One could not have wished for a better long weekend on Garda Trentino for the start of the regatta season at Circolo Vela Arco: three beautiful, warm, sunny days brought a medium-light southerly wind, perfect for those who were unable to train much during the winter. The event, delegated by the Italian Sailing Federation and in collaboration with the national and international OpenSkiff and RS Aero classes, was held in the spirit that characterises all regattas of these two classes, in which fun, cooperation, fairness, respect and sharing make all the difference. Always invaluable is the work of the many volunteers who devote their time and passion to the new generation of sailors.

The Open Skiffs, youth boats in which the organising club chaired by Carlo Pompili has believed and invested with its competitive teams since the class was born, after a few years have had the opportunity to see a series of international regattas on the calendar again, thanks to the restart of the OpenSkiff Eurochallenge, a circuit that after the first stage in Garda will continue with the events in Poland, Hungary and France. The participation with 170 helmsmen from 10 nations (including India, New Zealand, and the United States) demonstrates the liveliness of the class, which for young people remains a beautiful opportunity for sporting growth and competitive satisfaction, without extreme pressure. During all three days CJ Perez, who came from Honolulu (Hawaii-USA) to Garda the first time at the 2017 World Class World Championships, was a guest at the event. Since that time she has come a long way, so much so that this year on a few occasions she is aboard Team USA of the Sail GP Circuit, maintaining that spirit with which she approached sailing in the early years of OpenSkiff!

Friday, the start of the beautiful long weekend, was perhaps the most windy day (10-13 knots), in which all classes and categories sailed three races. On Saturday only the RS Aero, starting first, managed to close the day with three more races, while the OpenSkiff (with a record number of 171 at the start) both Saturday and Sunday had two races, all valuable training opportunities in view of the (again organised by Circolo Vela Arco) OpenSkiff World Championship scheduled from 28 July to 2 August.

A home victory for the Circolo Vela Arco, which won the under-12 category thanks to the performance of Samuele Pintoni, who did not let the early start in the very first race get him down. He was confident and went on to rack up four consecutive victories and two second places, earning the final victory ahead of a regular Fabio Serra (LNI Sulcis), who took three firsts and two seconds as his best results; Two were the points between the two, while the third, Gabriele Lizzulli (Circolo Nautico e della Vela Argentario), was a little further behind, with eight points from the second. Fourth and fifth place went to the Poles Sowa and Grygolowicz. Well done Bianca Gorgerino, who confirmed her competitiveness: first among the girls and sixth overall.

Surprise in the largest category of the under-15 and under-17s, who, in the sixth and penultimate race, ran into many disqualifications for an early start. The main loser was New Zealander Ewan Brazle, who, having already discarded the disqualification he picked up in the third race, found himself with a hefty pile-up of points despite the remaining four firsts and one second. For him a 15th place finish from the first he was: experience that will serve him well for this summer’s world championship! Thus, the Frenchman Charles Ganivet took advantage of this, repaid by his excellent regularity (3-3-6-2-4-3). Second step of the podium for the Sardinian Gianluca Pilia (CN Arbatax), eight points behind, third the Polish Paulina Szczepa. The podium (enlarged to the top 5 since in the OpenSkiff class there is no gender distinction) continued with fourth place for Angelo Mario Di Vita (CV Sferracavallo) and Poland’s Glowa, with important gaps. Polish victory in the under-17s with Hubert Staron very regular to give 7 points to Italian Federico Poli (CN Rimini). Penalised by an early start Anandi Chandavarkar, representing India, a country that has been participating in major regattas in Italy for a couple of years now. Only 4 points behind, fourth overall, was Vittoria Cartelli (CN Rimini) and fifth the Hungarian Szlalay.