News Two Young Heroes at the 41st Garda Meeting!

Two Young Heroes at the 41st Garda Meeting!

Last weekend, the 41st Garda Meeting Optimist took place whereby 1200 sailors from across Europe and Internationally participated in the legendary Optimist event held each year over the Easter Weekend. 

However, with this number of sailors both on and off the water, it is important for all sailors and support personnel to remember the first item of the IODA Code of Conduct  which is always to “Consider the welfare and safety of all sailors before, during and after the event"

Below is a story of two young Optimist sailors from Germany, Julia von Geyr (10 years) from Lower Saxony and Nele Krause (11 years) from Schleswig-Holstein who exemplified the first code of conduct at the 41st LAKE GARDA MEETING OPTIMIST.

Translated and rewritten from the German Optimist Class News.

On Good Friday, during the last race of the qualifying series, a powerful Ora swepted across the lake. The lightweights Julia and Nele were sailing up the beat in tough sailing conditions.  Not far from the windward mark, they noticed that an Optimist sailor has health problems and is in the boat. They sailed over to him. Julia provided assistance and remained next to his boat. Nele made her way to a Race Committee Boat, but could not make herself understood. Luckily, she discovered her coach. He took care of the sailor and brought him back to shore. Julia and Nele continued to race Q5. Unfortunately,  when they got to shore they discovered that Julia was ranked 145/RDG and Nele was ranked 212/DNC.

Julia filed an application for redress. That was not easy. First she used the wrong form, followed by a rejection by e-mail. The second request was accepted, even though it was in the right place, it was submitted 6 minutes after the end of the protest time. Julia then arrived 10 minutes late for the quickly scheduled protest. (She didn't "live" just around the corner.)  The protest was conducted in English, but with only 1 year of English it was difficult to communicate, so the Jury Chairman interpreted.

But it ended up being a double happy ending: Julia received a remuneration of 20 seats in Q5. And the President of the Fraglia Vela Riva, Andrea Camin, presented her with the Fairness Cup at the award ceremony.

Nele did not receive any public recognition, but her outstanding commitment was honored and discussed in detail with her team in the evening. "Nele behaved in an exemplary manner and did the most important thing: help," said her coach Kai Bertallot from the Kiel Yacht Club. By the way, the sick sailor recovered quickly and was back on the water for the following two days.

Both Julia and Nele exemplify the spirit of sportsmanship in responding to a fellow sailor in need.  Safety and looking after each other is the fundamental principle of the IODA Code of Conduct.

Julia and Nele are the heroes of the day!.