Monthly Archives: July 2018
Photo c Marc Ablett
The day we had been waiting for all event finally arrived. 15 – 18 knots of Lake Garda goodness rolled in early from the South and it was all to play for with the European Championship on the line.
Tom Trotman from Australia was in a strong position heading into the final day and consolidated with a 1,2,2 scorecard to take the overall event from Bruce Curson of New Zealand who finished with two bullets in the final two races. It will be fantastic to see these guys go head to head again at the WASZP Games in Perth 2019.
The battle for the overall European Championship was much more intense with 17 year old Nicolai Jacobsen holding a slight advantage over French sailor Pierre Leboucher. In the first race of the day Jacobsen put one hand on the trophy by finishing in second place with Leboucher back in fifth. Then in the second race of the day Leboucher was looking really good and chasing hard only to have a sensational crash, picking up a knee injury that all but dashed his championship hopes. Jacobsen then sailed a smart final race to stay out of trouble and take the WASZP European Championship to Norway.
Photos c Marc Ablett
The racing was extremely tight and as good as you will ever see on such a high performance foiling boat. With the standard lifting with every race completed, it was amazing to see fifteen boats coming into an upwind gate at 20 knots boat speed.
In other categories, Italian sailor Margerhita Porro won the Women’s Championship from six others, while Jacobsen won the Youth division. In the Masters category it was Bruce Curson from New Zealand and in the 6.9 rig it was young Richard Schuilthie from Malta.
The GPS speed challenge was also hotly contested with the top speed of the week coming from Norwegian Erik Karlsen with 22.9 knots recorded on the final day. The fastest speed we have seen at an event is still 26.1 knots set by New Zealander Nick Olsen at the Australian nationals.
It is pretty special to see how the WASZP has grown in the last 12 months in particular. We had five separate heat winners ranging from a 14 year old, a 22 year old, a 37 year old former Olympian and a 42 year old. It would be hard to find a class of boat where people from all walks of life and all ages can compete together on the same race course and all be super-competitive.
The WASZP class is still in its infancy, but one thing is for sure, the culture and atmosphere around the sailors is amazing. Everyone is willing to help each other and after racing in the rigging area or in the bar the vibe is amazing. The future is certainly a bright on for the WASZP.
The WASZP European Championships headed to Day 3 with much optimism, the fleet launched at 8:30 am for a 9am start, due to not much action over the first 2 days. The northerly was starting to really funnel in with around 15 knots on the race course.
The start was amazing with 63 WASZP’s all hitting the line at the same time. Norwegian sailor Henrick Haaland had a sensational start in the middle of the line and showed good speed. However by the top mark it was a full on assault from the sailors from down under with Tom Trotman, Jack Abbott, Andrew (Amac) McDougall from Australia and Bruce Curson from New Zealand taking the lead.
Down the run Amac took a low road while the rest stayed up high and were full noise down the first run. Alexander Hoghiem-Dahl was showing some serious wheels posting 21.9 knots in the GPS speed challenge.
Trotman managed to hold on down the second run to fend off Curson by 5 seconds at the finish. Ex-49er sailor Rory Hunter from GBR had a sensational final lap to roar into 3rd place and put the pressure on the overall leaders.
As the Northerly died everyone headed in for a bite to eat and waited for the Southerly to arrive. It finally drifted in at 2pm and the fleet launched for a 2:30 pm start. Finally the conditions we came for. Tom Trotman led from start to finish in race 3 and won in emphatic fashion from Nicolai Jacobsen who has produced a seriously consistent series to be the first European with one day remaining.
In Race 4 New Zealander Bruce Curson jumped the fleet to lead for the first lap, only for a shift to claim a few of the leaders. Former 470 Olympian Pierre Leboucher from France showed a clean pair of heals to claim victory in Race 4. The French team have improved immensely and are the top performing European nation as we speak.
Race 5 was sailed in around 8 – 14knots, conditions which has typified this series. Again the start was hot and all the key performers were there. This time it was Jacobsen from Norway and Festino from France who were in a battle for the lead. Again a massive shuffle in places up the final work provided some serious entertainment for the spectators. With Trotman powering from 6th to 1st and hold the lead to the finish line.
Overall it is Trotman leading from Curson with leading European entrant Nicolai Jacobsen in 3rd with Leboucher not far behind. It is all to play for on the final day of the WASZP European Championships.
Overall it was sensational to finally get our event started with a full day of racing, the competitors are tired, but ready to do it all again tomorrow!