2015 RACEBOARD EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (REC) 2015 RACEBOARD YOUTH EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (RYEC) 2015 RACEBOARD MASTERS EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (RMEC) 2015 DIVISION II ANDALUCIAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS (D2OC) 2015 R300 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (RHEC)
An International Windsurfing Association sanctioned event
YOUTH MEN: 1. Fernando Lamadrid Trueba (ESP) 2. Angel Granda Roque (ESP) 3. Bohdan Molcanyi (SVK)
MASTERS MEN: 1. Nicolas Huguet (FRA) 2. Patrik Pollak (SVK) 3. Pedro Corte Moura (POR)
GRAND MASTERS MEN: 1. Alex Buchau (ESP) 2. Juha Blinnikka (FIN) 3. Fernando Lamadrid Rodríguez (ESP)
VETERAN MEN: 1. Patric Roelandts (BEL) 2. Jean Asia (FRA) 3. Paco Manchon (ESP)
LIGHTWEIGHT MEN: 1. Nicolas Huguet (FRA) 2. Patrik Pollak (SVK) 3. Pedro Corte Moura (POR)
HEAVYWEIGHT MEN: 1. Toni Colomar Torres (ESP) 2. Alex Buchau (ESP) 3. Juha Blinnikka (FIN)
Aleksandra Blinnikka and Nicolas Huguet claim Raceboard European Championship Titles
This year's Raceboard European Championships were hosted by the Andalucian Sailing Federation Centre, Puerto Sherry, in the beautiful Spanish city of El Puerto de Santa Maria. The 41 sailors from 10 countries could enjoy some of the best sailing conditions the place has to offer, as 14 races for the women and 15 for the men were conducted in winds ranging from 8 to 24 kts and temperatures of around 26oC. It's no wonder that EL Puerto is the winter training destination for many national windsurfing teams.
The atmosphere of the class can be seen at each event, where families and friends from all around the world are competing together and against each other. The most recognizable of the Raceboard families in El Puerto would be the Manchons, with the Spanish couple Paco Manchon and Maria Antonina Dominguez and the Blinnikkas, having strong representatives in Male, Youth, Senior, G-Master and Female divisions.
It was Aleksandra Blinnikka from Finland, who came on top, winning the European Championship. "It wasn't easy," as she says. "When I saw the entry list at the start of the regatta, I said to myself that it would be good to be in the top 4. The competition was really hard. I'm so happy to have won," she added. Second and third were the local sailors from Spain Maria Antonia Dominguez and Pilar Lamadrid Trueba.
In the men's fleet it was Nicolas Huguet from France, who dominated all the way, winning 14 out of the 15 races. "It was really fun. Especially today with the strong wind," he said. "I had the equipment before the races and I had time to prepare for the event. I could feel I was better with each start," he said after the final race. Just as in the case of the women, the second and third places in the overall men classification went to the Spanish windsurfers. Toni Coloma was second and Alex Buchau third.
Next up for the Raceboard class is the Masters World Championships in Cagliari in October. The regatta will be held alongside the Techno293 Worlds, which will make this combined event one of the biggest held this year, with as many as 500 windsurfers expected to show up.
Waiting is part of the game
Conditions play a vital role in windsurfing and anybody, who has ever raced knows that waiting is part of the game. Today was one of those days. The forecast showed the wind dropping and the Race Committee led by Luky Serrano decided to start the races with no delay. This decision proved right and two races were conducted before the sailors were sent ashore to wait. The next race was not planned before 16:00. And we waited.
Pedro Corte Moura spent his time ashore writing a short report. "While we wait for a 2nd round of races, I leave you a short report of the 1st part of the day, which began very early. We had to start early because the wind was expected to fall late in the morning ... and it did.
"So after two races, we are now waiting on shore the wind back to make 2 more. Now we eat something, do stretches and rest-hands a bit.
"The first race was with some offshore gusty wind, and I was able to get good speed. The second race was with much less wind, and on this one I was with good speed, but unfortunately, I have been totally blocked by other competitors in starting line. I was at that moment almost last, but I have made a very good recovery till 10."
We had one race after the break. Pedro was 7th staying in 5th place overall.
While waiting Juha Blinnikka said he never lets his son win, but he is happy when Daniel does well. Daniel didn't think too much about his father's kind words and came in third. The second discard however means they are still on equal points on 6th and 7th.
The leaderboard hasn't changed much with Nicolas Huguet firmly in front having won all three of today's races. The fight for the second place will be between the two Spanish sailors Toni Colomar Torres and Alejandro Buchau.
Aleksandra Blinnikka is leading in the ladies' fleet followed by Maria Antonia Dominguez and Ilona Grinberga.
Tomorrow we plan three more races with strong winds up to 20 kts as the "Viento de Levante" approaches.
Exciting Racing in El Puerto de Santa Maria
We're set for some exciting racing to the very end. The ladies are fighting hard and despite the small fleet of just 7 sailors, the podium places have not yet been secured.
We've got a Youth, Senior, Grand Master and Veteran in the top 4. It's great to see the Youth fighting with Veteran sailors as equals. The more experienced ladies often come on top of this confrontation, just like today when Maria Antonia Dominguez won two of the three races and is now just one point behind Aleksandra Blinnikka from Finland.
Third is the best Youth Pilar Lamadrid Trueba and fourth the only GM Ilona Grinberga. Can't wait to see what the next days will bring, especially when the second discard is in place after 12 races.
Stay tuned for today's video where our ladies share their views on the class and Raceboard racing.
Another good rivalry to follow is the father-son battle between the Blinnikkas. Juha and Daniel are just one point apart in 6th and 7th overall. You could feel the intensiveness very well today. Pumping most of the way.
