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Competition/RSX Euros 13

2013 RS:X EUROPEAN WINDSURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS

PHOTO ALBUMS: Day One (Registration and Practice Race) / Day Two  / Day Three / More Day Three / Day Five

Champions Galore in Brest

It has been a week of hard racing and mental prowess at the Crocodiles de L'Elorn Club in Brest. Near 300 competitors had gathered up here hoping to bring the European title home.

This was no easy feat for any of the champions as the level of all the fleets were very high and most of the windsurfers have had to give it their whole until the finish of the last race. The weather conditions kept them on their toes as the wind was shifty and there was no room for mistake. Everyone was on edge ashore to find out who would come out first in the event's ranking and in the European championship itself.

RS:X Men
Happy day for Greece as Byron Kokkalanis brings the European Champion title home with an 8 point-lead on delighted Shahar Zubari from Israel who managed to hold on to the silver medal despite a very tenacious Pierre Le Coq who in the end settled with bronze. The common thread between the men on the podium was the large smile on their faces as medals were quite an achievement after the challenges of this week.

In the overall Open competition, the podium is the same with Britain's Olympic medallist Nick Dempsey in 4th. 5th placed Louis Giard becomes the U21 Class Champion.

RS:X Women
And the winner is . . . France! If there was a title hardly won this week, it was the Women European title. All was to play this morning as Charline Picon, British Olympic medallist Bryony Shaw and Spain's Blanca Manchon took to the water. Finishing 3rd, 5th and 1st of the three medal races, Charline Picon managed a final 3-point lead in front of Britain's Bryony Shaw and kept Spain's Blanca Manchon 9 points away.

In the overall Open competition, the ranking gives Bryony Shaw (GB) winner, followed by Charline Picon (FR) 2nd, Blanca Manchon 3rd (SP), Maayan Davidovich (ISR), 4th and Natalia Kosinska (NZ) 5th. Kamila Smektala from Poland wins the U21 Class Champion title.

A sunny exciting day in Brest for the RS:X Europeans
For the 4th day of racing, the dream combination of sunshine and wind delighted the competitors. With 10 to 12 knots, the race committee treated the fleets with three races.

The competitors sailed under the watchful eye of Jean-Pierre Champion, President of the French Federation of Sailing and strong advocate for the RS:X class as an Olympic class, who declared: "It is important to celebrate the return and sustainability of windsurfing in the Olympic world. Windsurf is essential to sailing as a sport. Now, we must find the right racing formula for competitors and audiences alike. Visually, the class is very attractive but the events have to be understood by a large audience. I hope that this very symbolic championship, held in legendary Brest and organised by the local sailing club, les Crocodiles de l'Elorn is the very first step to the French windsurfing come back."

RS:X Men
In the RS:X Open windsurfing championship, it was a game of musical chairs in the top 10 with Taehoon Lee from Korea losing his qualification for the medal races to Kiran Badloe from Netherlands. Byron Kokkalanis from Greece will be in pole position tomorrow with 37 points closely followed by Shahar Zubari from Israel tied with Frenchman Pierre Le Coq with 40 points. Three U21 qualified in that group including Louis Giard who is 11 points ahead from his closest competitor.
In the European RSX windsurfing championship, the order remains exactly the same with a challenge for Kokkalanis who has a short 2-point advantage and Zubari and Le Coq tied.

RS:X Women
In the RS:X Open windsurfing championship, France's Charline Picon and the Brest waters have a great history together as she has won her French title here in 2012 as well as her European Vice-Champion title in 2008. Winning the first two races today, Picon was on a winning spree but too early on the black flag in the last race, she enters the medal races in 4th place and 7 points from the lead. This benefits Britain's Bryony Shaw who takes the lead, followed by New-Zealand Natalia Kosinska who's been having a fantastic week here in Brest. Spanish Blanca Manchon climbs back up on the podium.
There will be no love lost on the water tomorrow!


In the European RSX windsurfing championship, podium for the title is in that order: 1-Bryony Shaw, 2-Charline Picon, 3-Blanca Manchon.

Results: European Championships / Youth European Championships

Long day at RS:X Europeans
It was the first of the two finals' races day today in Brest, France and morale had to be strong to manage the time spent waiting for the wind. But as the sky cleared up and the wind shyly tried to build up, the announcements on the race village kept the same song as no steady wind entered the Bay of Brest today.

