Over 300 young competitors from all over the world have made the journey to Liepaja, Latvia, with entrants from as far afield as Japan, Peru, Oman, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Argentina, America and China, as well as a large number of European countries.
Competition has been continuous for 3 days now and the conditions have been near-perfect for racing, with 12 - 16 knot winds and bright sunshine sweeping across the wide sandy beaches of this Baltic coast. All the classes have seen action every day. We're at the half-way stage of the regatta, and the leader boards are beginning to take shape. There's been a strong showing by Israeli racers, who are dominating proceedings and are currently lying 1st in 6 of the 8 categories, with a provisional 1-2-3 in Junior Female, Junior Male and Youth Female! With over 80 entrants, the Youth Male class has been split into 2 fleets, Gold and Silver, with a final series started yesterday including the best ranked racers from both fleets. Only France's Manon Pianazza (Youth Plus Female) and Hong Kong’s Tang Chi-Long (Youth Male Silver Fleet) are preventing a clean-sweep of the gold medal positions for Israel at the competition's mid point.
The wind forecast is good and it should be a fascinating 3 days of racing to come before the medals can be awarded and our 2018 Techno world champions crowned.
Meanwhile, this week sees the end of an era, with Italy's Ezio Ferin standing down from the Techno International Committee after years of service to the cause, although he won't be stepping aside completely, if anything, he's making more time to get involved in other work closer to home. But he was there at the beginning, from the Aloha days that preceded the decision to switch to the Techno board, a decision which he identifies as having been crucial to establishing this class as the most dynamic in the whole of world-wide windsurfing. Thanks Ezio, from everyone involved in Techno, and good luck with your future projects.