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EurILCA Europa Cup Italy at Punta Ala

by Centro Velico Punta Ala 5 May 22:02 PDT 2-5 May 2024

Sunday marked the successful conclusion of the EurILCA Europa Cup Punta Ala 2024, a four-day international sailing event characterized by sport and fun at the host venue: PuntAla Camp&Resort.

The event saw 553 sailors from 29 different nations lining the shores of Maremma, predominantly young athletes aged 14 and up, all eager to launch their ILCA class boats into the beautiful Tuscan sea of the Gulf of Follonica.

However, the sea conditions were not immediately favourable for entering the water, leading to all athletes staying ashore on the first day. It was too risky for the Regatta Committee to launch and retrieve fleets with such a significant number of boats, opting instead to wait.

The waiting time, though, was far from boring, thanks to numerous leisure activities provided by PuntAla Camp&Resort and the youthful spirit of the competitors. The venue transformed into what seemed like a genuine holiday village, complete with music and games in true vacation-with-friends style.

From the second day onwards, the competition really kicked off with a strong Mistral blowing from the early hours of the morning. The more experienced sailors in the Olympic categories ILCA7 and ILCA6 women, after a tense wait for the Delta flag until early afternoon, finally got the green light from the Regatta Committee to race in over 25 knots of wind and waves reaching up to 1.5 meters in open sea.

"Launching and retrieving the boat from a beach under these conditions is a procedure that requires some experience. Choosing the exact spot on the shoreline, timing the waves, and calculating the right tacks to take advantage of the right moment are all aspects of personal growth for the athlete to be competitive under all conditions. I believe that for many of the young participants, even just watching the start of the older athletes could have been a useful and educational experience," stated Michele Tognozzi, an expert coach from Club Velico Castiglione della Pescaia.

The stretch of sea between the Gulf of Follonica and Elba Island proved to be an ideal spot for sailors who, once in open waters, could navigate in both strong and light wind conditions ranging from 5 to 10 knots, which characterized the third and fourth days of the regatta allowing all fleets, including ILCA4, to compete. In total, the ILCA7 and ILCA6 women classes completed 7 races while the ILCA6 men and ILCA4 completed 5. The physical and fast-paced nature of the first races was followed by more tactical races requiring greater sensitivity and interpretation.

"As the Punta Ala Sailing Center, we are very pleased with these four days of racing, an event we eagerly anticipated and embraced with a spirit of challenge, in line with the sporting vocation of the hosting PuntAla Camp&Resort. We sincerely hope the competitors will visit us again soon to enjoy our sea and facilities for training, but now it is time for the entire team to focus on the upcoming major events: the Finn World Master Championship from June 7-14 and the A-Cat World Championship from September 7-14, 2024," declared Maria Luisa Cionini, events manager at Camp PuntAla Camp&Resort and secretary of the Punta Ala Sailing Center.

After 7 races for ILCA7 and ILCA6 women and 6 races for ILCA 6 men and ILCA 4, the winners of the different classes are as follows:

1. Theo Peyre FRA 36pts
2. Cesare Barabino ITA 41pts
3. Attilio Borio ITA 48pts

ILCA 6 Women
1. Matvi Emma ITA 16pts
2. Voutilainen Vanessa FIN 50pts
3. Rizzardi Carlotta ITA 57pts

ILCA 6 Men
1. Luzzi Francesco ITA 5pts
2. Raison Ulysse SUI 8pts
3. Cittadini Federico ITA 14pts

ILCA 4 Women
1. Lorenzi Clara ITA 7pts
2. Micieli Lucrezia ITA 20pts
3. Alujevic Antea CRO 22pts

ILCA 4 Men
1. Tesser Francesco ITA 7pts
2. Ghirotti Lorenzo ITA 11pts
3. Stabile Francesco ITA 13pts

Full results can be found here.

The Punta Ala Sailing Center wishes to thank the municipalities of Scarlino and Castiglione della Pescaia, as well as technical partners Devoti Sailing, Negrinautica, and Decathlon Grosseto for their collaboration and support in organizing the event. For logistical support, thanks also go to PuntAla Camp&Resort and the entire team, including the Beach Bar Punta Ala and Isolotto Caffè & Restaurant, which played a key role in welcoming everyone involved, along with numerous local associations, including the Yachting Club Isole di Toscana, Club Velico Castiglione della Pescaia, Lega Navale di Follonica, Club Nautico di Follonica, and Yacht Club Punta Ala.

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