It was a wonderful start to the Italian National Championships for the 42 boat fleet who have return to this beautiful “Busy Town” of San Remo set deep in the Mountains of this Italian coast line, just an hours drive from Monaco.
Due to the success of the 2014 European Championships many boats have returned to the Yacht Club of San Remo because it has all the infrastructure and facilities required to host major sailing events. This Italian Championship has attracted many top teams with new boats which continues to show why the Dragon Class still maintains it’s “Premier” status in One Design racing throughout the world.
The backdrop of the mountains overlook the start in San Remo. Photo by Ricardo Pinto.
The first race got underway at around 1.30 with a 8kt breeze from 230 degrees. With a 7 degree port bias on the line a decision had to be made how to make best of the first upwind leg as it often “pays” to head towards the shore then tack out on the starboard lay-line. One boat that selected the most perfect option was “Desert Eagle” UAE 20 helmed by Henrik Witzmann, crewed by Markus Kay and Michael Koch who won the race! I spoke with Markus after racing “we started towards the pin end of the line and continued for about 200m, before tacking and heading all the way inshore to cover the fleet”. This tactic allowed the UAE team to wait until the lead boats were coming out on the lay-line from the right, then tacked ahead of them. Henrik and his team had a nice lead at mark 1 and continued to win the race in style.
The successful “Desert Eagle” Team UAE 20, winning race 1 of the Italian Nationals.
In race 2 the wind was again from around 230 but there seemed to be more of an advantage tacking in early to the shore side of the beat. Maybe there was more wind nearer to the land or the adverse current we all encountered at the top mark may have been stronger out to sea away from the land. One thing that was for sure was the determined tactics of UKR 1 “Dejavu” helmed by Igor Jushko, crewed by Sergiy Pichugin and Ygor Severianov who “nailed” the start at the committee boat and immediately tacked onto port. This team then went all the way inshore and came out as leaders at the top mark on the starboard lay-line.
URK 1 “DEJAVU” winner of race 2 of the Italian Nationals is San Remo yesterday.
However, with two races completed it was the consistent brilliance of RUS 27 “Annapurna” who yet again lead overall after recording a 6th and a 2nd. So Anatoly and his team hold a 4 point lead from UAE 7 Markus Wieser 2nd and URK 1 Igor Jushko 3rd. Early days of course as there will be plenty more races to come over the next three days. With a forecast of 15 degrees temperature, sun and more sea breezes, this looks like being a great regatta and a wonderful time to be spend a few days “Yachting” in Italy…. 🙂
Higher, Faster, Longer…………… Stavros. (GBR 585).