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Cyclops Marine 2023 November - LEADERBOARD

European Windsurfer Championships 2024 at Circolo Surf Torbole - Overall

by Elena Giolai 19 Jun 03:32 PDT 11-16 June 2024

Despite very variable weather in northern Italy and on Garda Trentino, the European Championships of the historic one-design class Windsurfer concluded with a good number of races and in a variety of conditions: with light, medium-strong, southerly and northerly winds.

More than 200 competitors from 15 countries (including South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan and Singapore) came to Circolo Surf Torbole for a regatta that, while sportingly assigning hard-fought continental titles, socially was a return to the past with many ex-champions who found themselves racing again.

Garda was coloured with neon sails and every exit into the water from the Circolo Surf Torbole premises was a real scenic spectacle. Three disciplines were contested: Long distance/marathon race, slalom and nine course races, which gave everyone the chance to express their skills.

There were five categories according to gender and weight: all of them were very hard-fought, but particularly the women's and middle-light categories. Italy, France and Holland were the nations with the most athletes on the podium.

"It was a hard-fought Championship and it was great to once again host the Windsurfer class racers, having organised the first official Worlds of the new Windsurfer LT era in 2019, following renewed recognition by World Sailing. Everything went well both on the water and on land, where we organised the official Championship dinner with almost 300 guests, just a few metres from the lake, in a setting that remains unique.

"I would like to thank all the staff of the Club, but also the Race Officials of the Italian Sailing Federation and World Sailing as the international jury, who managed to get so many races completed by the large fleet divided into five groups, with as many separate starts for each race," commented Circolo Surf Torbole President Armando Bronzetti at the end of the event.

Course Race

France's Nicolas Mallaret (light category), Italy's Marco Casagrande (medium-light category), France's Cyril Dardashti (medium-heavy category) and Frederic Gautier (heavy category) and Italy's Bruna Ferracane are the winners of the course race discipline and the new European class champions. Benedetta Barone and Federico Longo are the two youngest racers (juniors), respectively eighth and fifteenth overall.

Overall

The overall ranking, which in different percentages takes into account the three disciplines course race, slalom and long distance, sees the same course race winners in first place, while the other podium positions have changed slightly.

An all-Tricolour podium in the medium-lightweight with Casagrande, Catalano and Torzoni in that order. The first Olympic gold medallist in the history of windsurfing Stephan Van Den Berg (Los Angeles 1984 with a WInglider board and without the use of the trapeze and therefore totally reliant on arm strength) won the overall Legend category; Dutchman Hendrikx the Youth one and Benedetta Barone the Junior one.

USA's Mark Powell was first among the SuperLegend: a highly respectable victory considering his 84 years of age, along with the entire category podium with Vincenzo Vazzana and Joe Chua (Singapore) second and third, with birth dates before 1957.

Slalom

In the Slalom contest between the second and third day of racing, Nicolas Mallaret, Marco Casagrande, Paco Cottone, Frederic Gautier and Finland's Aleksandra Blinnikka won after a long series of hits on a particularly articulated course with upwind and downwind slaloms.

Long Distance

Alessandro Minei, SIlvio Catalano, Cyril Dardashti, and Frederic Gautiere Bruna Ferracane won the Long Distance, a regatta of approximately one and a half hours held on the first day of the event, with a spectacular single start for all categories: 203 sails on the water, which were gradually spread across the northern Trentino shore of Lake Garda.

Garda is to host (from 13 to 20 July) the World Youth Sailing Championships for the first time in Italy. Circolo Surf Torbole will be the base for the iQFoil, both youth and senior Olympic boards, with the best riders on the planet involved in the most important event of the season.

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