a regatta in Europe - Top 10 things to remember by Paul
Many sailors may be attending this Championship as their
first major international event, so I thought it might
be of assistance to note down a few points of things
easily forgotten or overlooked.
1. This really only applies to UK sailors, but please
donít forget to bring your boats insurance details.
UK events typically donít require inspection of insurance
policies as proof of insurance. The UK is unusual in
this respect (I believe it is a legal matter to do with
onus of proof ) Please bring your policy, otherwise
you may spend the first day you arrive trying to e-mail
Richard Langford at Noble Marine requesting a copy certificate.
For those who donít know, Richard is also the chairman
of RYA, and Iím sure has other things to do with his
2. Check your boat over for anything that
may not last the event. Itís the worst thing for me
to see the look of desperation on sailors faces when
their trapeze line has snapped in the second race of
the event, especially when they knew it did not look
good, but hadnít got round to changing it because they
wanted to go sailing as soon as they arrived!
3. Driving in Switzerland requires that
you purchase a vignette at the border. Some people may
have told you these are £100ís or something like
this. They actually cost around CHF40 (£19). But
please remember you need one for your car, and one for
your trailer! Again, this is something that might seem
strange to UK sailors, but in fact we are the odd ones
out, as the rest of Europe registers trailer as if they
were any other road going vehicle.
The vignette is simply bought at the border
control office, but in your eagerness to get to the
event, you may not realise. Please donít forget to do
this the Swiss are very good at picking cars out, and
you donít want a fine. I usually use it as an excuse
to get out and take a walk around.
4. UK, French or Swiss border check. It is possible,
but rare, that any EU or Swiss border control ask if
your boat is EU homologated. The class website has a
form that can be printed off, and your boats details
As you are all aware, all products used in Europe require
that they pass specific tests for safety, and our class
is no exception. On the transom of your boat there will
be a series of characters starting GB-OVBMS. This is
the individual boatís chassis number, also known as
a HIN number (hull identification number) it is proof
that the design has undergone the necessary test (which
it passed) and can be entered in the boxes on page two
of the form.
I have been stopped for this twice, so
itís pretty unlikely, but itís good to know, and shows
you know what you are talking about if border control
5. Donít forget your passport.
6. Donít forget your wives and girlfriends.
WAGS are very welcome and as well as enjoying the stunning
scenery may be persuaded to join the shore crew for
a gin and tonic as well as the odd bit of trolley dollying.
7. If you are driving, check you have European wide
breakdown cover. If you have not, I believe you can
get it for short periods.
8. Again, if you are driving, make sure you have a European
recognised breakdown kit. A lot of European manufactured
cars come with this, but youíll need a reflective triangle,
hi-vis waste coats etc. You can buy these on the ferry,
but I recon you can get them cheaper elsewhere if you
9. Trailer service (also known as itís really nice in
Metz, but I donít want to stay here!) Some of you might
not know this story, and those who do are probably already
laughing having just remembered. But, to cut a long
story short, one year one group of sailors wheel bearing
went in Metz, and it required Tony Ainsworth and myself,
having just arrived in Malcesine to unloaded the 9 boat
trailer, turn around and drive back to Metz in North
France. Please check your brakes, towing hitch and bearings
before you leave, and take a spare wheel. Try not to
drive too fast, and stop regularly and feel the wheel
hubs. As everyone knows, Iíd do the trip again if I
had to, but the price goes up every time!
10. Spares, as with many other venues,
may not be easy to come by, so please make sure you
take some tools and basic spares. Ovington Boats will,
as ever, have a limited number of specific parts, but
itís good to be self sufficient.