EUROPEAN OPTIMIST CHAMPIONSHIP
Lignano Sabbiadoro, ITALY
June 30 to July 8
Dispite of tricky wind conditions throughout this championship, 9 high quality races were run for all fleets. This championship saw a record breaking 33 European nations attending. Additional nations from 2011 were Cyprus, Estonia, FYRO Macedonia, Malta, Roumania and Serbia.
On the last day, there was just one race for the boys and the against the ticking clock, approaching the last warning signal deadline of 3pm, the race committee, with just 10 minutes to go,were able to send both the girls fleets for their 2nd race of the day and 9th in the regatta.
The final race for the boys decided the podium places and provided a real nail biting finish. The difference between Ryan Kwok (SIN) and Stijn Paardekooper (NED) was only 1 point, with Stijn leading. During the final run, both sailors were sailing side by side heading for an exciting finish. Stijn however was protested by the Jury for a rule 42 infringement and got an yellow flag and made a two turns penalty turn. This looked like costing him the titl,e as Ryan was now sailing two positions ahead of him. This order remained as they crossed the finishing line. Unknown to Ryan he was over the line at the start which effectively gave the title to Stijn.
The price giving ceremony was held later that evening under the Lignano pine trees. It was a great regatta, enjoyed by sailors, volunteers and supporters.
Girls results (Open) : 1st Fathin Rasyiqin Bte Mohd Firdaus (SIN), 2nd Mara Turin (SLO), 3rd Francesca Bergamo (ITA)
Boys results (Open): 1st Stijn Paardekooper (NED), 2nd Maor Abu (ISR), 3rd David Lucan (AUT)
Team results: 1st Spain, 2nd Italy, 3rd Netherlands
The first 16 teams qualify for the European Team Racing Championship in Ledro this August. The other 13 teams are: Slovenia, Austria, UK, Switzerland, Israel, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Sweden, Poland, Belgium, Norway and Russia.
Today there were just 2 races for the girls and 1 for the boys. This was enough for Mara Turin of Slovenia to secure the title of European Girl Champion ahead of last years winner Francesca Bergamo of Italy.
The new boys champion is Stijn Paardekooper from the Netherlands.
Tomorrow we will have more news from the prize giving and details of the teams that have qualified for the European Team Racing Championship to be held in Ledro, Italy, at the end of August.
Congratulations to everyone and a big thank you to the organisers and many volunteers for a job well done.
The morning saw no wind at all, and the air was hot and humid. The RC had to display AP, which was still displayed when a storm system reached Lignano, the wind shifted 270 degrees and started blowing from shore at 40 knots. At 1600, AP over A was displayed announcing no races for the day.
Sailors didn't waste time while waiting for the RC decision and the usual T-shirt trade began, while some sailors signed minisails with names and contact info of new friends.
Races started according to schedule and sailors enjoyed another sunny day with 7 to 9 knots of steady thermal wind. Two races were completed for boys and girls. The race committee had planned to run a third race for the girls, so that they could catch up with the boys, but no sooner had the yellow fleet started than the wind dropped to 3 knots and shifted 30 degrees. In the end, AP over A were displayed and the girls went back to shore as well.
The leaderboard of the boys fleet saw some changes after the day's races, with Stijn Paardekoper (NED) now leading the fleet one point ahead of Ryan Kwok from Singapore. The gap is bigger between Ryan and Antonio López (ESP), third overall, nine points below Ryan.
Mara Turin from Slovenia is still the leader of her fleet, followed closely by local Francesca Bergamo, last year's Champion.
Today, boat launching was postponed by 1 hour due to light winds. FInally the girls yellow fleet was released. However the wind kept steady at around 4 knots and AP was hoisted. The other fleets remained ashore but at around 2 pm the thermal wind increased to 6-7 knots and racing was started, much to the relief of everyone.
The race committee managed 3 races for all fleets in the light but steady thermal wind. The current was not as strong and the race committee could make several starts with the P-flag, leaving black flag aside.
The boys have now completed 6 races and the first and last discard is in effect. The leader board is very close with just 4 points between the top four sailors, Maor Abu from Israel leading by just one point.
The girls fleet have now sailed 5 races, Mara Turin from Slovenia now has a 9 point lead.
The sailors had a very good sailing day today in glorious Italian sunshine.
Another warm day today, but cooler than yesterday
Eight knots from the South allowed for the completion of 3 races for all fleets except the girls yellow. Having sailed four races Tas Kolman from Slovenia is leading the boys fleet, followed closely by Stijn Paardekoper (NED) and Andrea Orlando (ITA). Among the girls, and taking into account the scores of the first three races, Giulia Sarti from Italy leads with an advantage of 3 points over Mara Turin from Slovenia.
Unfortunately there were many sailors penalised with a DPI (discretionary penalty -the Jury can choose the number of points to be added to a sailor's score-) after they had badly sailed outside of the waiting area boundaries while waiting for their own start.
A difficult day is expected tomorrow. With two more races in the boys fleet and three in the girls, the single discard in the series becomes effective so positions may vary significantly.
Sailors arrive ashore after a very long, hot day on the water
Three races were scheduled for today but only one was completed for the three boy fleets and the yellow girl fleet. The blue fleet will sail their race tomorrow. The weather had been very hot and today was no exception. The wind came up late, forcing the RC to postpone the start of the races till 1400.
The Championship was officially inaugurated yesterday at the Opening Ceremony. Sailors marched through the main street of Lignano Sabbiadoro, led by the brass band Circolo Musicale Sabbiadoro. At the market square the Mayor and the Sport minister of the city welcomed the sailor, and the Vice President of IODA Mr Juhani Soini gave the opening speech that marked the beginning of the event.
The main street of Lignano crowded with opti sailors
The brass band leading the delegations
The Practice Race had been scheduled for earlier in the day but was not sailed due to lack of wind.
Starting in 4 days, the venue of the European Championship is already bustling with activity: sailors tuning their boats, coaches and team leaders giving instructions, new friends being made and old ones met.
Turkey were the first delegation to arrive at the Centro Velico Alto Adriatico in Lignano Sabbiadoro, followed by Singapore, Denmark, the Netherlands and Hungary. They are only 5 of the 46 countries registered totalling 263 sailors!! (Click here for the entry list)
Measurement for early arrivals underway
The weather has not been very welcoming: humid, some rain and low wind, but everybody expects it to change for the coming week.
For frequent updates on the championship, please visit:
IODA Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/optiworld
Organisers' blog: http://optieuro2012.blogspot.com/
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