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  • Jul 11, 2011
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IODA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Tavira, Portugal

July 2 to 10

July 11

What a fantastic championship. Tavira Sailing and the Club Nautico de Tavira were generous hosts, the wind conditions permitted the full 12 race schedule to be completed and all were sad to see the competition draw to an end.

Despite the first places in both the Boys and Girls fleets being decided before going into the final race, the competition was still fierce with the other podium positions wide open. The race committee had another difficult day with the sailors determined to remain above the line and once again the black flag was used.

The closing ceremony, held at the event hotel, provided an opportunity to celebrate the event with pictures and videos displayed on large screens on the stage. It was also a time for the swopping of team shirts and exchanging contact details with the many new friends made.

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From left to right: 2nd. Maria Caba - Spain, 1st. Francesca Bergamo - Italy, 3rd. Silvia Mas - Spain Photo © Capizzano.com

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From left to right: 2nd. Luigi Michelini - Italy, 1st. Luis Cabrera - Spain, 3rd. Arthur Fortune - France Photo © Capizzano.com

At the end of the ceremony the Portuguese team passed the IODA flag to the Italian team - the Championships in 2012 will be in Lignano Sabbiadoro, ITALY.

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Photo © Capizzano.com

The tracking replays of all races can be viewed HERE

| Results Girls | Results Boys |


July 9

We have two new champions: Francesca Bergamo, Italy and Luis Cabrera, Spain.


Interview with IODA Girls European Champion 2011, Francesca Bergamo


July 8

The podium positions in this championship are still very open, especially in the Girls fleet. Two races completed today would permit a second discard and with just one race tomorrow the nerves were beginning to show when the race committee attempted to start race 10. Race 10B Boys proved particularly difficult and the resulting 25 sailors who were black flagged had to wait, while the remaining 39 sailors sailed the course. The results for the leading girls in race 10 were disappointing, all except for Francesca Bergamo (ITA), who posted a 2nd and is looking very strong now for a podium place.

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Busy start line Photo © Capizzano.com

So after two races today, Luis Cabrera (ESP), remains in first place despite a thirteenth and a disappointing 19th in race 11 and he leads Nikolaos Patelis (GRE) by nearly twenty points. Konstantinos Oikonomidis who had been challenging for the lead, had a penalty for a breach of rule 42 and must carry 67 points, which unfortunately cannot be discarded. Luigi Michelini, Italy, had two good results and is now third and Peter McCann, Ireland, also scored well and is in fourth.

In the Girls fleet, with the exception of Francesca Bergamo, the top five sailors all had an inconsistent day - one good result and one poor one. Francesca now leads by eleven points and her worst result after two discards is an incredible third - she is by far the most consistent sailor at this championship. In second is Nikol Stankova (CZE) and third is Maria Caba (ESP) - these two will have a battle for the silver medal.

There is just one race tomorrow and there will be two new champions for 2011.


View from the Measurement Boat

The live tracking continues and races can be viewed HERE

| Results Girls | Results Boys |


July 7

Today there were two more races but with much more challenging conditions than we have seen so far. The first race started in about 10 knots but the fleet refused to stay behind the line and finally the black flag was used to get the fleet away. The second race saw the breeze increase a little to 13 knots but then the wind began to shift - to the right for the girls who had started first and then to the left for the boys. On the outer loop the wind dropped to 6 knots and with a strong contra current, the boats began to make very little headway to the finish. This final race took more than 60 minutes for the boys.

It was a difficult day for both the race committee and the sailors. Despite this, Luis Cabrera, Spain was first in both of his races, a remarkable result in these difficult conditions. Francesca Bergamo, Italy, who was twentieth last year in Poland, is now leading from Maria Caba (ESP) in second with Nikol Stankova (CZE), the leader from yesterday, now in third.

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Francesca Bergamo (ITA) chasing Vilma Bobeck (SWE) Photo © Capizzano.com

Social networking within the Optimist class is now common with teams 'blogging' their event travels to friends and family. Today we feature three of them - USA, GBR, KEN and SUI. They provide a great insight into both the activities of the sailors and the amount of organisation required by coaches and team leaders. In many cases they are also a very original take on the country they are visiting........read and enjoy.

