It has already been a week filled with amazing memories for everyone to take home, none more so than our fleet of 87 O’pen Skiff youngsters, who have made the trip to the Baltic and have been spoiled with the great occasion of the festival, but also by the variable conditions that have tested their skills, and bravery, to the max. And nothing more testing than today, when the heatwave was blown away by gusty 20 knot winds and some serious water contours.
If Friday was sublime, Saturday was reality check time for many of the racers, especially in the U13 category. It made for some dramatic sailing, but was just too much for the youngsters to do two races. In the end the U13s were stood down after one race, conditions too much for the likes of Gijs Bruin (Holland) who didn’t finish, whereas Aniela Frackowiak (Poland) said that although she missed the start, that she had great fun and would probably not have finished in the minimum time anyway.
As with cycling’s Tour de France, the weather has played it’s part. The brisk conditions have blown through the leader boards, and, as we predicted, there’s still lots to be won and lost between now and Sunday afternoon, when our 2019 European O’pen Skiff Champions will be crowned.
In the U13 category, it looks like Federico Quaranta has a big enough lead to take first place. Sam Duflos (France) has made a great, late charge to the podium, and now lies on the second step ahead of Mr Consistency, Nonnis Elias (Italy). The Polish team, now relegated from the podium spots, may still have something to say.
But a big shake-up in the U17 category, with the leader of the event, Manuel de Felice (Italy), put under intense pressure by team mate Nonnis Leonardo, visibly cracking in the heavy conditions, allowing Leonardo and Ben Tapper (New Zealand) to threaten not just the first, but also the second step of the Sunday evening O’pen Skiff European Championships medal presentation podium.