The European season has now started at its full, with the first couple of important regattas taking place.
Last week with Gazprom International Dragon European Championship in San Remo, a class with many former Olympian sailors and a very high level of racing.
This week the European season has really started for the Olympic Sailors with the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Princesa Sofia Trophy taking place in Palma, Mallorca.
With a record number of sailors and nations at the Palma Bay, this is the first major test for many Olympic sailors in a season which ends with the ISAF World Sailing Championship in Santander, Spain for all the Olympic Classes.
This will not only be a competition to find the world champions in all classes, but also a possibility for many sailors to secure their nation a 'nation place' for the Olympics in 2016. The first 50% of the quotas in all classes will be distributed in Santander.
In a couple of weeks the Olympic sailors will gather again for the second ISAF World Cup event in Europe, which is the third world cup this year, including Miami Olympic Sailing Week earlier in the year.
Thereafter there will be four EUROSAF Champion Sailing Cup events in Garda, Medemblik, Weymouth and Kiel and European Championships during summer. Before going to Santander in mid-September many of the top sailors will go to Rio for training in the Olympic waters.
Aarhus 2018 - The right place at the right time: Artist’s impression of the Aarhus International Sailing Centre - Seaclear Communications
Last week four cities and major event organisers presented their bids to ISAF for holding the ISAF World Sailing Championship 2018. During two days the four bidders have done their outmost to try to convince the ISAF Evaluation Panel that this largest sailing championship in the world should be organized in their city and country. The four bidders were: Busan in Korea, Aarhus in Denmark, Gdynia in Poland and The Hague in The Netherlands. ISAF is expected to announce the organizer in mid-May.
The other international classes have also started the season in Europe, as mentioned Dragon Class crowned their new European Champion with Danish skipper Lars Hendriksen.
The Melges Class just finished their first event in Portoroz, Slovenia, and in just one month they will hold their European Championship at Lake Balaton, Hungary where they are heading for a record number of boats and nations.
Sail-World Europe will closely follow the major events and championships taking place in the international classes throughout Europe in the coming half year.
Debutant, winner of the Gazprom International European Dragon Championship 2014 - Matteo Littardi
The bigger boats are also heading for an interesting season in Europe, with the ORC Worlds taking place in Kiel and also heading for a record number of competitors with more than 150 boats.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire at the start of Race 4 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in Cape Town, South Africa - Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race
All sailors were this week reminded of the importance of their Man Overboard procedures after the rescue of round the world crew member Andrew Taylor who went over the side of Derry~Londonderry~Doire some days ago.
Skipper and crew showed the importance of getting through Man Overboard manoeuvre a hundred times, if not more, they knew exactly what to do and succeed in getting Andrew Taylor safely onboard. This was a showcase of great seamanship, and reminder to all of us sailors.
In the end of the European season the Volvo Ocean Fleet will gather in Alicante, where they start their exiting journey around the globe on October 4th for the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race.
Sailing legend Hobie Alter, passed away late last week. Alter was the creator of the legendary Hobie Cat, which not only spawned a whole new genre of sailing and sailors, but also led the way for a similar approach to other areas of the sport – such as the Windsurfer and the Laser, to name but two.
Sail-World's US Editor, David Schmidt, takes a look at his life and contribution to sailing.
We are looking forward to receiving race report, news, photos and results from the many events spread all over Europe during the next half year, and we hope race organisers, classes etc. will take the opportunity to use our 'UPLOAD FUNCTION', and we will help you to get your important news out to the sailing world.
And finally, allow me to introduce myself as the new editor of Sail-World Europe. I am very proud of joining the Sail-World team in order to take care of the European regional site in the future, as a part of the world’s largest sailing news website. Years ago I sailed Olympic Classes, including annual participation in Princesa Sofia Cup, and it is great to see that such important regattas still are organised successfully by experienced clubs and organisers, and not least all the volunteers who make our events possible throughout Europe and the world.
I have had the privilege to work as secretary general for Danish Sailing Federation for many years, developing sailing for both youth and adults, talents and top elite sailors, as well as cruising as an extremely important part of sailing. I also voluntary serve as a committee member in ISAF and am, at present, vice-president of EUROSAF. Today I mostly sail double handed racing in an X-362 Sport, still have my Laser and love cruising during summer in the Baltic area.