As the 270 competitors kept themselves busy playing ball or going through their races from the previous days and doing interviews with the press, the organisers waited until 5pm local time to cancel the RS:One and RS:X Silver fleets' races. The RS:One enjoyed a Pulsar race course yesterday, a slalom in teams that is shorter, very dynamic and raced close to shore. The organisers are hoping to set the same race course for the medal races on Sunday.

The Gold Fleets of the RS:X class got lucky as the wind came in and the decision to go ahead with the regattas was taken at 6:30pm with a signal for the Youth fleet 30 minutes later and the Men's and Women's races 45 minutes later.

Nick Dempsey probably wishes tonight that the racing had been cancelled as he lost his lead today though he remains 3rd on the podium after finishing 10th and 29th today. This turned to the advantage of Przemyslaw Miarczynski from Poland who takes the lead followed by Byron Kokkalanis from Greece. Tomorrow's races will be hard fought, no doubt!

As for the ladies, it was a good day for Charline Picon. Finishing second in the second race makes her climb to second place in the provisional overall ranking with Maja Dziarnowska from Poland still first and Maayan Davidovich still third. Bryony Shaw from Britain, despite a third place in the first race leaves the podium. Blanca Manchon sits in 5th.

Full Results:


Confused Sailors Left Scratching Their Heads…

The second day of the 2013 RS:X European Windsurfing Championships, the RS:X Open Youth European Windsurfing Championships and the RS:One European Championships has left many 249 sailors from 38 countries feeling dazed and confused.

The Women and Girls were out first, starting where they ended yesterday - rigging up in the rain and gusty conditions. As they reached their respective race courses the rain had eased but the next challenge for the sailors was some incredibly challenging winds - going from 8 to 18 knots and swinging back and forth with no real consistency.

In the Women's fleet, each of the three races had a different winner with the spoils going to Blanca Manchon (ESP), Laura Linares (ITA) and Bryony Shaw (GBR). Shaw's win in the final race was pretty emphatic having finished before the next sailor had even entered into the slalom.

Shaw commented, "The conditions were really challenging, both shifty and variable in strength. You could be on the start line with twenty seconds to go in eight knots which suddenly built to fifteen necessitating a change to the whole game plan at the very last minute. That coupled with a building tide made every race totally unique - a real challenge!".

Shaw sits in third place at the end of day with Natalia Kosinska (NZL) in second and Maja Dziarnowska (POL) holding onto her lead. Kosinska and Charline Picon (FRA) had the most consistent day, managing to read the conditions the best. Picon won the French Championships here in October but insists that there is no local knowledge that would have helped with any of today's races.

In the afternoon when the Men and Boys came out the conditions were very much the same – tough going. However, like Tibi in the morning, Nick Dempsey (GBR) posted a 1,2,1 scoreline, seemingly in touch with the weather gods and reading the conditions perfectly. He has now increased his overall lead at the end of day two.

Dempsey said, "Having won the first race of the day, it took the pressure off me and I just relaxed and enjoyed the racing. It was definitely tricky out there but it seemed to all come good for me today." For the rest, it was a tough day in the office and one which required a lot of effort to make sure that, as the fleets split into gold and silver, the sailors are the right side of the cut.

Piotr Myszka (POL) was the only sailor in the group to blot Nick Dempsey's card taking the second race win from him. "This is a tricky place to sail, I just find the shifts so difficult to read and I am not reacting fast enough to them at the moment. Nick was amazing as he was reading everything so well - I managed to take one race from him but the other races were a fight for me to get any kind of a result from them. I am still in the event and hoping to be in a position to challenge for silver or even gold come the medal races."

Compatriot Przemyslaw Miarczynski, or 'Pont' as he is affectionately known, is sitting in second place, tied with Byron Kokkalanis (GRE). In the other group Shahar Zubari (ISR) took two race wins either side of an indifferent 13th to sit in fourth place.

Local sailors Pierre Le Coq and Louis Giard are the best of the French and sit in 6th and 8th respectively.

Thursday is a rest day for all fleets with many sailors looking to take in some of the beautiful sights of Brest and the surrounding areas before refocusing the mind ready for Round 2 and then the medal races. Both the Senior Men and Women will now split into gold and silver fleets as well the Youth Men; the Youth Women remain in a single Group.


