by Elena Giolai
As the Olympic sailing events go full steam ahead at Weymouth, the junior events keep Fraglia Vela Riva busy with European Juvenile Championships taking place until the middle of August. From today until Saturday, August 4th, it's the Europa class, a former Olympic women’s 'single' class which has a large following overseas. This is followed by the highly-skilled European Juvenile 420 and 470 Championships on August 11th. In the Europa class, currently under way on Trentino Garda, 12 countries are represented with 150 competitors along with their families. Denmark has the largest contingent with 24 boys and girls participating. Italy has a team of six boys and two girls.
The event got off to a lovely start on Monday evening with the opening ceremony and a procession of the participants through the streets of the centre of Riva del Garda. The weather, however, on the first day of the regatta was a bit unpredictable with a brief thunderstorm which started after lunch consequently preventing the arrival of the 'ora' the customary steady wind from the south. Nevertheless, the on-water technical staff at Fraglia Vela Riva under the coordination of Fausto Maroni, not to mention the Regatta Committee, didn't miss a beat when the south wind actually did briefly pick up giving them just enough to complete one race in the women’s' category. Although the course had to be shortened, there were 56 helmsmen at the starting gate. Success for Lyngsoe Anne-Line of Denmark followed by fellow Dane Andersen Christina. In third place was Mikkelsen Anna of Sweden.
Today, the second day of the event, the pace picked up at the European Youth Europa Class Championships with the southerly wind reaching 12-16 knots giving the conditions to hold three regattas. This brings to a total of four for the women and three for the men. 'At the European level the Europa class has a much different reality from the Italian one. There is a large fleet here at Fraglia Vela Riva and seeing the age of these young people all enjoying themselves, shows the very best in sailing even though the Europa was replaced as an Olympic women's class by the Laser Radial at the Beijing Games'. Said Mauro Stanga, President of Fraglia Vela Riva.
Europa Women's: Four regattas have been completed up to now (one yesterday and three today) with one discarding. Anna Mikkelsen of Sweden is in control with a third yesterday and second and two wins today. She leads by three points over Julia Carlsson also of Sweden, who stared off badly 30th (discarded) then came back strongly to take a first- second and a fourth. One point behind is Anna- Line Lyngsoe of Denmark who was first yesterday and today placed 4-3-12. Way behind is the first Italian Costanza Sandrucci, 34th.
Women Full Results
Europa Men's: With 87 crews three races were completed today with no discarding. Norway has a comfortable lead. Havard Fjon is first with a second-11th-1st. In second place is Alejandro Pareja of Spain who didn't start off too well with a 12th but then compensated with a third and a fourth.Tied on points is Nicholas Martinsen of Norway (4-9-6). Italy also lags behind in the men's category with Luca Ariatta (VY Stresa) in 30th place.
Men Full Results