Competitors are now arriving at Circolo Vela Gargnano, on Lake Garda in Italy, for the 2011 European Access Class Championships. Racing will be held from Thursday 26 to Sunday 29 May.
Competition will include Access 2.3 single-person, Access 303 single and two-person, Liberty and SKUD 18. Single-person and two-person divisions will be grouped into two fleets with each sailing two races per day over the four days. Sailors from ten nations have entered, including three reigning World Champions.
In the Liberty division, the current World Champion, Magali Moraines (FRA), will be defending her European title. Barry Coates (AUS) was runner up to Moraines at the last European Championships in Port Camargue, France, and was third at the Worlds last year. The Australian will be aiming to turn the tables on Moraines, but there are two very determined sailors from the Netherlands, Vera Voorbach and Wilma van den Broek, who also have their eyes on the trophy. Both Dutch women sail their Liberties in full servo-electric mode.
Hungarian pair Eva Mircsev & Zoltan Pegan are the reigning World and European Champions in the Access 303 two person competition, and Pegan is the World Champion in the 303 single person. Teams from France, Great Britain, Switzerland and Italy will challenge the Hungarians.
In the Access 2.3, Portugal's Bruno Pereira comes with a good on-water record. Pereira is from Cascais, is the current Access 2.3 European Champion and was 3rd at the World Championships in the UK last year. His own countrymen and some experienced sailors from the UK and the Netherlands will test his skills again in Gargnano.
The SKUD 18 competition will also be interesting with some experienced teams from the UK meeting a number of new crews including two from host nation Italy.
Registration and measurement starts from Tuesday, while racing commences on Thursday. Further information is available from www.accessclass.org. For information about the club and regatta updates, visit www.centomiglia.it.