Almost 300 crews, 282 in total representing 44 nations, left the dock yesterday morning in Riva del Garda to tackle the first racing day of the ISAF Grade 2 and 3, Expert Olympic Garda 2004 - Eurolymp.
The first start of the day was fired at midday for all the racing classes represented in Riva del Garda, divided onto five different racing courses:
Mistral (M/W), Laser, Europe (W), Finn, 49er, 470 (M/W), Yngling (W) and Star.
Ideal spring like weather conditions welcomed the Race Committee, headed by Giorgio LAURO (ITA), and all the sailors who will be fighting for a title throughout a week of intense racing.
Fourteen crews are competing in the Yngling, the women's Olympic class making its debut at Athens 2004. Twenty-nine crews are racing in the Star. Fourteen crews in the 49er, an Olympic class since Sydney 2000.
Forty-six skippers have entered in the Finn class, including Luca DEVOTI (ITA), Silver medallist in Sydney. Ten female crews are competing in the 470 class, while thirty-three are in the men's fleet, including Gabri ZANDONÀ and Andrea TRANI (ITA), current World Champions and Italian representatives at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
The above mentioned classes are hosted by the Fraglia della Vela in Riva del Garda, while Europe, Laser and Mistral are hosted by the Fraglia della Vela in Malcesine; both are organising yacht clubs for this Eurolymp event.
The Mistral class is hosting ten women, including Alessandra SENSINI (ITA) gold medallist at Sydney 2000, and forty-one men.
Twenty-four skippers have entered in the Europe. Sixty-one skippers are competing in the Laser fleet, including Diego NEGRI (ITA) who will represent his country in Athens 2004.
In the 49er fleet, Pietro and Gianfranco SIBELLO, winners of the 2001 Eurolymp and selected Italian crew for Athens, are expected to fight an intense match against their strong rivals Mazzotti-Ivaldi.
In the Star class, former world champion Roberto Benamati, together with his crew Filippo DOMENICALI, will be fighting on his home waters for an important victory that could lead him to Athens.The official results of day one of racing will be available on the Fraglia della Vela Riva official website at the address below, once all pending protests are solved.