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ORC Sportboat Europeans – 46 entries to compete in the Adriatic Sea

by ORC Media on 24 May 2016
ORC European Championship ORC Media
Just south of Venice in this picturesque port town there is tremendous excitement as preparations are underway now for Thursday's official start of the 2016 edition of the ORC Sportboat European Championship, organized by the Circolo Velico Il Portodimare di Padova in collaboration with the Offshore Racing Congress.

After months of planning and preparation, a record number of 46 entries hailing from Russia, Turkey, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France and Italy will compete on courses set in the Adriatic Sea just off the beach in Sottomarina.

At the shoreside venue at the Darsena le Saline, the docks are already busy with the arriving boats, their commissioning and rigging activities, and the measurement and inspections of boats and sails. This pre-race process of registration and practicing continues through Wednesday until the opening ceremony on Thursday morning, followed immediately with the first of four days of competition. Organizers plan a coastal race and eight windward-leeward races in the event schedule.

Already working hard since the early hours of this morning, Chioggia's hometown champion Enrico Zennaro has been preparing for being at the helm of the Fat 26 Mind the Gap. Sailing this week under the banner of North West Garda Sailing, Zennaro will have tactical help from Karlo Hmeljack, Olympic champion in London 2012 in the Laser class.

Some other notable talent in Chioggia this week includes Lorenzo Bressani at the helm of the C30 Raptor, and Federica Salvà who has competed in two Olympics in the 470 class and will be on the Blue Sail 24 Gio.Chi assisting Andrea Cittadini with Alessio Marinelli at the helm. Coming from Turkey, Sukru Sanus was an Olympic champion in 1996 in Atlanta and will be racing the Farr 25 Ruffles to try to improve on his second place performance in last year's ORC Sportboat Europeans in Hungary. Spirito Libero, Claudio Bazzoli's Protagonist 7.50, will be helmed by young Davide Bianchini, who has among his titles Italian Champion in the Ufo 22 class.

'This team has been in place since 2012, but some of us are racing together for many years more,' said Russia's Vasilii Aleskeev the owner of the 0-800 Kvartet team coming from farthest distance to compete for the European title. 'Andrei Reshetov and I sailed together since 1997, when we won the Russian championship in the IOR Quarter-Ton Offshore class. This is a result we replicated four times with eight separate tries in Quarter-Tonner and also ORC Sportboats. Of all the races the best for us was the Gotland Runt Race in 2011, when Andrey Reshetov with his yacht Leo, a sistership of Kvartet, won first place, and we on Kvartet came second in ORC Class B.'

'We can be very pleased by the numbers and the quality achieved by the event so far,'said Gianfranco Frizzarin, President of The Portodimare. 'At this point no we can only hope for good weather.'

In addition to the overall title of European Champion ORC Sportboat 2016, there will be prizes awarded to the top 5 finishers, as well as prizes to top three in the Corinthian (amateur) Division. The overall winner among the international crews will also be recognized, as will the winner among the youngest crew, calculated by the average age of the crew.

The program for the Sportboat European Championship and the event itself will be shown to journalists during a press conference to be held Wednesday, May 25 at 18:30 at the club house in the Darsena le Saline.

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