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Open Skiff around the world

by Piotr from OBCA 3 Nov 2020 21:35 PST
O'pen Skiff from the land of the rising sun © Piotr

As 2020 began, there was a crowded schedule of O'pen Skiff events all-round the sailing world programmed for the new season, in one of the most dynamic classes for young sailors.

No one could have predicted that COVID-19 would have such a devastating effect on peoples' lives, or that it would so radically reduce the O'pen Skiff calendar, leading to the cancellation or postponement of almost all the schedule, nationally and internationally.

Despite the impossibility of international travel and mass gatherings, this hasn't brought everything to a total standstill though. On a local level O'pen Skiff sailing has continued, when and where possible, in schools and clubs, albeit with limits and restrictions on numbers of sailors, and with careful observance of the safety recommendations we are all having to follow: safe distancing, sanitising...

In the series of our local reports we look at how O'pen Skiff has functioned around the world.


O'pen Skiff is slowly but surely taking hold here, but we still only run one category of championships for now, U17. There are more boats on the water every year, but this year we had to think carefully about whether to run the event at all, in view of Covid. But in the end, we decided to go ahead, with reduced numbers of competitors to be able to ensure safe-distancing and respect for the situation.



The Tour started at Biscarrosse, south of Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast. The numbers of entrants was up once again, 65 young skippers enjoying two days of great racing. Big thanks to the local club in Biscarrosse for their great welcome and organisation, and to all the skippers and their entourages (family, coaches...) who helped them get there. It was a big plus for the local scene to have an official O'pen Skiff competition here.



Ten O'pen Skiff sailors travelled North to Chonburi in the gulf of Thailand to compete in the Thailand Dinghy Sailing Championship hosted by the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand in September. Over 200 mixed sailing dinghies in 19 classes competed in quite light conditions over the 3 day event. For most of the skiff sailors aged 10-15 this was their first taste of competitive sailing and they all did exceptionally well to complete the full compliment of 12 races.

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Despite that disappointment and Covid restrictions, we have been able to run our Italian National Championships, with three rounds of competition, at Arco (Lake Garda), at Ostia on the Mediterranean coast near Rome, and finally Rimini on the Adriatic, with a variety of water and wind conditions to test the competitors' full range of skills. We have 3 categories of O'pen Skiff competition: U17, U13, plus a special category for our youngest future skippers, that we call PRIME.


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