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Europe Week 2014
Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Norway’s constitution and building on classic yacht regattas held in 1914 and 2000, the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) and the Norwegian Classic Yacht Club (KTK) organized Europe Week 2014 which concluded earlier this week. 81 magnificent boats from all over Europe took part: 14 in racing classes, 67 in cruising classes.
The fleet gathered in Sandefjord on 15 July where King Harald, a keen 8mR sailor, opened the event. Weather conditions in the outer Oslo fjord provided for two days of lively sailing, virtually ocean racing, with winds up to 25 kn, corresponding seas and a bit of rain.
But then the high pressure moved in bringing higher temperatures and lower wind speeds for the long cruise and race up to the picturesque village of Son. The Mediterranean-like conditions continued providing a good day of racing on the fjord outside of Son, but with even less wind for race up to Oslo.
Wind in Oslo was so light that the cruising classes' race on Monday had to be abandoned and Tuesday’s race was cancelled, but the racing classes got in their final licks.
To top off a great week of sailing and camaraderie, the sailors with friends and families enjoyed the evening festivities in Oslo having a 1914 style party hosted by the organizing authority KNS, a beautiful reception with greetings from the Mayor at the Oslo Rådhus (City Hall) and concluding with King Harald presenting the trophies at the Maritime Museum.
The German entry was especially strong, with ANITRA winning the international 12 meter racing class, while SIRA, the yacht owned by King Harald, won the 8 meter racing class. The single British entry, Kelpie, did very well on the water, winning the Cruising Gaff class, and her crew provided plenty of laughs on shore. Also of note, a Russian yacht won the King's special prize for coming all the way from St. Petersburg.
All concerned were thoroughly satisfied with a memorable event, which must be repeated as soon as practical.