by Elena Giolai
Flying Fifteen European Championships 2012 were held on Lake Garda for the first time, from
Flyng Fifteen European Championships 2012
27th August to 31st August, and it was a choice that certainly hit the mark as far as the conditions and the bringing together of regatta/tourism/family were concerned.
This is an unprecedented achievement for all the staff at the Riva club who have tirelessly worked round the clock to offer their sailing guests the very best of Riva del Garda. Events included the Europa classes, 420 and 470 for the very young juniors (in which Italy won several medals), to the adult events the Europa Master and most recently the Flying Fifteen which ended on Friday. No Italians were in competition for the Flying Fifteen event so for Fraglia Vela Riva it was defined as a 'tourist' event where the staff focused its commitment to the regatta area which saw participants from all over the world (many from Great Britain and Northern Europe) come to Trentino Garda certain to find good racing winds and plenty of activities in the area for themselves and their families. This gives a healthy boost to tourism in the area which benefits greatly from the ever-present regattas at Fraglia Vela Riva.
Despite the unstable weather of the last few days, The Flying Fifteen European Championships closed with a high number of races being run. Nine races were completed (with two discarded), in an event that had 35 crews from six different countries participating. The Brits took the top three spots even though Lavery-O'Brien of Ireland had started the event convincingly, taking the lead on the first two days. They then unexpectedly 'collapsed'. From the third day on, however, it was the 'turbo' crew of Wells- Rigg who took the advantage with co-nationals Goacher-Evans hot on their heels. Wells-Rigg won by seven points with five partial wins, a second and a third (excluding discards). Their rivals had two wins, a third and two fourths. Bronze went to the other British crew of Apthorp-Green, a distant ten points behind the silver medallists. Lavery-O'Brien of Ireland finished in fourth place.
September is another busy month at Fraglia Vela Riva with more great events on the calendar. On the 9th September the European 49er Olympic Class Championships get under way with the 'long regatta' followed by the regattas for fleets which are valid for qualification, and also the World Youth Championships of the same classes. New in the medal race will be the grand final lòa which will have experimental courses and procedures. At the same time the Juvenile racing team will be taking part in the National Championships Under 16 in Cagliari until September 4th.