The final two days of this magnificent 2022 World Championships were held in the same excellent wind conditions as the first three. The afternoon thermals reached 18 – 20 knots on Thursday, and there were bigger, stronger gusts to come under the cloudier skies on Friday. The varied, changeable winds and sometimes difficult rough chop on the water surface gave some advantage to the more skilful and tactically minded skippers, and in the end that made all the difference. But the conditions also enabled all the competitors, especially the younger, less experienced ones, to take away a lot of lessons and make enormous progress during the week. Here’s how the final two days went down:
The Italian team dominated this category, the oldest age-group. Giulio Siracusa took an early but narrow lead on the opening day, and never let it go, never out of the top two in any race during the week. His consistency paid off, and he needed it to beat his compatriot Niccolo Giomarelli, who was racking up race wins, but who’s two disqualifications prevented him from taking the top podium spot. In third place was Poland’s Piotr Kuzniarski, also very consistent, followed by Frenchie Baptiste Courtias and another Italian, Riccardo Michelotti.
After dividing the U15s into two fleets, Gold and Silver, the race for the podium spots was intense among all the main contenders in the Gold fleet. Poland’s Piotr Trella held an exemplary, steady course through the varied winds, making few mistakes and holding the lead all week. On the other hand, Julianna Ponto, who had gone off like a rocket at the beginning of the week, couldn’t maintain that level and lost her second place to France’s local hero Thimothe Lesniak, eventually slipping even further back behind Italy’s Luca Franceschini, with compatriot Dom Schiano Di Scioarro hot on his heels, and France’s Nicodème Jonquez.
The rankings for the youngest class hardly changed all week after the first day. It was victory all the way for the young Frenchie Charles Ganivet, closely followed by the young Frenchette Clara Zunquin, then Italy’s Irene Cozzolino, and two of her team-mates Andrea Massaro and Andrea Carboni.
The inclusion of this new U12 category, a decision taken at the last World Championships, was an outstanding success. It has allowed the very young skippers early access to the O’pen Skiff class with the added motivation of its own rankings and prize. Looking at the obvious enjoyment and commitment that we saw on the water, you can see that the next generation of O’pen Skiff talent is already well present! Equipment played a big part, the U12s opted “en masse” for the brand new small sail that also made its debut at these Championships. Designed by New Zealand sailing legend Russell Coutts and his team, it’s perfectly adapted to the U12’s small physique, with the centre of power set low down in the sail and a sturdy dacron construction. The visiting coaches loved it too, they’ll be making good us of it for all the beginners at their respective clubs and schools.
The return of some of the teams from far away was also very important for the class. Absent for the last two Covid years, they were very keen to come back and measure their talent against the best Europeans. The Japanese, Australian, New Zealand and Indian teams appreciated the event as much as we appreciated their presence. They’ve promised to be back in force in 2023.
The sizeable and talented Polish team have given the usual suspects (France, Italy…) plenty of food for future thought and action, especially with victory in the “Queen” class, the U15s
Saturday morning’s prize giving ceremony brought the 2022 World Championships to its logical conclusion, with plenty of extra prizes handed out by sponsors Ronstan and TAHE. It was followed by a “Mini-raid” contest for all the racers who didn’t have to leave immediately. In a very light wind, all kinds of “cheating” were authorised, pumping, rocking and paddling, and everyone finished up in the water around the boats for yet another prize giving, a TAHE surfboard to the best rocker!
Everyone from all the fleets will go home with a head-full of great memories of a unique life-experience, and lots of new friends from all over the world. The final day T-Shirt/email address/mobile number swapping was as intense as the final day action! They can’t wait to meet up again at next year’s World Championships, which will be taking place in lovely Rimini on Italy’s Adriatic coast towards the end of July 2023. The entry numbers record was smashed to bits at Carcans and there is little doubt that O’pen Skiff will break through the 300 barrier in Rimini.
See you there!
You can check out all the videos, photos and results from the event, just click here for the official event website: https://worlds2022.openskiff.org/