The 31st Garda Optimist Meeting is now underway and the lack of wind didn't dampen the party atmosphere. There was only one race completed in the Cadet's 'pink' group - which was won by Abramowicz of Poland. Giovanni Sandrini of Italy claimed third.
After yesterday evening's glorious opening ceremony in which four time Olympic medallist and holder of numerous world and European titles, Alessandra Sensini recalled winning her World RS:x Championship right here on Lake Garda, Trentino, the 31st Garda Optimist Meeting got under way this morning.
1127 registered participants from all over the world were dressed in oilskin, gloves and some very original woolly hats to brave the bitter cold and start the regattas. But as they took their positions at around 11.00 am, the wind which been blowing, dropped leaving no wind to go ahead with the races. Only the 'pink' group of the cadets (9-11 year olds) were able to complete a race while the rest had to wait patiently for the wind that never arrived.
Winner of the only race today was Abramowicz of Poland followed by fellow Pole Kosmalski. In third place was Italian Giovanni Sandrini (CV Gargnano) and the first Italian girl was Alessia Palanti (FV Malcesine). Even though there was no racing for the majority of the competitors, there was still a spectacle both on water and on land, as there is every year.
As for the nations participating, there is for the first time a helmsman from Sri Lanka 12 year old Marc Wilson and competitors from Antigua and Bermuda, Rocco Falcone is the son of the Italian Consulate of the Caribbean island and will be participating in the World Optimist Championships at Fraglia Vela Riva in July.
Among the favourites are David Labrouche of Great Britain (winner if the International Optimist Regatta in Palamos) and the mighty Turks who have won the last two editions and won't pass up the chance to win a third. The Italians could also make a bid for the podium. The GAN Gruppo Agonistico Nazionale Optimist is here in its entirety.
Once again Fraglia Vela Riva together with the association of Vela Garda Trentino has shown its readiness in welcoming all the young sailors from all over the world (as far away as Antigua and Sri Lanka) with their parents and coaches making sure that they want for nothing, looked after also by the other clubs of Upper Garda Torbole, Arco and Riva del Garda...ready with a cup of hot chocolate and a plate of pasta when the sailors reach land.
Tomorrow's start is scheduled for 10.00am for both categories.