The past six days have seen some red hot windsurfing competition on the waters of Lake Garda, as the T293 and T293 Plus World Championships touched down in Torbole, Italy. Known the world over as an ideal venue for top class windsurfing, Torbole certainly presented some challenges for the competitors but in the end more than lived up to its reputation.
A lack of wind thwarted one planned day of elimination races earlier in the week but some creative scheduling and a stoic attitude from the participants in the face of adversity meant that the finals for each class began as planned on Thursday. Improved sunny and windier conditions arrived just in time for those crucial races, too, and allowed for some spectacular action as the World Championships reached their conclusion.
The T293 junior boys' class was perhaps the most exciting and closely fought competition of the whole regatta, with the overall lead changing hands on a near race to race basis and being held at different times by a number of competitors. In the end, however, it was Mathis Ghio from France who held his nerve and came out on top.
A similarly fierce battle raged amongst the T293 junior girls, with France's Mathilde Garandeau and Israel's Linoy Geva fighting for the win. By the end of racing though it was Mak Cheuk Wing from Hong Kong who leapfrogged both and took the victory.
The youth girl's T293 competition, meanwhile, was in many ways an Italian masterclass on home waters. After taking victories in five of the six races during eliminations, home favourite Giorgia Speciale carried that good form into the finals with two wins and a second place from the first three races. Her compatriot Enrica Schirru was her closest rival throughout (but couldn't find a way to overhaul the impressively dominant Speciale.)
The windsurfers contesting the youth boy's competition certainly kept the spectators on the edge of their seats in Torbole, too. Race victories were shared between a large selection of the competitors, which served to keep the standings close throughout the regatta, before Tom Garandeau from France eventually took the crown.
Further hard fought racing and exciting action was delivered by both male and female competitors in the T293 Plus classes, which were also contested at the championships. On the male side, the standings saw a number of lead changes over the course of the regatta but it was Antonino Cangemi from Italy who secured ultimate victory. A slightly smaller fleet didn't limit the excitement on the women's side either and, after six days of top class windsurfing, Clementine Le Joliff from France emerged as World Champion.