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27 August 2010, 09:35 am
Turkey Undefeated At IODA Team Racing Europeans
Belgium v Switzerland
Belgium take on Switzerland

IODA European Championship Team Racing 2010
Lake Ledro, Italy

The third IODA European Team Racing Championship opened on Wednesday at the beautiful venue of Lake Ledro, high above Lake Garda in Italy.
Good winds on day one allowed 48 races to be sailed under the supervision of Ion Echave IRO (ESP).The 2009 silver medallists Turkey staked their claim early by winning all their races on the first day. Ireland and Italy tied on 5/6 wins.

Excellent conditions on Lake Ledro allowed for a further 56 races on day two. With 13 of the 15 initial round robin flights completed, Turkey remain undefeated but by chance have not yet faced the next most successful teams, France and Ireland.

The morning began with a short briefing from Chris Atkins. Perhaps the most interesting topic covered was how to win a race from a seemingly strong position of first and second placed boats but infact with a losing combination. It was particularly gratifying to then witness a race where a team deliberately let the third placed opposing team sail past them, losing the lead but enabling them to bring their team mate through to have a winning position. Not to be outdone however, the now losing team then performed the same manouver themselves and crossed the line as winners. This event at Ledro provides a unique opportunity for these sailors to both learn and participate in top level competition. The quality of the racing will continue to improve as the event progresses and these young sailors will find that the skills learnt here will be useful both now and in whatever sailing they progress to after the optimist class.

Entry is limited to 16 national teams, qualified from a ranklist of 30 established at the European fleet racing championship in July. As at that event sailors who will form part of their countries' teams for the IODA World Championship in December are not allowed to participate, in order to spread the experience of international competition as widely as possible.

Many teams are participating for the second or third time but the success of the French team is particularly welcome as this is the first time they have participated in this event and they have not traditionally been well placed at the World Team Racing Championship. The round robin will continue on Friday until the top eight are established, but these three, together with Croatia, are now guaranteed places in the planned gold pool in the next round.

There is a strong instructional element to this event with brief morning lectures and post-race debriefings conducted by International Umpire Chris Atkins (GBR). A high-powered eight person team of umpires includes Americas Cup veteran Neven Baran (CRO) who confessed that remaining alert through so many tightly fought matches was a new experience.

Event Website

Robert Wilkes (As Amended by ISAF)
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