WASZP European Championships ready to take flight
From June 28th – July 1st the largest ever fleet of WASZP’s will assemble at Lake Garda in Italy. The European Championships held at Fraglia Vela Malcesine has been met with a high level of excitement and anticipation by competitors and supporters.
Over 60 WASZP’s have entered the event with anticipation high for the most competitive WASZP event held so far. With lots of interest in the Perth 2019 WASZP Games and many teams taking advantage of the sensational conditions on Lake Garda, the standard will most certainly be high.
Two days out from the event over 50 boats are in the rigging area training and tuning their WASZP’s, taking advantage of class creator Andrew McDougall’s experience as well as chatting with other sailors about technique and tuning.
The training camp has commenced with 32 sailors enjoying the advice of coaches from Australia and Norway with a genuine willingness to share information and help others, a feature of the WASZP class which is now becoming engrained in the class culture.
The age demographic is well spread with a group of kids aged 13 – 17 years, a bunch of sailors coming back into the sport aged 23 – 35 years, and a group of masters loving the foiling challenge and the battles within the fleet. This has all created the perfect cocktail of atmosphere amongst the fleet.
This year’s programme will consist of Championship Racing (up to 3 races per day) and a Slalom event that will be run around the Championship Racing. This will provide the perfect spectacle for the class, racing right in front of Fraglia Malcesine and a large spectator contingent. The colour the WASZP provides is a fantastic contrast against the water and mountains around Lake Garda.
The European contingent will be led by French sailor Pierre Leboucher, a former 470 Olympian, whilst Marcal Costa racing for Spain, the brother of last year’s European Champion Joan Costa. Marcal has no doubt gained some vital information from his brother. The Norwegian fleet has improved significantly and has run a very slick campaign, the kids with another year of WASZP sailing under their belt will be looking to hit the top of the leaderboard. The UK is sporting the greatest number of competitors from a nation with 14 entries and has many young guns amongst them, as well as many families embracing a week of Italian lifestyle.
Joining the 10 European nations will be 3 Australian’s and 1 New Zealander, who have made the trip to Italy to begin their preparations for Perth 2019.
Tom Trotman heads up the Australian charge having placed 3rd at the Aussie Nationals and 4th at the Pacific Games. He has the runs on the board and is looking to improve. Jack Abbott having experienced last years WASZP Games at Campione, is back again fresh off a 5th placing at the Aussie Nationals. Both are keen to test themselves against Europe’s best and entice their European counterparts to compete in Perth’s home waters in 2019.
Lastly, Bruce Curson has made the trip from New Zealand fresh off winning the New Zealand Nationals and a 3rd place at the Pacific Championships, he is primed for a good result.
The Sub Divisions will be well contested, with 24 sailors racing in the Youth Division. (under 18 years). It will be extremely tight and no doubt the kids are looking for bragging rights over their mates by being the best youth foiler in Europe. Nicolai Jacobsen from Norway will be leading this charge with great performances in the recent WASZP Cup Norway events. 13 sailors including Andrew MacDougall (AMac), will be contesting the Master over 40 division and 6 females will be racing which is sensational for the class and shows how diverse and accessible the class is. The last division will be the 6.9m division which will be hotly contested by around 12 – 15 sailors showing the future of the WASZP class!
Racing begins on the 28th of June.
Stay tuned via the following links:
by Jonny Fullerton on behalf of the WASZP class