Welcome to Travemuende, the pearl of Luebeck on the German Baltic coast, where the O’pen Skiff European Championships have had the honour to be invited to be part of an historic sailing event, the Travemunder Woche, one of Europe’s biggest sail boat gatherings, now 130 years old.

Thousands of boats and sailing people for sure, but much more than that, it’s a ten day festival of sport, art, culture and cuisine on dry land, and a veritable “Festiventu” out on the water.

Around 2000 sail boats will be gathering for the occasion, with various class regattas, among them 87 O’pen Skiffs, a decent sized presence for this increasingly popular class of sailing aimed specifically at giving youngsters the best chance possible of experiencing the joy of sailing, and ensuring that everyone is competing equally on the same excellent equipment.

There are big fleets from near-neighbours France and Italy and a very strong German team, plus a strong Polish contingent, who have obviously come with hopes of podium places. Others have come from further afield, notably Ben Tapper, who has made the trip over from the Manly Sailing Club in New Zealand, our excellent hosts for the World Championships back in January. He’ll be considered as an honorary European for the week, unless he wins!

There is quality across the board in the field of young sailors signed up, including Italy’s Manuel de Felice in the U17 class, winner of the two previous O’pen Skiff EC 2019 rounds in Palermo and Sopot, and France’s Tiphaine Rideau in the U13 class, she made the long trip down-under this winter and came away with a hard-fought and well-merited bronze medal. Names to check in the coming week.
It’s hot here in Travmuende, like everywhere in Europe, meaning that today’s practice day was almost completely lost to no-wind, a light breeze giving everyone a chance to check the race site at the end of the day.

The forecast for the week ahead is good, with slightly breezier conditions forecast to arrive just in the nick of time. Yessss! If all goes well the Race Committee will be running 12 races in each fleet during the week, with a maximum of four races per day. The last day possible for racing is Sunday.

You can check all the wind reports, race action and results on the official O’pen Skiff European Championships website at:  

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