HIGHCLIFFE’S Simon Mussell hopes to go one better in this year’s Contender European Championship – but may have to get past club-mate Gary Langdown to do so.

The European crown is contested in years when the world event takes place outside the continent with more than 100 participants set to line up in Kuhlungsborn on the northern coast of Germany.

Festivities begin tomorrow before the practice races on Sunday afternoon are followed by the opening ceremony and welcome dinner. Competition begins in earnest on Monday for five days before Friday’s prize- giving ceremony.

Mussell, a 35-year-old property developer, finished second from the field of 174 participants behind Dane Soren Dulong Andreasen in last year’s world event on Lake Como, Italy.

But while Mussell is determined to fight for the title this time, he admits 51-year-old Langdown, who recently returned to sailing following a sabbatical, will be one of his biggest rivals for honours.

Asked whether winning was a realistic prospect for either individual, Mussell told the Daily Echo: “We’re both going with that as our goal. Sailing is a funny sport and so dependent on the weather but we are as well prepared as we can be.

“Gary took a bit of time out of the sport but he has put in a lot of extra time this year and I would consider him as the top British candidate.

“Soren Andreasen is the current world champion and Germany’s Cristoph Homeier is local and has consistently been around the top three for quite a few years, but it is always tough to call.

“This event has been our focus all year, everything we have done has been geared towards this so it would be great to do well. The weather looks quite good for us and we’re pretty hopeful.”

  • Highcliffe Sailing Club will be participating in the annual RNLI Lifeboat Funday at Mudeford Quay on Sunday, August 3.

The club will be entering the raft race and will open their doors for the public to have a look round as well as supporting the RNLI’s activities.

Stephanie McCormick of Highcliffe Sailing Club said: “We know that if we get into trouble, like anyone else on the coastline, then the RNLI are there to help us.

“A couple of our members are on their crew and they provide such an important service. We look forward to supporting their fundraising initiatives.”