Over 200 of the world's leading 470 sailors, including many of the crew who will star in Qingdao this August, are competing for the 2008 European title on Lake Garda.
After two days of torrential rain, the first race of the 2008 Open 470 European Championships look started on Sunday afternoon in classic Riva conditions. The 119 boats, 86 men and 33 women, from five continents and representing 32 countries, are split into three seeded men's and one women's fleet, sailing on two separate courses.
Race 1 began in bright sunshine and wind at around 8 knots. On the Alpha course, the women's fleet had a fairly processional race, with little place changing from the start. Sylvia VOGL
and Carolina FLATSCHER
(AUT) sailed extremely well from the start, taking the race, followed by Annina WAGNER
and Marlene STEINHERR
(GER), with Henriette KOCH
and Lene SOMMER
(DEN) in third.
The men's red fleet, joining the ladies on alpha course, saw more place changing as it became clear that the eastern cliffs were paying. The race was finally taken by Sven COSTER
and Kalle COSTER
(NED) followed by Mikhail SHEREMETYEV
and Maxim SHEREMETYEV
(RUS) and, close in third Fabio PILLAR
and Samuel ALBRECHT
On Brava course, the men's blue and yellow fleets were doing battle. The yellow fleet went off first and immediately split 50/50 right and left. It became clear, to those in the yellow fleet, and the following blue fleet that there was better pressure on the left side, again towards the eastern cliffs. A left handed shift arrived when the blue fleet were halfway up their first beat, staying there and adding advantage. The boats taking best advantage of the conditions included, in the yellow fleet, the final winners, Sergei DESUKEVICH
and Pavel LOGUNOV
(BLR), who were followed by Bart PEETERS
and Olivier BAKKER
(NED) and Alexandra GOLTZ
and Mathias GRUNING
(GER) in third. In the blue fleet, the race was taken by Steven LE FEVRE
and Steven KROL
(NED), with Javier CONTE
and Juan DE LA FUENTE
(ARG) second, closely followed by Luke PATIENCE
and Chris GRUBE
(GBR). With wind dying towards the end of the race, the PRO held the boats for a while, hoping for increased pressure, but, when it did not arrive, all boats were sent home for the day.
Results - click here