The 20th Imperia Winter Regatta gets underway in Italy today, incorporating the Byte CII European Championship, the second continental qualifier for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
Everything's ready for the beginning of the 20th edition of Imperia Winter Regatta in Oneglia Harbour with the organization of Yacht Club Imperia.
On Thursday the fleets of 420 (open and women) and Byte CII sailors will complete their registration and the boats will be measured:27 different countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lituania, Monaco, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine) will be represented at the event.
The races will start on Friday 4 December on two different race areas in front of Imperia Oneglia town: a maximum of 16 races will be sailed for the Byte CII class (the event will come to an end on Monday 7), while 420s will finish on Sunday 6 with a maximum of nine races.
Seventy-six sailors will compete in the Byte CII European Championship (32 women, 44 men born in 1994-1995), which also doubles as the European continental qualifier for next year's inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) held in Singapore. the Byte CII is a one person dinghy, smaller than the Laser, but designed by the same designer. As a matter of fact it is an evolution of Laser with a two-part carbon mast and full battened mainsail. The Byte CII is equipment for both the Boys and Girls One Person Dinghy events at the YOG, open to competitors aged 15-16 years. At the qualifiers, sailors qualify their nation for the event and in Imperia seven national places are up for competition in both the boys and girls event.
The official opening ceremony will be held IWR headquarter (ex Dposito Franco, Oneglia Harbour) on Tuesday 4 December at 18:00 local time.
As usual the races will be managed by an International Jury with race officers coming from Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Israel and Italy and by three different Race Committees.
Find out more about the Youth Olympic Games, the qualification system and events at www.sailing.org/yog.