49er European and Youth World Championship - Day 1 on Lake Garda

Start of Long Distance Race
Dan Cunningham
The 49er Class returns to its roots on Lake Garda to contest the 2012 European and Youth World Championship this weekend. Lake Garda has held a number of high profile events over the past few months, but the 49ers will be showcasing a new style of racing promising some highlights and exciting action.

Racing got underway on Sunday with a long distance race that spanned nine kilometers of the Lake; a tour de Garda with varying conditions and legs of the course. After one hour and 20 minutes, the Alonso brothers of Spain outlasted the 63 other teams and crossed the line first followed by the Italian Savio brothers and Croatian Olympians Pavle Kostov and Petar Cupac.

Sixty-three teams representing eighteen nations will be on the starting line for fleet racing which begins on Monday. Also being contested will be the top youth team to be crowned 49er Youth World Champions. 33 youth teams are in attendance. Additional titles will go to the 'King of the Downwind' as well as the top speed for the entire event.

Racing will begin with two days of qualifying series and the top 25 teams advancing to the finals with the top 12 teams from the Olympic Games an automatic invitation to the Gold fleet. The final series will be held in Theatre style with a 4-round knock-out style racing and a Grand Final series to be held on the last day with the final four boats.

49er website