The first ever RS100 World Championships were held in Bellano, Lake Como Italy, this weekend and saw attendance by sailors from Australia, Ireland, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Sweden, Wales, England and of course the home grown talent of Italy.
Lake Como was popular with the Milanese gentry and soon began to attract other Europeans, during the 17th century. Queen Caroline of England visited Lake Como in 1816 and stayed in Cernobbio (just north of Como), an area known for its beautiful gardens. To date Lake Como remains as one of the main tourist destinations with many celebrities purchasing property along the lakeside.
For a few days only the rich and famous were usurped by the 'A' listed RS100 sailors and perhaps a few 'B' & 'C' listers and a band of followers known mysteriously only by the initials 'RS'.
The opening day of the championships greeted sailors with cloud, light wind and chilly conditions consisting of approximately 6 knots of breeze, not the usual Lake Como glamorous conditions many had wished for. However, racing got underway with the 8.4s and 10.2s having separate starts, with Mark Cotgrove (FRA) and Jack Holden (GBR) posting 1st and 2nd after day one respectively, and Colin Smith (GBR) dominating the 10.2 class. Sailors were able to reflect on the tricky condions at the Welcome Ceremony on the Friday evening overlooking the beautiful Lake Como.
Heavy overnight rain and a flat calm greeted the RS100 sailors on day two, with a healthy 12-14 knots making an entrance just after lunch. In the 10.2 Huw Powell (GBR) had a resounding three bullets, although he had to work hard to keep Colin Smith at bay who was never far behind. In the 8.4s Antonio Tamburin (ITA) continued to show consistency however Alistair Dickson (GBR) dominated the proceedings with 2nd, 1st and 1st to close the gap. It was all to play for going into the final day with only three point separating the first four boats in the 8.4s and only two points in the 10.2s between the top two boats.
Day three unfolded with two races held back to back and the pressure was clearly building. In the 8.4s Alistair Dickson (GBR) won the opening race of day 3, with Mark Harrison (GBR) in 2nd and local favourite Antonio Tamburin (ITA) coming in 6th. With only one race left to sail it was a tense winner-takes-all final race. Alistair Dickson (GBR) put in a solid final race win to take the World Championship title in the 8.4s, and Huw Powell (GBR) went on to win the 10.2 fleet.