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RS Aero European Championships 2019 - Malcesine, Garda, Italy, 17-23 August
by the RS Aero International Class Association
The racing has started at the 2019 RS Aero European Championship!
On Sunday morning a coaching session ashore provided a great opportunity for those new to RS Aero racing and those sailors who are more isolated to develop their RS Aero skills from the tips and techniques learnt in the fleet over the past five years. In the afternoon the Practice Race helped the 106 RS Aero fleet warm up and acclimatise. Garda turned on all the glam with a gentle start in a nice breeze, sunshine, stunning scenery and epic racing. Perfection!
Practice Race & Opening Ceremony
After a little patience Garda turned it on for some splendid racing in paradise. With a medium breeze racing was tight and all fleets enjoyed two races. The outer loop course sailed by the RS Aero 7s and RS Aero 9s had some interesting variety with those fleets tacking up the FVM shore line for their 2nd beat in front of the Club spectators!
Race Day 1
After racing the Fraglia Vela Malcesine laid on their customary Pasta Party with the Class’ daily awards presentation where the winners generously shared their top tips from the day with the fleet.
Top Tips from Day 1
The start on Day 2 is planned at 13:00 with afternoon racing again. There will likely be 3 races with another fabulous day forecast.
Day 2 Day 2 provided a slightly lighter day for racing at the 2019 RS Aero European Championship with the afternoon’s Ora arriving late and a little softer than the previous day. Two races were held and the challenge in each fleet was to put another 2 good counters on the score board.
Race Day 2
Top-Tips Day 2
Day 3 Day 3 started with a blast of 30 knots descending from the mountains producing large waves at the 08:30 start time. Racing was postponed in the hope of an ease in the conditions.
The fleet’s patience was duly rewarded with three fantastic races in the northerly breeze and some excellent surfing waves later in the day. Racing started with 18kn wind speed which slowly dropped to a medium breeze through the afternoon.
Tim Hire (Great Britain) won the day in the RS Aero 7s with a 2,2,1 to jump up to 5th overall whilst Craig Williamson (Great Britain) retains the overall lead. Liina Kolk (Estonia) led the day in the RS Aero 5s with a 2,1,1 to close within 4 points of the series leader, Attila Banyai (Hungary). In the RS Aero 9s Greg Bartlett (Great Britain) continued his winning streak with a 1,1,1 to extend his lead.
Race Day 3
Thanks to our sponsors Rooster, Selden, RS Sailing and RS Sailing Italia another daily awards ceremony was held awarding achievements, and some noteworthy under achievements, throughout the fleet. The Rooster podium bibs were redistributed and the daily Top-Tips generously offered by the day’s winners.
Top-Tips Day 3
The fleet spent the evening dining at the FVM clubhouse enjoying the beautiful outlook over the lake towards the magnificent cliffs opposite.
Day 4 After a slight delay whist the Ora from the south warmed up the fleet launched to a medium fresh breeze of 12-16kn for three lovely races.
Jack Hopkins and Peter Barton shared the wins on the RS Aero 7s but Craig Williamson remained consistent enough to retain the gold podium bib going into the final day.
Attila Banyai (Hungary) was back on top form again today smashing in a 1,1,1 to extend to a commanding lead over Liina Kolk (Estonia) and Andrew Frost (Great Britain).
In the RS Aero 9s an unusual early night for Greg Bartlett worked to continue his winning streak with another 1,1,1. Greg is looking sweet at the top of the rankings for tomorrow whilst Liam Willis and Chris Larr are set to duke it out for the silver medal.
Race Day 4
The Regatta Dinner hosted at a local restaurant saw the fleet come together again for outdoor dining, happy after a splendid day’s racing on the water and having enjoyed their time at Malcesine.
For the final day two races are set to be held with a 08:30 first start in the morning Peler breeze from the north which is likely to be fresh - alarm clocks and breakfasts are scheduled for early!
After the final two races in the morning Peler wind from the mountains starting promptly at 08:30 the final podium positions and results of the Europeans were decided. The first race was breezy with 18kn and large waves to weave through, whist the second was less stable as the breeze slowly softened.
Whilst the RS Aero 9 and RS Aero 5 champions had a commanding lead the final overall places of each of the top 3 in the RS Aero 7s changed several times during the last race providing a cliff hanger finale decided only boat lengths from the finish line with just 1 point ultimately separating the top three overall!
RS Aero 5 The RS Aero 5 fleet was filled with youths and small adults and the females outnumbering the men at this event! Medallists from the last two world championships competed and racing was intense. However, it was the young new RS Aero owner, Attila Banyai (HUN) who took the overall win and top youth title too, dominating the series after some keen training since collecting his new RS Aero in July. Past world champion, Andrew Frost (GBR), took 2nd with last year’s worlds silver medallist Liina Kolk (EST) in 3rd and top female, just pipping Sammy Isaacs-Johnson (GBR) on a tie break after his last day comeback.
1st youth female title went to Caitlin Atkin (GBR) from Lily Barrett (GBR) and Yana Skvortsova (GBR)
RS Aero 5 Podium by Attila Banyai
RS Aero 7 The RS Aero 7s were the largest fleet with 63 boats competing. Craig Williamson (GBR) took an early lead in the series with Paul McMahon (IRE) challenging hard with some excellent downwind pace. The young sailors excelled with Noah Rees (GBR) winning day 2 with a 1,3 and Tim Hire (GBR) fastest sailor on day 3 with a (2,2,1).
On the final day the podium places were still wide open. The last two races started early at 08:30 in the strong northerly Peler mountain breeze and good waves as the fleet launched, slowly softening through the morning. As places changed throughout the last race the overall lead for the title changed several times, providing a cliff hanger finale, decided only boat lengths from the finish line! Ultimately, only 1 point spilt the podium places with Jack Hopkins (GBR) taking 3rd having taken 5 wins in the series. Craig Williamson (GBR) finished 2nd loosing out on a tie break to Peter Barton (GBR) in 1st.
Juliane Barthel (GER) finished 1st female from Eleanor Craig (GBR), Chris Jones (GBR) finished 1st master from Ian McGonigal (GBR) of Scotland and Tim Hire (GBR) was top youth in 6th.
RS Aero 7 Podium by Attila Banyai
RS Aero 9 In the RS Aero 9 revelled in Garda’s good breezes and Greg Bartlett (GBR) dominated the series counting a string of 1st places, demonstrating the rewards of an enthusiastic training plan over the past year. Liam Willis (GBR) won the final day with a 1,1 to take 2nd with Chris Larr (GBR) rounding off the podium in 3rd.
1st master was Tomas Sandstrom (SWE). RS Aero 9 Podium by Attila Banyai
Thanks to the support from Rooster, Selden, RS Sailing and RS Sailing Italia daily awards ceremonies are held each day awarding achievements throughout the fleet with a fantastic spread of prizes together with a wonderful final prize giving. The Rooster podium bibs were redistributed and the daily Top-Tips generously offered by the day’s winners.
Fraglia Vela Malcesine were the perfect hosts and we look forward to returning again in the future!