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Lago Maggiore International RS Aero Regatta at Circolo Velico del Leone, Cannobio, Italy

by RS Aero International Class Association 3 Jun 00:57 PDT 17-19 May 2024

Lago Maggiore welcomed 42 RS Aeros from 8 nations this year, a new record as this RS Aero International Regatta continues to grow. This year saw a new venue across the lake at Cannobio which enjoys the same race area as the previous editions from Maccagno with the wind funnelling through the narrow part of Lago Maggiore. Cannobio is an exquisite town with a beautiful promenade, cobbled streets, abundant accommodation and weekly market stalls.

2024 marks the RS Aero Class' 10th year and the year's celebrations started at Cannobio. At our regatta dinner in the local hall we shared a wonderful 10th birthday cake as the eight competing nations came together.

The use of the robotic marks which are to be used at this summer's Olympics was a novelty for all and they appeared to work well. Race Juror, Emmet Dalton, travelled from Ireland to ensure fair racing and help educate the developing fleet on Jury process and the limits of RRS42.

A three day coaching clinic organised by the German Class took place in advance of the racing for those keen for some early season training and a whole week in the Italian mountains. Raffaele Ravaglia conducted the training with a mixture of on the water exercises, coached racing and theory sessions ashore with the 20 or so participants all benefiting from the experience.

Some rain prior to racing and 13 degrees was not the typical Italian welcome but it brightened up in time for our racing...

Day 1 - With Friday came better weather and racing started after lunch. Two races were achieved in a medium afternoon breeze that slowly faded away.

RS Aero 6 - The 6s were the largest fleet with 16 entered. Racing was tight but regularly out in front was last years RS Aero 6 Worlds bronze medallist, Sofiia Naumenko (UKR) of the Ukraine. Nana Rausch (GER) and Tiziano Arioli (ITA) took a 2nd each and Alexandra Struder (SUI) and Gregor Bauer (GER) took a 3rd each.

RS Aero 7s - The first race honours went to Marcus Walther (GER), closely followed by Juliane Barthel (GER) and in the second race of the afternoon, the French boat helmed by Tim Woodcock (FRA) was able to split the German duo with Juliane taking the win and Marcus in third.

RS Aero 9s - Two wins to Peter Barton (GBR), with Rolf Habegger (SUI) scoring both 2nds from Frank Hoogland (SUI) both 3rds.

Day 2 - After an early start a race was started in a reasonable breeze but it weakened with the race shortened to finish at the second windward mark before returning ashore for an early lunch. Despite a couple of valiant attempts in the afternoon, including a start, no more racing was completed that day.

Day 3 - Another early start saw two more races before lunch and one after.

RS Aero 6s - Sofiia completed a clean sweep of 1sts to take the win whilst Nana scored 2nds and 3rds for 2nd overall with Tiziano 3rd.

RS Aero 7s - The Swiss boats waited until the final Day to launch their assault on the top places. In the lighter winds, Heiko Maier (SUI) and Andreas Gerster (SUI) battled for the top spot and Heiko managed to take the lead by going right on the second beat. In the end, the Swiss boats retained the first two spots, with Juliane keeping consistently in the top pack, with her discard! In the 5th race, it was the Czech boat of Daniel Guryca (CZE) coming out on top taking the win. The last race of the afternoon, it was back to business as usual with Juliane leading the way and Marcus sneaking past Tim on the last downwind which marked the podium in the same way.

RS Aero 9s - Frank took a race win off Peter and Jon Mills (FRA) made a good comeback with two 2nds to move up to third overall to complete the RS Aero 9 podium.

Full results available here.

Overall it was a very enjoyable event in a splendid location at Cannobio, despite the testing conditions. The event showcased not only the athletes' talent but also the beauty and challenges of Lake Maggiore as a racing venue. Its waters, as captivating as they are unpredictable, provided a perfect setting for a high-level competition where every detail can make a difference.

In conclusion, the Lago Maggiore International RS Aero Regatta was a great success. The regatta celebrated the spirit of sailing and underscored the importance of international collaboration, between both competitors and race officials, offering a memorable spectacle off the Cannobio promenade for all fans of this fascinating sport.

The RS Aero International fleet now looks forward to the RS Aero European Championships at Carnac, France, from 21-24 June with 110 entries now from 14 nations!

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