 It's a bit like Weymouth

The 2013 RS:X European Windsurfing Championships, the RS:X Open Youth European Windsurfing Championships and the RS:One European Championships kicked off day one in superb sailing conditions of 15-17 knots, but less than ideal weather with rain sweeping across the race course at times during the day. The conditions invited the comment of, "It's just like Weymouth", home of the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition and Olympic sailors for the past four years from coaches and sailors alike.

The schedule was split with the men taking to the water in the morning in both the RS:X senior and youth competition before the RS:X women and youth as well as the RS:One sailors taking to Brest harbour in the afternoon. The Race committees for both course areas set up quickly and efficiently and racing commenced at 1105 as advertised.

On the Men's course, split into two groups, current world champion Nick Dempsey showed his appetite to win his first European title with a 1,2,1 score line to top the leader-board. However, it is tight at the top with a host of past winners hounding him for his gold top with previous World and European champions all within a couple of point of Dempsey. Byron Kokkalanis of Greece is sitting in third place two points behind the leader with a score of 3,1,2. Byron has been a bridesmaid at this event coming home with the silver for the past three years and is hoping that this is fourth time lucky in this European Championship.

It is a case of the old guard taking charge for the men with the top ten being composed of seasoned campaigners but the results also show that there are some keen younger sailors chomping to get their time in the RS:X Class spotlight. Tom Squires (GBR) and Kiran Badloe (NED) are in 10th and 14th respectively and are showing their potential for Rio early on in this Olympic cycle.

When the Women came out to play in the afternoon the conditions had livened up a little with the turning of the tide creating a lumpier race course. Making the most of her loaded gun, Maja Dziarnowska from Poland fired off three race winning bullets and leads by a clear margin with a 12 point lead over her nearest rivals of Natalia Kosinska (NZL) and Flavia Tartaglini (ITA). Bryony Shaw (GBR) had a difficult second race with a 16th in race 2, but otherwise showed the consistency she has developed this year with two second places in the first and third races.

Men and Women swap tomorrow with the ladies taking to the waters off Brest. Unfortunately they look to be scheduled the rain again in the morning before the clouds are forecast to clear for the men in the afternoon. Tomorrow racing wise is important as it is the final day of qualification before the Men, Women and Youth Men get split into Gold and Silver fleets following the reserve day on Thursday.


"La Creme de la Creme" of RS Windsurfing Head to Brest

The 2013 RS:X European Windsurfing Championships, the RS:X Open Youth European Windsurfing Championships and the RS:One European Championships will be organised in Brest, France by Les Crocodiles de L'Elorn in co-operation with the French Sailing Federation (Federation Francaise de Voile, FFV) and NeilPryde Bikes from the 30th June to 7th July.

Brest, homeport to many sailing record events will host the three European Championships bringing together the future and present champions of both the RS:X and RS:One windsurfing classes. 270 athletes from 38 different countries will gather in the Port du Moulin, with 240 competing in the RS:X Olympic Class (half of which are participating in the Youth European Championships) and 30 in the RS:One Class.

Ladies first and the Womens RS:X competition that will see an impressive line-up. Bryony Shaw from the UK, who finished 2nd in this year's World Championships and won Bronze medal in Qingdao in 2008, will make sure to give rival Maayan Davidovich from Israel, 3rd in this year's Worlds and 2nd in last year's Europeans, a run for her money. 2012 French Champion Charline Picon knows the Brest waters very well as she won her French title here as well as her European Vice-Champion title in 2008. She will be one to watch as are Blanca Manchon from Spain, Flavia Tartaglini from Italy, winner of the last Eurosaf Cup and the winner of last year's Youth European Championships, Italy's Veronica Fanciulli.

In the Mens RS:X competition, Przemyslaw Miarczynski from Poland, bronze medal in the last Olympics will defend his 2012 title but competition will be fierce as British World Champion Nick Dempsey, also second in the 2012 Olympics will be in Brest with a firm intention to add the 2013 European title to his list of achievements. The level of the fleet is high with last year's podium reunited; both Byron Kokkalanis from Greece and Piotr Myszka from Poland aiming to improve their performances. Last year's winner of the U21 European Championship, Thomas Guyard from France will tackle the big guys this year as will Pawel Tarnowski from Poland who won the Youth European Championship last year.

The prize-giving ceremony will take place on Sunday 7th July at 8pm. Bring it on!

by Coralie Rassinoux - View full event report: in English / in French / in Spanish

 

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