ISAF Women's Olympic Skiff Trials Day 4:

Thursday 19th April 2007

There was much talk of more wind for this, the last day of these interesting and enjoyable equipment trials. All of the 'main business' of each of the nominated sailors having a sail in all of the boats and later filling in a questionnaire had been completed, so people chose which boat to sail.

Finding some rational method to choose a pair of teams to sail the Cherub Daemons from the moderately orderly queue of keen elite female sailors was a challenge, and in the end it was decided to offer sails to those who asked the earliest: This meant it was Lina Stroemquist and Tina Nilsson, two 470 sailors from Norway who had asked to have a go before the event even started in Badgers, and the Danish nominees Helle Orum-Nielsen and Maria Gade in Subtle Knife.

The wind was slightly fresher: It may have even had exceeded ten knots at times, and it was cloudy which gave the day a very different feel. After some sailing around a gate-start was arranged and the boats headed upwind on a short beat to a buoy. The RS800s and to a lesser extent the i14s got clean away, the extra rag, weight and length keeping them moving through the chop. Once the Cherub Dameon 'Subtle Knife' was clear to tack, that's just what the Danes did, and then they were able to put the nose down, get back and use the T-foil properly. Watching from the RIB the speed difference was immediately apparent and at the windward mark the Cherub Daemon was comfortably ahead of both RS800s, which were followed by both i14's. There followed a neat hoist and then they were away: Locked in on their way downhill: Unstoppable! They were persued by the evaluators RIBs: All eyes were on the Cherub Daemon! (See the pics taken by pro photographer Andrew Filipinski on - page 6 of the album has the sequence. Videos and GPS track coming soon.)


After this the breeze went down and there were some boat-on-boat rabbit-start exercises. Then, all too soon, it was all over. People were getting on planes, boats were having their masts taken down and being lifted onto trailers. It was sad to see that our experiences in Hyeres were coming to an end so suddenly: The chance to show elite female sailors, and the administrators of our great sport, what we have to offer - and for them to all absolutely love it - was really special.

The Cherub Daemon team at Hyeres was Richard Taylor, Tim Coventry, Derek Clarke, Matt Albiston, Tim Noyce, Ant Chapman, Will Lee, Lucy Lee, Tom Kiddle, Stuart Hopson.

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