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Record number of participants for the first Italian National Open Skiff Regatta

by Elena Giolai 15 Mar 05:36 PDT 17-19 March 2023
Italian National Open Skiff Regatta © Elena Giolai

Good news for youth sailing, for the Open Skiff class and for the city of Taranto: pre-registrations for the first national regatta of the 2023 season, which will start on Friday 17 March, have exceeded 120 skippers, something that has never happened in the very first regatta of the season or in any single ranking regatta.

At the moment, 29 under 12, 77 under 15 and 17 under 17s are registered, the latter category being grouped into the new under 16 from next year. Massive transfers for the Club Nautico Rimini and the Circolo Velico Sferracavallo (Palermo), clubs that are bringing as many as 13 kids-e each.

There was also excellent participation from Sardinia with 19 athletes in all (compared to 18 from Sicily with, in addition to CV Sferracavallo, also Vento di Tramontana asd, which has five helmsmen), with Windsurfing Club Cagliari (10), LNI del Sulcis (6), Veliamoci, LNI Cagliari, and CN Arbatax (1 each) representing the Sardinia Zone.

There was an excellent response from all the Apulian clubs, with the leader Circolo Velico Azimuth with 10 athletes and the others from the VIII FIV Zone totalling 26 participants, including Lega Navale di Taranto, Ondabuena Academy and CN L'Approdo (Lecce). There are also representatives from Tuscany, Marche, and Campania, who are doing an excellent job.

This start of the season will also be interesting from a technical point of view because of the experimentation advocated by the Italian Sailing Federation, concerning rule 18 'space at the buoy', which will be introduced into the Racing Rules in the next four years; the Open Skiff Class, having adopted the arbitration with the immediate discussion of protests on the water, has thus been chosen to test this rule, already explained in the first months of the year both during the instructors' course promoted by the Italian Open Skiff Class, and at the national "TIOS" (Top Italian Open Skiff) meeting, attended by the best helmsmen of last season.

"The Italian Open Skiff Class," its president Guido Sirolli tells us, "has been demonstrating great vitality this year ever since its first national meeting in Taranto. Now that the new 3.5m rig designed for the under-12s is widespread among our very young skippers, we are confident that by the end of the season we will have over 100 entries in this category!"

The city of Taranto is ready to welcome this youth sailing event, organised under the patronage of the Municipality of Taranto and thanks to the synergy and cooperation on land and in the water of several associations: with the Circolo Velico Azimuth, the Sailing Section of the Italian Navy, Ondabuena Academy, Sporting Club M. di Pulsano, Centro Velico Alto Jonio, and the Lega Navale Italiana section of Taranto are participating. The programme envisages three days of racing and 10 races in all (a maximum of four races per day, or five in the event of a delay in the programme), with the first start possible at 12 noon on Friday 17, and the next two at 11 a.m. and 10 a.m.

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