Day 2 of Soling European Championships: the Hungarian Litkey increases his lead

Saturday, 15 July 2017


It was a challenging day 2 at the Soling European Championships taking place in Garda Trentino and organised by Fraglia Vela Riva: the initially 18-knot wind blowing northwards peaked 20-22 knots in race two, which caused some difficulties to some teams (one dismasted boat) and tore off the moorings of the buoys and the committee boat due to steep and short waves. However, thanks to the prompt actions of the crew on the water coordinated by Fausto Maroni, the two races scheduled for today have been regularly sailed. At present 5 races took place, but only after race 6 scheduled on Saturday it will be possible to implement the exclusion of the worst score.

Once again the Hungarian Litkey (twice World Champion) is the uncontested leader and with his pipe he never fails a race: thanks to his third and second places today he is not only leading the ranking, but he also gained a 10-point advantage. The Austrian Felzman is placed 2nd, while the Ukrainian Pichugin (2003 Soling World Champion) follows on rank 3 only one point away. The Hungarian Wossala won both races today, who is now paying a disqualification, but thanks to the exclusion of the worst score he still can finish high in the rank (at the moment he is placed 9th with 3-7-DQ). The German Koch also won the 5th race. The brothers Maffezzoli are still first among the Italian teams: now placed 16th, they are waiting to implement the Low Point Scoring System for the false start of day 1.

DAY 1

Soling European Championships: Hungarian are leading after three races

The Soling European Championships kicked off at Fraglia Vela Riva with the first three races, as scheduled. The initial light wind increased up to 12 knots. Many teams sail for the top three positions, as the Hungarian Litkey (twice World Champion) placed first at the moment with 7-1-2, who never misses the opportunity to smoke his pipe before every start and after each finish in a style that perfectly suits the elegant outlines of Soling, the Austrian Felzmann (10-2-1, placed second with a three-point gap), the Ukrainian Pichugin (who follows at equal points), and the Hungarian Wossala (Olympic Soling sailor in Atlanta with the Fraglia’s Gianni Torboli). The reigning Italian champions, the Maffezzoli brothers, scored 12-7 and had a penalty for a false start in race three: they are now on rank 17.

it was possible to enjoy a fine view on Garda Trentino thanks to the fleet composed of forty boats, which sailed close-hauled and downwind the three-lap course of regatta under the cliff falling sheer to the We More than forty teams from 11 countries (the USA and Canada are also represented) will sail for gold.st coast of Lake Garda.

Many participants took part in the Olympic Games onboard of this class, and it is so nice to see that their spirit and love for sailing did not change, since for many age is just a number!

Two races a day will be sailed from Friday to Sunday.

PREVIEW:

The former Olympic class Soling is present at the Fraglia Vela Riva from Thursday to Sunday for the European Championships.

The Soling class is back to Fraglia Vela Riva: the Fraglia sailor Gianni Torboli sailed this boat at the Olympic Games in Savannah, at the time he was already Italian champion and European bronze medallist (the great Shümann won the 1996 Olympic Games after his gold in 1988). This three-sailor-crew keelboat has been a landmark for the FIV (Italian Sailing Federation) for many years and today it is still appealing for many sailors. In fact, this edition of the European Championships allows also the participation of non-European teams. Americans and Canadians will be in Riva del Garda to experience the great come back of this class both in terms of participation and international level. There are 41 early-entered teams, the most represented countries are Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy (just to give an impression of the scope of the event, only 50 teams participated in the 2015 World Championships for the 50th anniversary of the class, while last year at the World Championships in Canada there were only 24 teams).

The competition officially kicks off on Thursday with the first three races, while the programme sets two races for the other days of the event.

The Italian brothers Maffezzoli, reigning National champions, will battle against the Ukrainian team with Lubava at the helm and other experienced sailors.

For all sailing lovers (maybe not equally for those who now sail on foils), it will surely be an opportunity to relive the extraordinary moments that made Soling an undoubtedly particular and also attracting boat: the great Paul Elvstrom, for example, was the very first Soling World Champion in 1969, an edition with almost 100 boats. The Alto Garda Trentino and in particular Fraglia Vela Riva are ready to welcome the fleet and accomplish the goal to sail all the races on programme thanks to the club’s staff, which always can exploit the wind available at its best, even if it does not blow regularly. It is possible to follow the regattas also with the only tracking or on the Web: http://bit.ly/2vdgxob;

ELENA GIOLAI

 Presented by Cathy McLean

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 15 July 2017 )