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30th 2.4mR World Championship at Yacht Club Italiano - Preview

by Yacht Club Italiano 8 Oct 2019 11:15 PDT 12-18 October 2019
World 2.4mR Class Championship © Martina Orsini

From the beginning of next week, the waters of Genoa will host the 30th World 2.4 mR Class Championship. This tiny boat will be the star of a week of great sailing with 91 helmsmen from 15 different countries. With this event the Yacht Club Italiano continues in its commitment to make Genoa the capital of sailing.

The 2.4 was created in Stockholm in 1983 by local designers who used the "R Metre" rule to create a small keelboat, the 2.4 mR. It was a thoroughbred boat with the complicated and sophisticated nature of keelboat but with the costs and the sensitivity of a simple dinghy. It was a younger sister, in terms of size but not style of sailing, of the bigger international 6m, 8m and 12m (these latter used for the America's Cup in the Azzurra generation). In 1992 the class obtained the status of an International Class and since then world Championships have been sailed every year with between 60 and 100 boats taking part.

Since the 2.4mR is suitable for disabled helmsmen it was chosen as a single-handed class for the Paralympics in Sydney in 2000. The biggest fleets are in the Scandinavian countries, in Italy, England, Germany, Australia and the USA.

An open class

What made this little boat famous in the sailing world was that it made it possible for disabled sailors to compete on equal terms, without special classifications to underline the "difference", because of that peculiarity of the 2.4, people with motor disabilities can sail on equal terms against helmsmen without these problems. It demands suitable physical preparation like all competitive sports but what count most are intuition and technique. So although helmsmen with motor disabilities take part, the race results do not differentiate, and male and female participants are similarly treated equally. The boat is sailed single-handed. The helmsman does not sit on the sides of the boat but on a special seat-mounted in the cockpit and facing forward - mounted on a track: it is possible to move it forward or aft to change the trim at the boat. The helmsman uses only his hands.

The event

The weekend of October 12 and 13thwill see the arrival of the boats and the welcoming of the competitors, but the action will start from Monday the 14th with the first training race at 2 PM. From Tuesday the 15th to Friday the 18th there will be up to three races a day to reach the number needed to assign the world title. On land crews, coaches and helpers will be able to enjoy the tried and tested RACE Village: the infrastructures of the fair area, used with success during the World Cup Series, will be the centrepiece of activities.

The Genoa Fair site, managed by Porto Antico and made available by the municipality, with the great 15,000 m" Jean Nouvel Pavilion, will be a huge "sailing base" unique of its kind. Here there will be refreshment areas, changing rooms for crews, meeting areas, rating areas and the offices of the Secretariat and race officials. The pavilion has direct access to the basin were floating pontoons have been placed together with hoists and here the boats will rest during the week of racing. Much care has been taken to make the whole fair area accessible and to optimise embarking and disembarking for crews both with and without disabilities.

The organisation

Beyond the cooperation and commitment of the organisers: Yacht Club Italiano, the International 2.4 mR Association and the Federazione Italiana Vela, a fundamental contribution came from the main institutions: the Liguria Region and the municipality of Genoa. "It's a great sporting event on the weekend that celebrates Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America," says Liguria Region Sport Councillor Ilaria Cavo. "Once again we have to underline the great beneficial force and cohesion generated by sport, in this case, a world sailing championship, that demonstrates the great inclusive power of sailing, a fundamental value of sport for all in a city aiming to be European capital of sport. The Liguria Region believes strongly in this championship and has given it strong support because of the particular attention to an event that can combine the technical values and challenges of all competitive sports with social inclusion. It is no accident that as a Region we have provided, for the first time in Italy, financing from the European Social Fund to projects by associations that include the disabled and by the end of November we will make available 2.5 million Euro force bought with significant resources for projects of sport for all."

"It's an extraordinary event for Genoa," says city Sport Councillor Stefano Anzalone. "The world 2.4 class championships, open to disabled participants, organised with the concrete contribution of the Yacht Club Italiano and Federazione Italiana Vela, are not just a week of great sport in the most important arena of the city, RC, but there is also a chance to underline that sport has an essential social and civil function: the ability to offer inclusion."

Title Sponsor of this edition of the World Championships is Guldmann, a Danish company that produces and develops technologies for the well-being of people - and sportsmen - with reduced motor abilities, SLAM which will provide the T-shirts, Costa Edutainment, which will host participants in the championships in a visit to the Genoa aquarium on Wednesday evening, and the official supplier is Acqua Sangemini.

Important partners in the complex organisation of events of this size are: CBG Convention Bureau Genova for the welcome and reception and Croce Rossa Italiana for health services and first-aid on sea and land.

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