The World Byte CII Championships have got under way at Fraglia Vela Riva, Riva del Garda. This event counts as continental qualifier for Europe and for the first time Africa who have three teams taking part on Garda, Trentino, Algeria, Egypt and South Africa.
In the men's category, thirty-six participants are taking part representing 21 countries from as far away as South Africa, St. Lucia , Singapore and Brazil. Twenty-seven participants are in the women's category from 18 different countries including Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Ukraine, Algeria and Egypt.
The first day of the regatta started with sunny skies and a promising wind from the south, however at around lunch-time the clouds started to roll in causing the wind to drop limiting the number of races to only one. In the men's category Jonatan Vadnai of Hungary leads followed by Westerhof of The Netherlands and Roen of France. In a strong fourth position is Italian Umberto José Varbaro (LNI Follonica), who last year was a silver medallist in the Optimist team World Championships at Riva del Garda.
"Varbaro has shown good speed especially on the stern and he is certainly very focused on the race. The group is very tightly packed and competitive and just one small distraction could easily cost them their position. The Hungarian, actual leader and title holder, seems to be going at the best pace, but there is still a long way to go,"
commented the coach of Vabaro Simone Gesi.
In the women's category Odile Van Aannholt of The Netherlands leads followed by Gumenko of Ukraine. Carolina Albano of CV Muggia, Italy holds an excellent third position. Twelve races are still to be held with the event ending on Sunday 27 April.
"ISAF (The International Sailing Federation), has confirmed the Byte for Nanjing 2014 after having its first experience in the Youth Olympics which were held in Singapore. This choice confirms the validity of this boat especially for youngsters age 15-16, the age group which is represented in this World Championship and in the Youth Olympics,"
commented Alberto Portiglia, representative of the class and Nautivela boat constructor for Europe.
Racing starts at 12:30 local time on Thursday 24 April which should be, according to the weather forecast, be a perfect day.