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WASZP European Games at the Ecole Nationale de Voile et des Sports Nautiques - Overall

by Marc Ablett 24 Jul 2023 00:24 PDT 17-23 July 2023

An incredible five days of WASZP action came to a head on the beautiful waters of Quiberon, with four races completed creating a seventeen race series. It has to go down as one of the most spectacular foiling events in recent memory.

Not only was it spectacular, but the nature of the one-design WASZP class created another incredible finish to a major championship, after 16 races and with 1 race to go, there were 8 sailors who were in contention for the overall championship. It all came down to the final race and the pressure was intense across the fleet, however, the coolness of the Norwegian talent factory product Markus Berthet produced one of the most stunning all the way victories under incredible pressure.

Berthet started the event inconspicuously and was sitting outside the top 10 after the first day of racing. However, halfway through day 2, everything started to click for the young Norwegian, who had spent 12 months preparing for the event, spending a summer in Australia. Berthet then went on an incredible run of 3 bullets in a row, including the first 2 races of Gold Fleet racing to really stamp his authority. It was a real underdog come from behind story and one you could hardly script for a movie.

In second place overall Magnus Overbeck, sailed an incredibly consistent regatta having never been off the podium for the whole event, he went into the last race with a slender lead, however an 8th in the final race was enough to push him back to 2nd. However, it is another tick of approval for the development in the Scandinavian countries, with the young sailor coming from the Royal Danish Yacht Club WASZP program, which is linked to the Danish SailGP team. Magnus also took out the Youth Championship (O18-U21) and certainly showed that the future is extremely bright in Denmark.

In 3rd place, Ettore Botticini followed up his Slalom victory with a podium finish at the Europeans. Botticini is a class act and is never far away from the top of the leaderboard. Such was the incredible nature of the final day. Germany's Caspar Inglenstein, who had been in podium position all series, finished 8th overall, with several sailors jumping up the leaderboard to put themselves in contention. This was an incredible effort by the young German who was also the first Junior overall (U18), not many would of known about Caspar heading into the event, but they certainly know about him now!

In the battle for the women's championship, Hattie Rogers stamped her authority on the 28 strong fleet with a fantastic final day of Gold fleet racing. Rogers finished 32nd overall and finished the event with 3 top 20 results in her final 3 races. No doubt Hattie is destined for great things and we wish her luck with her quest to helm the Youth/Women's GBR America's Cup team. The Youth & Women's America's Cup is looking like a battle of the WASZP sailors and this event could provide a significant form guide heading into the AC in 2024.

In second place in the women's event was Hedvig Doksrod, following in the footsteps of her sister Nora, Hedvig is still so young and has an incredibly bright future. As the event wore on, there is no doubt that the more experienced and battle hardened sailors were able to stay consistent. However, there is no doubt Hedvig is going to be a force to be reckoned with moving forward.

The 6.9m division was hotly contested, however, Italian sailor Leonardo Centuori displayed his prowess by clinching the victory in the 6.9 category. Additionally, Rebecca Geiger shone in the 6.9 women's category, while Tomasso, Leonardo's younger brother, emerged triumphant in the U16 category within the 6.9 class. These victories showcased the diversity and depth of talent across various age groups. Some future stars in the 8.2m division no doubt.

In the super-masters, Jervis Tilly and Mikel Vazquez had been trading places all week and engaged in a nail-biting battle. Their tight contest added to the excitement of the event, with Tilly being able to clinch the victory in the final race. Like everything WASZP, it always seems to come down to the final race. This was a special win for Tilly as he looks toward the International WASZP Games in his home country of Australia. There is a strong Master and super-master contingent in Australia and we will be welcoming a lot of competition in this division.

In the Masters division Emmanuele Savoini finished 17th overall to claim the masters championship. A quality performance from this class stalwart. Savoini and his brother Enzio have been fantastic contributors over the last 4 years to the WASZP class, attending as many events as possible and always pushing the limits. The Italians went 1 and 2 in the Masters with Giovanni Bonzio taking out 2nd place while, Dingo Canuto from Argentina finished 3rd and also won the social media influencer of the event award with his detailed blow-by-blow descriptions of the event.

Overall results can be found here.

At the end of this event, all we can say is the WASZP Class continues to go from strength to strength, thank you to everyone who contributed to the event. The French WASZP Association and Manu Guedon for bringing us to this beautiful location and Martin Evans as the class manager who again was on-site to continue to troubleshoot and run a high-quality event that WASZP is renowned for.

We now look forward to future events with anticipation. At the end of this year the International WASZP Games will be held in Sorrento, Australia. A huge local fleet will be complimented by a strong overseas contingent in another bucket list foiling location.

Next March 23-31st (2024) we will head to Hawaii, again following the WASZP MO of heading to the best venues for foiling in the world. The Americas Championships will be an incredible special event, tied together with the US Nationals, we are expecting a seriously good fleet with the significant growth in the North American WASZP fleet as it looks to bring it's standard up to the European Countries and AUS/NZ.

Then in August 2024, we head to the Norwegian talent factory of Sandefjord Seilforeng, next years Europeans in Norway will be reward for several years supporting the class and it will be an event you simply would not want to miss. Spectacular scenery, amazing hospitality and a foiling venue like no other.

For the WASZP Class this is just the beginning, we are now 6 years into our journey and it has been incredible. With huge fleets, quality sailors and a culture that is the envy of the sailing world. Thank you to everyone who has been part of the journey so far and we can't wait to welcome more sailors, more fun and more events moving forward!

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