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OpenSkiff Eurochallenge at Circolo Vela Arco - Day 1

by Elena Giolai 6 Apr 18:55 PDT

Top international positions with Italy, New Zealand, Great Britain, Poland, and Ireland leading in the various classes and categories

The weather did not betray us, and the first regatta organised by Circolo Vela Arco in this start of the season got off to the best possible start. On Friday 5 April, Garda Trentino welcomed the almost 200 sailors in the FIV "Open Skiff" youth class and the forty or so sailors in the RS Aero class, with warm sunshine and a perfect wind for racing in this early part of the season, with an intensity that never went beyond 12-13 knots.

Open Skiffs arrived from 10 nations to contest the first stage of the Eurochallenge, an itinerant circuit that, after a few years of forced stop, has resumed with vigour, considering the large numbers present on Lake Garda.

On the other hand, the regatta organised by Circolo Vela Arco by delegation of the Italian Sailing Federation and in collaboration with the Italian and international Open Skiff class is an excellent opportunity to test the race course (and the entire organisational machine), which will host the World Championships of the class from 28 July to 2 August. And it was a spectacle to see 130 OpenSkiffs (for the under-15 and 17 categories) on the same, very long, starting line. After the start of each single race, they sailed compactly between the race course bordered by electric buoys, which for the first time were also flanked by one of the all-electric assistance dinghies, officially presented a few days ago.

At the same time as the Open Skiffs, the RS Aero were also involved, for the first International regatta organised in Italy: for this very young class, too, there was an excellent turnout, with Lake Garda attracting foreign sailing enthusiasts, guaranteeing profitable training/racing trips due to the almost mathematical presence of wind. In the first two days of racing the balance is 6 races for the RS Aero and 5 for the Open Skiff; Sunday 7 April the conclusion.

RS Aero

The fleet, divided into the three categories with different size sails RS Aero 5, 6 and 7, continues with the leaders of the provisional ranking fairly defined, but the podium zone scores remain close. The RS Aero 5 category is dominated by the Italians, with Sardinian Francesca Ramazzotti (Veliamoci, Oristano) leading the way; second, and first under 17, is Enrico Loi (LNI Cagliari). In the RS Aero 6, a very short classification between the first three: in the lead is the Irishman Van Maanen, one point ahead of Cagliari's Elias Nonnis (Lega Navale Cagliari), first Under 22. There was also a good fight between the first two positions in the larger RSAero 7s: in the lead is Britain's Nick Graig with just 2 points ahead of Sardinia's Filippo Vincis (Lega Navale Sulcis), a little less brilliant in the last two races today.

OpenSkiff Under 12

Top ten characterised by Italian and Polish athletes among the youngest under-12s, with the top three being Italians Samuele Piantoni, Fabio Serra and Gabriele Lizzulli in that order, followed by two Poles. Competing for the female leadership are Bianca Gorgerino and Virna Di Gerlando, just one point behind.

OpenSkiff Under 15

Decidedly international firsts among the largest fleet, the under-15s, with New Zealand's Ewan Brazle in the lead, who with today's fourth race was able to insert the discard of the disqualification in race 3 and with the remaining four firsts is clearly in the lead with 8 points ahead of Poland's Paulina Szczepa. Third is Frenchman Gavinet, while Gianluca Pilia comes in as the first of the Italians, in fourth place, two points off the podium.

OpenSkiff Under 17

Poland again among the under-17 leaders with Hubert Staron, ahead of Italy's Federico Poli and India's Anandi Chandavarkar.

Sunday will be the last day of racing of this three-day event dedicated to sport, friendship and fun, values that both the OpenSkiff and RS Aero classes put to the fore.

OpenSkiff Eurochallenge results available here.

RS Aero results available here.

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