USA Blog

GBR Blog

KEN Blog

SUI Blog

The live tracking continued today and there have been more than 52,000 hits so far. A new feature this year is the mobile phone application which displays mark roundings for each race. Races can be viewed HERE

Tomorrow there will be two more races.

| Results Girls | Results Boys |


July 6

Today the race committee were hoping to run 3 races. This morning the wind was quite light and the boats were briefly held ashore but very soon the breeze began to build and by the time the boats had sailed out to the course there was a steady breeze of 10-11 knots. The conditions could not have been better and despite some delays in the start for race 5A Boys, the hoped for 3 races were completed. Gradually during the day the breeze built to over 15 knots for race 7. In the words of the IODA PRO, Alen Kustic, "the sailors were anxious for good results today" and this resulted in some OCS results, including one for Konstantinos Oikonomidis (GRE) who was trying to improve on his third place of yesterday.

After six races the sailors may discard their worst series score, so with seven races now completed the discard has resulted in some significant changes in the overall results. In the Boys fleet, Peter McCann from Ireland is now leading after posting three top six finishes and discarding a 44th from yesterday. This is a great effort from Peter and one that Royal Cork, his home club will be watching closely on the live tracking over the next few days. Ireland have not been on the podium at any IODA event since 1981 so this could be a great boost to Optimist sailing in Cork.

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Peter McCann (IRL) Photo © Capizzano.com

In the Girls fleet, the surprise of the regatta is Nikol Stankova from Czech Republic. Today she posted two firsts and a second to make a total of four race wins. This is a remarkable achievement from a young girl who has not won an international regatta race before this championship and who seems to be enjoying the hot sunny, moderate wind conditions here in Tavira. Czech Republic are one of our smallest members and they have never had a podium position at an IODA Championship, or even won a race so we are particularly pleased to see Nikol doing so well.

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Nikol Stankova (CZE) Photo © Capizzano.com

The live tracking continued today and there have been more than 52,000 hits so far. A new feature this year is the mobile phone application which displays mark roundings for each race. Races can be viewed HERE

Tomorrow there will be two more races.

| Results Girls | Results Boys |


July 5

Racing continued today with another 2 races for all 8 divisions. The conditions were similar to yesterday, blue skies and high temperatures. Race three was started in about 10-12 knots which gradually dropped during the day to 8 knots. The wind was shifty at times which caught some sailors out as the results show, with many sailors, including the reigning European Champion, Konstantinos Oikonomidis (GRE) who posted a 28th in race three while his other worst result is a third.

In the Boys fleet, just like the Europeans last year in Poland, the top of the fleet is dominated by Greek sailors with Patelis Nikolaos in first, Zamit Loukianos second and Konstantinos Oikonomidis in third.

The Girls fleet remains close with remarkable consistency in the top ten. Maria Caba (ESP) and Francesca Bergamo (ITA) remain tied in first place. These two are in different divisions but when they met in race three, Francesca finished second with Maria posting a sixth. This is developing into a close and exciting battle.

This Continental Championship is the biggest in the IODA calendar and this year it has attracted 28 European members, some of whom have small fleets who are rarely able to attend such large regattas. It was excellent today to see a sailor from one such member country achieve a race win. Emile Mazeikaite from Lithuania, won race 3 in the Girls fleet, the first time that a sailor from Lithuania has won a race at an IODA Continental Championship, a fantastic achievement.

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Emile Mazeikaite (LTU) Photo © Capizzano.com

The live tracking continued today and continues to be popular. A new feature this year is the mobile phone application which displays mark roundings for each race. Races can be viewed HERE

Tomorrow there may be up to three races, so a long day for the sailors in the hot conditions here in Tavira.

| Results Girls | Results Boys |


July 4

The 225 sailors from 37 countries were eager to launch today for the first race of the Championship. The wind was off shore, not the prevailing direction but conditions were perfect for the two races today for each of the 8 divisions. The first race 10-12 knots saw most of the fleet going right to make the most of the current. The wind gradually increased so that the second race averaged 15-16 knots. This time some of the fleet went left, a tactic which was beneficial to many.

The reigning European Champion, Konstantinos Oikonomidis (GRE), had a great day today posting a first and a second. He is leading the Boys fleet from Matteo Pilati (ITA) and Peter McCain (IRL) in third. In the Girls fleet, the early leaders are Maria Caba (ESP) and Francesca Bergamo (ITA).

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Photo © Capizzano.com

Many parents and spectators were able to follow the races using the event tracking, a facility that was last used at the IODA South Americans in Chile.

Races can be viewed HERE

Tomorrow there are 2 more races planned and we hope for similar conditions.


July 3

The opening ceremony last night saw the teams parade through the streets of Tavira with speeches of welcome in the ancient market square. Many teams have been here for several days now, training, completing measurement and generally preparing for the championships.

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