top mark on a big leftie, in front of the boats on the right. The same thing happened on the second upwind of the race, but I was one of very few boats to go left, so I managed to climb to 5th place in the fleet. After what felt like a very long final downwind, reach and final upwind, I managed to hold this position and finish in 5th place!

I was also very happy with my overall results in the Europa Cup, finishing in 15th place and 1st under-21 woman. This event was a warm-up for the U21 European Championships which begins on the 18th of March. I will have one more week of training before this event starts, and I will later join Mara for the Princess Sofia.

Europa Cup ILCA 2024 Frances Beebe

Thank you to my coaches Mitch Kennedy and Annie Eastgate from the Queensland Academy of Sport, Adrian Finglas from RQYS for helping prepare me for this trip, and to Eshed Meseritz who has been supporting me in Europe.



Photo Credit: Laura G. Guerra

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