European season begins
The exceptionally cold Easter weekend in Europe had a severe effect on racing at the three events which traditionally comprise the “Easter migration” of Optimist sailors in Europe.
At the vast Meeting on Lake Garda only six races could be completed. A new record number of participants of 1,127 was recorded, of which all but 12 finished at least one race. The eventual winner of the Under-16 division (852 sailors) was Alexandra Stalder from Bardolino on the southern end of the lake. She is the first Italian and first female winner since Cecilia Zorzi in 2009. Second was Max Clapp (GBR) from the Royal Southern Y.C. and third Aslan Yucehan from Turgulreis in southern Turkey. The Under-12 “Cadetti” was won by Jakub Golebuiweski from the Mos Ilawa Club in Poland.
At Portoroz, some 220km to the east in Slovenia, conditions were even worse and only three races could be completed for the 394 sailors entered. The winner was Tin Gmitrovic of Croatia.
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Further north on the Brassemermeer in Holland they even had to break the ice to get afloat at the Magic Marine Easter Regatta. Some potential participants may have read the weather forecast as there were only 209 entrants as against the 270 permitted. Unlike the other two events racing continues on Monday 1 April. Six races have so far been sailed and the current leader is last year’s European champion Stijn Paardekooper (NED).
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