ESA cup 2012

The promise of a great challenge in Platu 25 was inviting us to sunny Athens for the 2012 edition of the ESA cup. Knowing the wind could be all or nothing and that Platu would be one of the sportiest boats ever sailed in an ESA cup was making already the preparations and training of the 9 participating teams exciting. Special trainings in Scheveningen were booked and trimming guides and secrets distributed within and even between the teams.

Arriving in Athens the first impression was reminding us more to Medemblik than to Greece with weather conditions of 17 degrees, rainy and about 20 kts of wind. But the first visit to the boats made everyone forget the weather – excellent sporty little ladies. Nine in one row, presented by the eager, experienced and the super helpful crew of the Platu class.

After a short introduction (starting on Greek timing) and some very good tips we entered the first training day – wohoeee, those ladies sail nicely. Direct response to every rudder movement and trim adjustment.
The strong wind made spinnakering even more exciting than the upwind beating. And of course, all the crews were carefully eyeing each other from the distance awaiting the next day’s practise race for a first comparison…


The first practise race. We had a very experienced race committee and for this race a start line square on the wind. Flags on the committee boat indicated small jibs and no spinnaker. But what a disaster, being used to dinghies all participants underestimated the tacking time or time to the starting line (indeed tacking and accelerating is different in a Platu) and arrived more than 30 seconds too late at the start…

A mistake we swore to avoid in the racing days counting.
And our goal was clear: The Jabbadabbadoo team (in almost complete constellation with Stan, Berit, Clive, Andreas and me) set the objective to win this regatta. So we went out early, judged the wind, decided to start on the slightly biased pin end and went through all manoeuvres again before the start. After the first upwind finally spinnakers came out. A bit lonely in front of the fleet we missed the dramatic action including a Chinese gybe from Oliver’s boat!


The excellent support team managed to repair even the resulting broken tiller in 15 minutes on the water and everyone could continue with 2 more races that day. Again the spinnaker runs were the most exciting legs, causing some emergency gybes and some shouting around the buoys …


Happy with ourselves at the end of day one (coming three times first in three races) we also won the race back into the harbour and could enjoy a beer while watching the other teams arriving…


A reception and more helpful tips from the Platu owners made the day complete and us happily going back to the hotel (where unfortunately we could not convince the staff to open the pool bar for us but still had a great night out..)

The second racing day brought the long distance race with so many shifts, gusts and changes in wind speed that everyone was on the edge – how to trim? / where to go? / which tactics? We decided first to sail along the coast then a tack seawards, where we had to see other boats passing….
On place four and only a third of the race left we needed to work harder and harder to catch Troy and Olivier, but still allowing Luca in front of us. Without the permission to fly the spinnaker, we needed to give everything in the upwind legs to come closer to Luca on the final leg…
One shift in the right direction would give us the victory, but this time Poseidon was in favour of Luca and he won deserved!
The second race of the day went to us and we could celebrate with the BBQ in the harbour awaiting the hungry ESA sailors and, equally nice, the pool party on the roof of our hotel including Pina Colada and vanilla milkshakes!

The last day would bring three more races in beautiful sunshine with spinnaker and up-down courses– perfect conditions for the trained Jabbadabbadoo team and we won. Seven counting races, seven times first (one discard)! Jabbadabbadoo!!!


The scenery for the evening’s price giving could not be better: Overlooking from above the harbour complete Athens in the oldest Yacht club we had the privilege to dine and to have the price giving.


With the trophy in our hands and a bag full of lovely memories we had to leave Athens, but not without wanting to say thank you to Bernhard & Phillipos the organisers of the cup 2012, the Race committee, the great technical and organisational team from the Platu class and the Athens Yacht club and to all the participants (and even to some competitors that did not participate ;-)) for having made this ESA cup a great one!

Thank you and



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