Access Class European Championships and SKUD 18 Europeans, organized by the Yacht Club Arbon in cooperation with Sailiability.ch, are being held in Arbon, on the waters of Lake Constance, Switzerland’s biggest lake and the natural border between Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Practice Race - Access Class European Championships 2013
The 71 boats competing here will fight for the Championship titles over the next four days. 2013 marks the largest level of participation compared to any previous Championships and the number of nations competing has doubled since last year – with 71 boats representing 12 nations. So a great event is set to unfold.
On the first two days the athletes have to pass their boats through measurement inspection to ensure all boats comply with the Class Rules and everyone will be competing on an equitable basis; sails and boats have to comply under the same rules, so hulls are also weighed and have to be within the official limit.
There are five different classes competing at the Europeans, offering a range of sailing styles and disciplines. The Access 2.3 is the only class with one sail and thus the smallest of all, then there is the Access 303 that is sailed by one or two persons – with these events attracting a high level of entries. The last of the access classes is the Liberty that can also be sailed by persons with serious disabilities, using servos to help them sail and control the sails. Last but not least is the SKUD18 class, the only Paralympic event here and the most exciting one sailed by a two person crew and with a large gennaker, the boat can achieve some impressive speeds.
After registration and equipment inspection the practice race was scheduled for today. After a long wait for the wind to show up, the start was finally given for the three first classes under very light conditions. But the lack of consistency in wind strength forced the Race Committee to abandon the practice race and hope for a better start tomorrow when the Championships gets underway. Enjoy some impressions from the first days of the championship.