Garda Trentino Olympic Week came to a close over the weekend and featured five great sailing days with over 400 sailors from 43 countries taking to Lake Garda, Italy for the 100-point regatta.
The winners of the week were New Zealand's Andy Maloney (Laser), Annalise Murphy of Ireland (Laser Radial), Great Britain's Ed Wright (Finn), Croatians Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic in the Men's 470, Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie of New Zealand in the Women's 470, Austrians Thomas Zajak and Tanja Frank (Nacra 17), Markus Hansen and Josh Porebski of New Zealand in the 49er, Flavia Tartaglini of Italy (Women's RS:X) and Dutch sailor Dorian Van Rijssellberge (Men's RS:X)
The competitors were able to complete a high number of races on the waters of Lake Garda thanks to the ideal wind conditions in the picturesque Italian venue.
The new experimental format of short regattas proposed by Eurosaf for the Eurosaf Champions Sailing Cup was adopted, with points realigned before the final race and a restricted number of crews in the grand final. Eight for the 49er and six for all the others.
The last day with the final race for each class saw winds from the south at 10-14 knots and for enthusiasts the chance to see the finals from Lake Garda's coastal road. The 470 and 49er classes were transmitted on direct web filmed from high up to give the effect and can be replayed here.
One final race was held for each class except for the 49er which had three giving the eight qualifying crews the largest margin to catch up.
This was the first time the 470 class had run its final race on the "Theatre" course which is marked out by small buoys. There were no rivals for the Croatians who have multiple European titles, three bronze World Championship medals, a gold in 2009 and who placed 6th in London 2012.
Leading right from the first day they well-deserved to win this edition of Garda Trentino Olympic Week, showing skill and consistency right up to the final race. Second place went to Onan Barrieros and Juan Curbelo of Spain. They came third in the final race but climbed to second overall on points. There was a great comeback, however, for Turkish Olympians Deniz and Ates Cinar who were fifth going into today's final race but finished second in the final to push them into third overall. Dropping from third to fifth were Germans Ferdinand Gerz and Patrick Follmann.
There was a change of lead in the Women's 470 with Olympic Champions Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie of New Zealand giving a decisive push in the last race even though Tina Mrak and Veronika Macarol of Slovenia had been leading until the penultimate day. Climbing into third place on the podium were Italians Francesca Komatar and Sveva Carraro, who took advantage of an error made by Renata Decnop and Isabel Swan of Brazil.
A spectacular final race took place at Fraglia Vela Malcesine for the Finn class. The race lasted around 20 minutes with winds from the south from 9-10 knots with a large representation of Olympic athletes. European Finn Champion and winner of the 2010 Finn Gold Cup, Ed Wright (GBR) won the event. He went into the final race with a 15 point lead over Deniss Karpak of Estonia who came fourth overall. Second place went to Ivan Kljakovic-Gaspic of Croatia. Piotr Kula of Poland was third climbing from sixth place thanks to a win in the final race.
Dutch Olympic Champion Dorian Van Rijsselberge won Men's RS:X gold by a margin of four points. Hotsun Leung of Hong Kong climbed from third to second place while Italian Marcantonio Baglione, came in third thanks to a second place in the final race. A bad final race from Elliot Carney meant he dropped from second to fifth place.
It was a great comeback for Flavia Tartaglini (ITA) who took first place by winning the final race whilst Bryony Shaw (GBR) finished second. For Tartaglini it was a test of character confirming her competitive status after her win at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and fourth place at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres.
Hei Man Hayley Victoria Chan (HKG) completes the podium
In the Laser Standard there was a classic "upset" with the with the final victory going to the excellent New Zealander Andy Maloney who secured his gold thanks to a win in the final race. Climbing from fifth in the qualification to come in third was Australian Ryan Palk who came behind Frenchman Jean Baptiste Bernaz.
Tonci Stipanovic placed 4th and Australian Tom Burton had to settle for fifth after dominating all week. He slipped on the last step in the final race. On The Eurosaf format he commented, "So much effort for nothing, a bit too much for this new formula which I hope is still experimental."
In the Laser Radial class Annalise Murphy confirmed the position she had held all week by winning the final race beating Tuula Tenkanen of Finland who climbed one position at the expense of Tina Mihelic of Croatia.
Yet another partial upset in the Olympic 49er skiff where the final race was fought out over two races. Consistency won the day as New Zealanders Markus Hansen and Josh Porescki notched up two second places to spring them from fourth position to the gold medal place.
Mathieu Frei and Yann Rocherieux were second with the bronze medal going to the Italian duo Giuseppe Angilella and Pietro Zucchetti. Angilella with Sibello finished ninth at London while Zucchetti placed fourth at the bow of the 470 with Gabrio Zandonà. The two got together again on the 49er after their Olympic campaign for Beijing 2008 when they were the adversaries of the Sibello brothers. The Austrian team of Niko Delle-Karth and Niko Leopold Resch took fourth place as they did in London. The pair had compromised everything in the second leg of the final when they finished seventh after winning the first race, as well as being first in qualifying.
In the mixed catamaran class Austrians Thomas Zajak and Tanja Frank won. They were first in qualifying and second in the final. The pair are trained by Italy's Angelo Glisoni, Olympic skipper and World Champion in the Tornado.
Glisoni is involved in an interesting training programme with the Austrian team which sees them training in Palma, Spain. "The work started this winter and we are already seeing results,"
said Glisoni. "Now after Garda we will be at Medemblik in The Netherlands in the next few weeks."
In second place were Australians Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, while the bronze medal went to Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA).
Thanks to the organisation by Vela Garda Trentino- the association of Upper Garda sailing clubs Fraglia Vela Riva, Circolo Vela Arco, Circolo Surf Torbole, Circolo Vela Torbole and Fraglia Vela Malcesine, the European Champions Sailing Cup will now continue for another four legs. The next leg is scheduled Medemblik (The Netherlands), for the Delta Lloyd Regatta from May 21st -25th . Then it goes to Great Britain (Sail for Gold Regatta, Weymouth), Germany (Kieler Woche at Kiel) and finishing in October in France for the "Semaine Francaise".