Slovenian crew are Soling World Champions

Slovenians Antoncic-Strah-Hmeljak win Soling Worlds 2008 - image taylor (CNS)

The Slovenian team with Antoncic at the helm, Strah middleperson and Hmeljak bowman was crowned Soling World Champion. Argentineans Warburg-Celedoni-Smith finished second overall and Argentineans Busch-Peuvrel-Feldtman were third. Best of the Italians were the Maffezzoli brothers from Lake Garda.

With nine races out of nine completed, the Soling World Championship held at La Marina di Scarlino came to a close on Thursday. Slovenians Antoncic-Strah-Hmeljak were constant in their results throughout the whole championship (2-14-6-1-9-5-1-3-6) and took the title after having won the European Championship in 2007.

Gustavo Warburg and his Edding team with Celedoni and Smith were close on their heels, but in race 9 Antoncic managed to keep the Argentineans in check with two bullets and two seconds spots.

The Argentinean Skandia team formed by Martin Busch, Tomas Preuvel and Maximo Feldtmann took the third place on the podium. Hungarian George Wossala finished in fourth place and German Thomas Maschkivitz was fifth overall.

The 40 crews from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, the USA and Italy raced in a very technically challenging race course.

The Race Committee presided by Luigi Cuccotti and Carlo Tosi was able to carry out all of the none scheduled races over a five day period. Sailors faced all kinds of weather, from rough seas with 15-25 knots of wind from the south, to sunny fall days with the local 10-20 knot northwesterly Maestrale to finish off in a light 8-12 knot south westerly breeze.

These conditions truly highlighted the true qualities and strength of Soling yachts, a class that was Olympic between 1997 and 2000.

Newcomer to the class Swiss Enrik Dannesboe finished sixth overall and won Race 2 with his new Borresen Soling built in Argentina, one of the three new boats that sailed in the Scarlino World Championship.

Hungarian George Wossala and German Roman Koch also competed with new Borrensen boats. Individual races were won by German Marine Pool Team with Roman Koch, Maximiilan Koch and Gregor Bornemann, who then finished the Championship in ninth position overall, and by the other German team helmed by Karl Haist (11th overall).

The classic boat award was won by USA 853, helmed by Matias Collins with Enrique Mich and Spanish Jaime Martinez, who is also a newcomer to the class and new boat owner whose goal is build a Soling fleet in Spain once again and will keep his boat in Barcelona.

The Paul Elvstrom Trophy for the best under 18 helmsman went to Austrian Stephan Glanz (AUT 114, 12th overall). A big welcome from the Class also goes to Portugese Antonio Tanger who bring this nation back into the Soling family after many years.

Over 200 visitors enjoyed the landscape and hospitality of the Maremma region in Tuscany and it’s quaint medieval towns of Scarlino, Massa Marittima and Castiglione della Pescaia and many of the competitors’ wives and families seized the opportunity of visiting the surrounding cities of Florence, Siena and Pisa while the sailors were at sea.

The next race scheduled at La Marina di Scarlino is the VI edition of the Cook & Sail, a competition where sailing and culinary skills come together.

The Soling World Championship has been organized by the Club Nautico Scarlino, in collaboration with the International Soling Association, the International Sailing Federation, the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV) and the committee Circoli Velici della Costa Etrusca.

The event has the patronage and support of the Province of Grosseto, the Municipality of Scarlino, La Marina di Scarlino and Consorzio Etruria.

Official website: