Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

5.5 Metre Class gathering in Sanremo for 2020 European Championship

by Robert Deaves 21 Aug 02:04 PDT 23-29 August 2020
5.5 Metre racing always close and competitive - 5.5 Metre World Championship 2019 © Robert Deaves

Sanremo, Italy, is all ready to welcome the 5.5 Metre fleet for its 2020 European Championship, which is being sailed from 25-29 August. Normally only held when the world championship is outside Europe, the event has attracted 20 crews from nine countries.

This year the class was fortunate enough to have its world championship in Pittwater, Australia in January, one of the few classes to manage to get a world title in during 2020. Next week's Europeans will be the first international event for the class since the coronavirus pandemic began, and the first European Championship for the class since 2013.

International Class Vice President, Peter Vlasov, who will also be competing in Sanremo on New Moon II (BAH 24), has been in Sanremo a few days already preparing for the championship.

"It goes without saying that 2020 has been a very different and not at all an easy year so far. Since our return from the Worlds in beautiful Pittwater, Australia, none of us have been able to sail. A true disaster."

"The Europeans in Sanremo represent the first opportunity for us 5.5 Metre sailors to get together and sail. It is absolutely fantastic here. The Yacht Club Sanremo and its team are welcoming us with open arms."

"It's good news and sad news. It is sad that so many of our international competitors from overseas or northern Europe simply could not find a sensible way to be here. They will be missed, that's for sure."

"But on a positive note, 25 per cent of fleet here will be brand new boats and I believe there are more to come. In this class there are always new people and new challenges."

Turning to his own sailing on New Moon II, "All and all, Mark [Holowesko], Christoph [Burger] and I are very excited to be here. New Moon II is ready to rock and roll, and so are we."

The fleet includes five of the crews who competed in Australia, some of whom are now in new boats. There has been a lot of investment in the class over the past year with five brand new boats taking part, and this will be the first competition for four of them.

Former world and European champion Jurg Menzi is competing on the recently launched Marie-Francoise XXI (SUI 232) with Jurgen Eiermann and Bo Selko. Winner in Cannes last year Otto (NOR 68, Bent Cristian Wilhelmsen, Lasse Berthelsen, Luka Strahovnik) is also back with a new boat while multiple world champion Flavio Marazzi will sail Ali Baba (BAH 23) in the absence of Craig Symonette.

Anthony Shanks is back for the first time since 2018, sailing on Black & White, SUI 219, with Daniel Schenker and Mark Dangel.

"I am really, really looking forward to going sailing. Last time I sailed anything was 2018 and I didn't step foot on a boat last year. I had lots of plans for this year, but then coronavirus came along and that was that. I think it is imperative that we get sailing again and get out and do the thing we love doing. This whole situation makes you appreciate how important sailing is to you."

"I've known Mark since the Worlds in Cowes in 1998. I coached Mark and Roni Peiper and they got third place. When Mark came back to Cowes two years ago they asked me to crew. The 5.5 Metre is one of my favourite boats, and one of the most fun keelboats there is. They are all so different but the racing is often really tight."

He has a long family connection with the class. "The class means a lot to me and my family. My grandmother sailed one right back at the beginning."

"My dad, Peter Shanks, won the Europeans in 1988 in Hanko sailing with Jonathan Jansen and Christen Horn Johanessen. I later did the 1997 Europeans in France sailing with my father."

"They are amazing boats and that's why I keep coming back. Whatever else you sail, you'll never sail a machine like the 5.5 Metre. They are so responsive to the individual, which you don't get on bigger boats."

One of the more notable additions to the fleet this year has been the Polish boat Aspire (POL 17). As yet they have been unable to line up against any other 5.5 Metres, but there is ample pedigree in the boat and the crew.

Mateusz Kusznierewicz takes up the story. "I really enjoy sailing small keel boats such as Star, Etchells, Dragon and now the 5.5 Metre. I heard good things about the 5.5 Metre class, and the way everyone enjoys sailing those boats, from Mark Holowesko, Markus Wieser, Flavio Marazzi and Christof Wilke. We teamed up with my friend Przemek Gacek and bought as co-owners, the 2018 World Champion boat New Moon."

"The 2020 Europeans in Sanremo will be our first regatta together. We are fortunate to have Simon Fry in our team. He is the current Dragon World Champion, a great sailor and good mate. This is our first season in the 5.5. We have set our goals for this and next year and we are proud to introduce a 5.5 Metre coming from Poland."

Racing in Sanremo begins on Tuesday 25 August with a series of nine races through to Saturday 29 August. Registration and measurement will take place over 23-24 August.

Related Articles

5.5 Metre Herbstpreis at Lake Thun overall
Marie-Françoise XXI secures the event title Marie-Françoise XXI (SUI 232, Jürg Menzi Jürgen Eiermann, Christof Wilke) won the 2020 Herbstpreis for 5.5 Metres at Thunersee YC on Sunday with a bullet in the first race of the day to win with a race to spare in the best conditions of the long weekend. Posted on 12 Oct
5.5 Metre Herbstpreis at Lake Thun day 2
Winter arrives on Thunersee Marie-Françoise XXI (SUI 232, Jürg Menzi Jürgen Eiermann, Christof Wilke) picked up a 2,1 on Day 2 of the 2020 Herbstpreis for 5.5 Metres at Thunersee YC on Saturday to consolidate their overnight lead. Posted on 11 Oct
5.5 Metre Herbstpreis at Lake Thun day 1
Marie-Françoise XXI leads in Switzerland The 2020 Herbstpreis for 5.5 Metres opened on Friday 9, October on Lake Thun in Switzerland with 12 crews enjoying a day of tight racing in light winds and under mainly blue skies. Posted on 10 Oct
5.5 Metre Europeans at Sanremo, Italy overall
Aspire secures the title with no racing possible on the final day Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemyslaw Gacek, Simon Fry) has won the 2020 5.5 Metre European Championship in Sanremo, Italy, after no races were possible on the final day of the event, Saturday. Posted on 29 Aug
5.5 Metre Europeans at Sanremo, Italy day 4
Aspire takes two bullets to lead Aspire (POL 17, Mateusz Kusznierewicz, Przemyslaw Gacek, Simon Fry) took the overall lead on the fourth day at the 5.5 Metre Europeans in Sanremo, Italy, after winning both late races in a light and patchy breeze. Posted on 28 Aug
5.5 Metre Europeans at Sanremo, Italy day 3
No wind stops play Lack of wind forced all racing to be abandoned on the third day of the 5.5 Metre Europeans in Sanremo, Italy. The sailors patiently waited all day in the searing heat, only to be sent home disappointed. Posted on 27 Aug
5.5 Metre Europeans at Sanremo, Italy day 2
Momo extends on glamour second day Sanremo turned everything on for Day 2 of the 5.5 Metre European Championship with 30 degrees and 10-14 knots for a glamour day on the water in these very glamorous boats. Posted on 27 Aug
5.5 Metre Europeans at Sanremo, Italy day 1
Kusznierewicz and Schön dominate opening day The 2020 5.5 Metre Europeans got underway on Tuesday in Sanremo, Italy, after a four-hour delay waiting for wind, but with two great races late in the afternoon in 7-10 knots of warm breeze and flat water. Posted on 26 Aug
Thunderstorm heralds 5.5 Metre Europeans opening
20 teams set for racing in Sanremo, Italy Short speeches, socially distant team tables and masked serving staff were the order of the day as the 5.5 Metre Europeans opened in Sanremo, Italy, with 20 teams ready to do battle when racing starts on Tuesday, 24 August. Posted on 25 Aug
5.5 Metre European Championship entry opens
A series of 10 races is scheduled at Yacht Club Sanremo The International 5.5 Metre Class Association and Yacht Club Sanremo are delighted to announce that entry is open for the 2020 European Championship in Sanremo, Italy. Posted on 16 Jun
Official-Team-Gear-Navy 728x90 BOTTOMZhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERCyclops Marine 2020 - FOOTER