August 15th 2008, Open 570 2008 European Championship.
On the first day of racing in St. Malo, France Team Festa (Rich Festa,
his son Tony and Greg Dair from Cal Yacht Club in California) posted
two great results putting themselves in 6th overall in an international
fleet of 25 Open 5.70’s.
The weather had been extremely variable in the days leading up to the
race with plenty of wind and rain. Friday was clear sunny skies and
some very challenging light wind conditions which are very atypical
for this time of year. The first buoy race started in a calm 8 knot
breeze. The first boats around the mark, including Team Festa on "Californic",
found the better wind and made the most of the 20 degree shifts. Sailing
downwind in a dying breeze the out of town boats got a taste of the
St. Malo currents – almost 3 knots at times – fortunately in this case
is was in the fleets favor as many boats drifted across the finish line
of the shortened course. With very little wind and strong currents the
race committee had no choice but to postpone the other scheduled races.
After some waiting and a brief game of "follow the committee boat"
to a different venue the fleet started its second race.