Raceboard events are unique in many senses and the European Championship held at the Andalucian Sailing Federation Centre, Puerto Sherry, in the beautiful Spanish city of El Puerto de Santa Maria will not be an exception. The one thing that makes these regattas special is families.
You may say that the community formed around Raceboard is a family, with amateur sailors learning from their seasoned peers, everybody spending time together in a competitive yet friendly atmosphere. We have got ex Olympic Class sailors looking for an opportunity to compete, enthusiasts of all age from youth to veterans. The class is undoubtedly for everybody and the mix of generations adds to the experience of the events.
Then there are the windsurfing families. Some have been windsurfing for decades, with their children picking up windsurfing after the parents and some have started windsurfing to be able to spend time on the water with their windsurfing children.
The most recognisable of the Raceboard families would be the Manchons, with the Spanish couple Paco Manchon and Maria Antonina Dominguez looking to make an impact in front of their home crowd. Windsurfing runs in the Manchons blood, as between Paco, Maria and their children Blanca and Curro they have won 19 world titles. When asked about her first competitive experience Blanca answered that it was before she was born, her mother having raced in the Spanish nationals being several months pregnant.
The four time Raceboard World Champion Max Wojcik is also often accompanied at regattas by his older brother Maciej. This time the duo will not make it to El Puerto due to previous arrangements, but claim they are coming back strong in the future.
One family that will definitely be looking for some podium places in El Puerto are the Blinnikkas. Coming from Finland, the family has strong representatives in Male Youth, Senior, G-Master and Female categories. The one to watch for would be Daniel, 8th in the 2014 World Championship in Blanes and 3rd this year in Sopot. In the absence of Max and with the support of his family he could well be one of the main contenders for the Raceboard European Championship title.
In just over a week generations of sailors will travel to the south of Spain to spend time and compete together. Windsurfing families on the spot adding to the atmosphere of the great sailing venue.
See you there.