Today saw the final day of the 2015 RS:X European & Youth European Championships here at Mondello beach in Sicily. After a challenging week, it all came down to today decide who would take the title. That said, there was a relaxed and positive mood in the air today as the contenders made the most of the last day, hiding any hint of pressure well.
In the men's senior fleet the points were close with Poland's Pawel Tarnowski leading after a redress - a protest hearing that allowed him to claim valuable points. In the women's senior fleet the competition was still very much open and the racing was expected to be exciting as the athletes fought it out in a last chance for the crown. In the men's youth fleet it was the host country, Italy, who were hoping for a medal with Carlo Ciabatti representing but he wasn't the only nation to feel the pressure; in the women's youth fleet Israel had 5 entries with hopes of at least two of their athletes posting a good result.
A dominant force in the Women's Youth European Championship this year was Noy Drihan who put on an impressive show that saw her sat firmly at the top of the leaderboard. Meanwhile Katy Spychakov managed to outfox Russia's Mariam Sekhposyan and beat her to a third place on the podium. In between the two podium finishers was Shai Blank who bagged the silver medal.
A well represented Israel celebrated a medal in the Youth Men's division with Yoav Omer. He managed to steal silver from Italy's Carlo Ciabatti who in the end claimed the bronze medal. But who was in the top spot? It was Sil Hoekstra from the Netherlands - a rising star to watch and the 2015 Youth European Champion.
In the women's senior fleet an epic clash was underway with only 7 points separating the top 5. The key was good tactics and it was the UK's Bryony Shaw who came up with the goods and secured her spot at the top of the podium and with it the European title.
It was a frustrating story for Bialecka who had the lead all week but lost out on that special gold medal at the very last moment. However a silver was still a pleasing result and a first for the Polish athlete. Finally it was Bialecka's team mate Zofia Noceti Klepacka who finished up and took the bronze.
In the Men's Senior Gold fleet it was Byron Kokkalanis who won the medal race but finished 6th overall. The fight for the title was between two other contenders.
So it was gold for Pawel Tarnowski, Silver for Dorian Van Rijsselberge and Bronze for Luis Giard.
After a wealth of 'on the water excitement' it was time for the awards ceremony where the winners were recognized and the celebrations got started. It was time to enjoy the moment and relive the memories of an action packed week.
Full Coverage on the RS:X Class Website
Photos credits: Salvatore Lopez - Albaria
Press Office: ICARUS SAILING MEDIA