Strength not only in numbers from the French team with Nicolas Huguet winning all three races on the first day of the European Championships. The wins did not come easy though, the races were close and as Nicolas said, "You can never be comfortable." The Spanish Toni Colomar Torres was always close behind, even leading in the first race, he finished with two second places and a third. Third in the overall classification is Alejandro Buchau from Club de Surf Formentera.
In the ladies fleet the fight for gold is even more intense. Ilona Grinberga is leading after three solid races of which she won two. Maria Antonia Dominguez came second in all three starts and is trailing 1 point to the leader. In third we have Aleksandra Blinnikka, Aleksandra retired in the second race, but was first and third in the others. Anything can change after the first discard is in place tomorrow.
All in all, you can feel the windsurfing atmosphere in Puerto Sherry. Talking about tactics dominates, but you can also feel the anticipation for what the next days will bring and hear some laughter about things like sore hands.
Strong winds are forecast and the skippers meeting has been scheduled for 10:00 tomorrow.
A total of 41 competitors from 10 countries are taking part in the Raceboard European Championships at the Andalucian Sailing Federation Centre, Puerto Sherry. 7 women and 34 men competing for the titles.
A minimum of 5 competitors have signed up to constitute the following divisions: Overall Woman, Overall Man, Youth Man, Master Man, Grand Master Man, Lightweight, Heavyweight.
With almost half of all competitors registered being Masters (5 men), Grand Masters (10 men, 1 woman) or Veterans (4 men, 1 woman) we asked Patrik Pollak why the class is such a success with the more experienced sailors, like himself.
"Now that I don't have all that time for training and my stamina is not as good as before, I find that the tactical side of racing plays an important role for me. Raceboard is a very versatile class, with close races. Speed is important but it is not a decisive factor, with good tactics and equipment choices you can easily make up the lack of speed. I think a lot of masters find this attractive in the class," said Patrik.
"The other thing," he added, "is that the equipment is great. You go out and windsurf in almost any conditions. At home I train on the lakes, but most regattas are on the sea. No matter if it is 5 or 25 kts, you can always sail a Raceboard and have fun at it. Whenever I give any of my younger windsurfing friends a chance to try it they are amazed how fast it goes in 8kts. It's really a great class for everybody."