by Elena Giolai
31st Garda Optimist Meeting Day 3 saw two more races yesterday with northerly winds of 14 knots. In the Juniors a possibility of an Italian victory which will be decided tomorrow in the last races.
Day 3 - Garda Optimist Meeting- 2013
Poland leads the cadets after four legs (1st in three); sixth is the first Italian Gregorio Moreschi of Fraglia Vela Riva.
In the Juniors (updated after three races), Arianna Stalder of Italy leads with Durcan of Ireland second.
The 31st Garda Optimist Meeting, organised by Fraglia Vela Riva and by Vela Garda Trentino and part of the first edition of the World Championship Week of Juvenile Sailing, has really been hit with bad weather which has in no way spoiled the party. The races have gone ahead regardless and today a good wind from the north of 14 knots and the enthusiasm of 1127 young helmsmen at the starting gate did plenty to warm up these cold and damp days of Easter. Recharged after yesterday evening's Nutella Party and raffle, the participants were up bright and early this morning on Upper Garda ready for another day of competition. One thing is certain: these close to 1200 youngsters have shown tenacity and determination that go beyond words. The weather condition have been anything but easy with cold temperatures and frequent rain that would make even the best of us think twice about going sailing, but nothing has stopped these kids. They have arrived from 30 different countries to take part in this Guinness World Record breaking event and they are doing it with all their hearts. A wonderful example to us all. For example the young boy from Sri Lanka (Marc Wilson), on the first day came ashore chilled to the bone, but instead of giving up, showed up the next day with three layers of clothing under his wet-suit!
Two races were completed today for a total of four for the cadets with the worst race being discarded, as in the rules. Right from the start the team from Poland showed its determination to win a place on the podium. They occupy the top three positions in the temporary standings. Szmit still holds the lead with three firsts and a fourth, followed by Golebiowski who today moved up with second and a first. Abramowicz is equal on points (today with 2 partial thirds). As for the Italians, Gregorio Moreschi (Fraglia Vela Riva), did well today with a 3-2 after a 9-23 of yesterday. A good ninth place for Federico Caldari (CN Cesenatico) who dropped today with a 17th and a 41st (discarded). Among the girls is American Maddie Hawkins who lies in eighth place. For the finals it looks like the Poles will have at least one place on the podium if they keep up the form they have been showing the last three days.
The Juniors started the day by recuperating the race from Friday for the white group to bring them up to the same five races as the other groups in their category. With the wind blowing from the north at 14 knots each group was able to complete another two races. After three races Alexandra Stalder (CN Bardolino, and athlete of Gruppo Agonistico Nazionale Optimist), is in the lead and growing stronger every day with a 4-3-2. The standings after three races puts her in front by two points over Harry Durcan of Ireland (7-1-3). Italy holds third place with Rodolfo Silvestrini (LNI Porto San Giorgio), who today had a 12th and an exceptional 3-1. In seventh place is another Italian Alberto Tezza from Vicenza and member of Fraglia Vela Riva who with two seconds and a 20th has the podium well within reach. When the fourth race is run and the discard round is applied, things could change significantly in the classification especially for Rodolfo Silvestrini who seems to have taken another first in today's last race and for Alberto Tezza who according to his coach has come in second in the last race. One thing is for sure, it will be down to the last race of tomorrow to see who reaches the podium which could very well see the Italian flag flying.
Today, Easter Sunday, is the conclusion with more racing and the awards ceremony and prize draw in the afternoon bringing to a close an event , sponsored for the last two years by Kinder + Sport, which is constantly growing and fears neither cold nor bad weather. Compliments go to each and every participant who made it possible to set a new record (50 more than last year), and who helped make the event such a great success. Thanks to the club administration staff, buoy setters, the Regatta Committee, the jury and the countless member volunteers as well as those responsible for processing results and standings- no easy task with 1127 participants. Regardless of all the data, results were always updated and available within a few hours at the club-house and on-line.
Today's races start mid-morning as usual 9.30 for both categories with possibly the wind from the north and (fingers crossed), a break from the rain.