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35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting

One week after the world’s largest regatta of a single class, it is time for a short analysis of the event, organized by Fraglia Vela Riva, in which participated 1.063 young sailors from 30 countries.

The protagonists of this year’s edition were the USA and Russia, never been so top-ranked before either at the Garda Meeting or at the renowned Optimist Championships. The USA, led by Stephan Baker, stood out in the gold fleet and in the junior top 30 with Peter Foley (16th) and Daven Subbiah (23rd); in the cadet division great fourth place for Freddie Parkin – a long, challenging, but surely unprecedentedly successful sailing trip.

Just before the opening of the event, Fraglia Vela Riva renewed the twinning with Team USA by exchanging flags, as happened last December in Miami. Russia demonstrated to be very competitive, placing both male and female athletes in the junior top three with Dmitry Lazdin placed third and Alexandra Lukoyanova placed first among females and 12th overall.

The countries with the highest numbers of participants, i.e. Italy and Germany, placed more than one athlete in the junior top ranking: six German sailors in the top 20, and seven Italian sailors in the top 15. In the cadet division, Italy dominates with nine athletes in the top 20.

The ITAS Trophy
Fraglia Vela Riva won for the second time in a row the ITAS Trophy, assigned to the best four juniors of the same club: Tommaso Boccuni (fourth), Agata Scalmazzi (41st), Valerio Mugnano (39th) and Mattia Cesana (15th, cadet winner of the past edition) – right to left in the photo.

Junior Winner – 35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting © Elena Giolai/Fraglia Vela Riva

Junior Winner – 35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting © Elena Giolai/Fraglia Vela Riva

A strong message from the organizing club: many helmsmen are still young and “freshmen” for the junior division.

The FAIR-PLAY Joy of Moving Trophy
The FAIR-PLAY Joy of Moving Trophy was awarded for the first year: in the cadet division to Sebastiano Capurro (ITA8518) for his determination to finish the race, and to Elisa Koch (GER11789) for her wise discussion of the protest; in the junior division to Francesco Bergamoni (ITA7103) for completing the race despite shipping water before the finishing line, and to GER1188 for the commitment during the regatta.

35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting © Elena Giolai/Fraglia Vela Riva

35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting © Elena Giolai/Fraglia Vela Riva

A sincere thank you to all those who helped organizing the event: the parents of the Optimist’s teams, the forty UPT students who took shifts in all roles to have access to the Palavela, enter and exit the water, set the info-point and the prize-giving ceremony. A special acknowledgement goes to the scores, who managed the impressive figures of 1.063 participants for four days and 18 races between juniors and cadets. Despite their complicated task, within just two hours from the landing of the sailors the provisional rankings were already online. The crew on the water worked really hard; the radio communication gave an idea of how many people are needed to ensure the course safety.

The Race Committee presidents Ennio Pogliano (for the Cadets) and Carlo Tosi (for the Juniors) collaborated with the Fraglia Vela Riva boatswain Fausto Maroni, who on day three foresaw that the storm that was threatening the course would have not come.

The most pleasant aspect was to realise that many foreign teams enjoyed a great one-week stay and regatta, which received many appreciation comments. Some teams, as Team Poland officially invited Fraglia Vela Riva to participate in their National Championship, offering a warm hospitality. A message of brotherhood of peoples, which the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting surely succeeded to convey: many friendships are bond to this event and between young sailors who will meet again in the future and on different courses of different classes.

by Fraglia Vela Riva


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