Twenty nations, many of them emerging, take part in Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 Record number of participants in the paralympic IFDS classes.
This edition of Garda Trentino Olympic Week ( 9th -13th May), is particularly special this year as it is also the year of the Rio Olympic Games, 2016 which accounts for the absence of many of the Olympic classes that are always present at this event.
In fact the qualifications for the Olympics wound up just a couple of weeks ago at the World Cup at Hyères, France. We are having a good turn- out, however from the paralympic classes who have registered the largest number of competitors at Fraglia Vela Malcesine with 35 boats competing which are divided into 3 classes; 2.4 Skud, Sonar with 11 nations at the starting gate with many emerging countries in the Laser Radial and Standard classes at Fraglia Vela Riva. Standing out among them are Tunisia, Algeria, Seychelles, Bahrain (BRN), Uruguay, Indonesia (ARU), Malaysia (MAS) and Chile. Obviously their federations are investing a lot in sailing with sights on future Olympics (2020 or 2024). Lake Garda offers the best training ground not only for sailing , but also for athletes who want to diversify with cycling, hiking and jogging.
The week certainly didn't start off in the best way weather-wise and it looks as if rain is in the forecast for the duration of the event. At least we can hope for a northerly wind that usually shows up in bad weather. After 2 days of competition, the Laser Radial and Standard classes have completed one race while the paralympic 2.4 Skud and Sonar have completed 2. In both courses winds were light and from the south. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow (Wednesday), at 8.45 for the Laser S and R classes and 9.00 for the 2.4 Skud and Sonar with northerly winds (fingers crossed).
Class Laser Radial (W), location: Fraglia Vela Riva
Karachaliou leads in the women's category followed by Mohamad Latif of Malaysia. Valentina Balbi of Italy is third ( YC Italiano).
Class Laser Standard (M), location: Fraglia Vela Riva
Teply of the Czech Republic leads after the only race of today. Karim Filah of Canada is second and Marco Benini, sailing with the colours of Fraglia Vela Riva, is third.
Class paralympic IFDS, location: Fraglia Vela Malcesine
(18 boats-7 nations)
American Smith (2-1) leads the largest paralympic class of 28 boats. He holds a 5 point lead over Melgarejo of Spain (6-2). Australian Matt Bugg ( Tasmania Yacht Club) is in third place (7-3). Andrea Arasio is the first of the Italians in eighth place while Antonio Squizzato didn't get off tot a good start for the qualification for Rio 2016 (11—6).
Skud 18 (10 boats-9 countries)
Australians Fitzgibbon-Liesl got off to a serious start notching up a first and a third to put them in the lead ahead of Brits Rickham-Birrell ( winners of the last edition of Garda Trentino Olympic Week). They achieved a fifth and a first. Third place is held by last year silver medallists McRoberts-Gay of Canada. Italians Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti are fifth with a 5-3. They were bronze medallists at the Melbourne World Championships, 2015 and have already qualified for Rio 2016.
Sonar (6 boats- 4 nations)
Australia also leads in this class with the crew of Harrison Colin and Jon Boaden bringing home a 2-1. They tie on points, however, with Brits Robertson-Stodel-Thomas(1-2). In third place are Llobet Balcells-Alvarez-Gimeno (3-3) of Spain. Italians D' Agaro-Pira and Solazzo are fourth.
Photo © Press Office FRAGLIA VELA RIVA