The top three have not changed with Nicolas Huguet close to securing his title with another three wins. Many things can still happen, but it will be hard for the two Spanish sailors, Toni Colomar Torres and Alejandro Buchau, in second and third to reduce the point difference.
We plan to have some info straight from the press boat tomorrow. Keep a lookout on our twitter feed and website for txt, photos
Wind Speeds Build on Day Two
As the forecast predicted that the wind will only build in strength today the Race Committee made a decision not to delay the starts and set out as scheduled. The day showed that the forecast proved correct, with wind speed building from 16 to around 20 kts during the racing and even more as the day went on.
You only need to look at the results to see that the conditions today were not as the ones yesterday.
The changes are especially visible in the ladies' fleet, where Aleksandra Blinnikka climbed to first place with just one point advantage over Pilar Lamadrid Trueba. Third is Maria Antonia Dominguez and yesterday's leader Ilona Grinberga, after a couple of worse races dropped to fourth overall. Today Ilona sailed the 7.8 sqm T293 sail in the demanding conditions of El Puerto.
The men's fleet saw one badly broken daggerboard by ESP-20 Borja Carracedo Serra. Borja had to replace his whole board due to the incident as no replacement daggerboard was available and his proved to be beyond repair.
Nicolas Huguet won two of the three races and has extended his lead over two Spanish sailors Toni Colomar Torres and Alejandro Buchau. Fourth in the general classification is Patrik Pollak.
Patrik's role in El Puerto is not limited to racing, for a long time he has been dedicated to evolving the media aspect of the IWA classes. Raceboard is a good class to test different possibilities and today was one of those anticipated days. Check out the interview with Patrik for his comments on the live video from today's first race.
Ilona Grinberga & Nicolas Huguet lead after day one
Strength not only in numbers from the French team with Nicolas Huguet winning all three races on the first day of the European Championships. The wins did not come easy though, the races were close and as Nicolas said, "You can never be comfortable." The Spanish Toni Colomar Torres was always close behind, even leading in the first race, he finished with two second places and a third. Third in the overall classification is Alejandro Buchau from Club de Surf Formentera.
In the ladies fleet the fight for gold is even more intense. Ilona Grinberga is leading after three solid races of which she won two. Maria Antonia Dominguez came second in all three starts and is trailing 1 point to the leader. In third we have Aleksandra Blinnikka, Aleksandra retired in the second race, but was first and third in the others. Anything can change after the first discard is in place tomorrow.
All in all, you can feel the windsurfing atmosphere in Puerto Sherry. Talking about tactics dominates, but you can also feel the anticipation for what the next days will bring and hear some laughter about things like sore hands.
Strong winds are forecast and the skippers meeting has been scheduled for 10:00 tomorrow.
Racing Starts in El Puerto de Santa Maria Tomorrow
A total of 41 competitors from 10 countries will take part in the Raceboard European Championships at the Andalucian Sailing Federation Centre, Puerto Sherry. 7 women and 34 men competing for the titles.
A minimum of 5 competitors have signed up to constitute the following divisions: Overall Woman, Overall Man, Youth Man, Master Man, Grand Master Man, Lightweight, Heavyweight.
With almost half of all competitors registered being Masters (5 men), Grand Masters (10 men, 1 woman) or Veterans (4 men, 1 woman) we asked Patrik Pollak why the class is such a success with the more experienced sailors, like himself.
"Now that I don't have all that time for training and my stamina is not as good as before, I find that the tactical side of racing plays an important role for me. Raceboard is a very versatile class, with close races. Speed is important but it is not a decisive factor, with good tactics and equipment choices you can easily make up the lack of speed. I think a lot of masters find this attractive in the class," said Patrik.
"The other thing," he added, â€œis that the equipment is great. You go out and windsurf in almost any conditions. At home I train on the lakes, but most regattas are on the sea. No matter if it is 5 or 25 kts, you can always sail a Raceboard and have fun at it. Whenever I give any of my younger windsurfing friends a chance to try it they are amazed how fast it goes in 8kts. It's really a great class for everybody."
Racing at the European Championships in El Puerto de Santa Maria starts tomorrow at 11:00. Stay tuned for some twitter coverage on the regatta site - http://europeans2015.raceboard.org/
The Andalucian Sailing Federation Centre is ready for a packed week of exciting Raceboard racing and so are the windsurfers that have travelled to El Puerto de Santa Maria from all over Europe.
Registration for the European Championships is still open and the organisers are looking to see some late entries at the regatta office on Monday. The number of competitors is anticipated to exceed 50.
Those that will race are in for some of the famous conditions the region has to offer. The weather is one thing that is guaranteed in Andalucia making it one of the top winter training choices for numerous sailing teams and also a prominent host venue to many great regattas. It will be no different during this event. With the experienced hosts and temperatures in the high 20s all week long, there is nothing stopping a great show.
The European title is up for the taking and there are at least a couple of windsurfers in it for the win. Watch out for the masters that have a strong representation at this event and may well end up on podium positions in the general classification.
Pedro Moura from Portugal had a strong performance at this year's Worlds in Sopot and is one of the top spot contenders, as well as the locals Toni Colomar-Torres (4th in 2014 Worlds) and Alejandro Rivera-Rodriguez (5th 2014 Worlds). Never underestimate SVK-1 Patrik Pollak, who was third overall at last year's Europeans. Last but not least there is Daniel Blinnikka. Does the young Finn have what it takes to win the Raceboard European Championship title? We will learn soon.
In the ladies fleet another Blinnikka is looking to make an impact. Aleksandra was 2nd in the Worlds in June showing off her skills in Poland. Now she is looking to improve her result at the Europeans.
Stay tuned for some interviews, photos and videos, which will be posted on the event website during the event.