130 windsurfers from 27 countries have gathered in Mondello, Sicily for the Techno293Plus European Championships. The event being a Youth Olympic Qualifier for Europe has attracted some top talent, not only from Europe but also Asia, South and North America wanting to test their skills against the best.
For the European competitors, it is the last chance to grasp the 4 remaining spots at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. The setting is perfect for the challenge as host Club Canottieri Roggero Di Lauria is a place, where amongst the sailing trophies and photos on the walls of the beautiful clubhouse you can find black and white pictures of the first windsurfers and pictures of Techno293 sailors. Including the Techno293 sailors, who attended the previous YOG in China. You can feel that windsurfing is an important part of the club's history.
Today was the first day of action and for now the reigning World Champions from Quiberon have the event under control. The Youth Women fleet is led by Italy's Giorgia Speciale. Giorgia is a very experienced sailor, but still before racing today she drew the racecourse on her forearm not to make any mistakes. It turned out to be a good idea, as she was leading most of the races. "I sailed the right course," she said later smiling. "We had good light wind racing. In the first race I was first, in the second I came second, but as the girl in front was OCS I got the first place." Giorgia finished the day with another bullet and is firmly in front.
Fabien Pianazza, like Giorgia also the winner of the Worlds, was happy with his performance. "It was a very good day. In the first race, it was France in the top 3 spots and I was second. The second race I managed to win because I was very fast downwind," he added. Fabien is second overall despite getting a 6th in the last race of the day.
15 races are scheduled in the series and granted another 3 are sailed tomorrow the event will be going into the final stage on Wednesday.