The start of this "World Premiere" European Mixed offshore Championship take off with a nice sailing in front of the Iconic San Marco square in the very center of Venice. the seven teams including several Olympic medals, Figaro sailors, ocean race veterans and offshore sailors, took the start just outside the entrance of the Laguna di Venezia in a solid 12 knts north westerly breeze and nice flat water.
Despite the two different strategies the fleet arrived almost packed at the rounding of the first mark after about 10 hours from the start. It was really nice to see how close is the offshore racing when sailed in one design boats.
Only the Italian team had a technical problem big enough to make them losing a bit of time but the Team is now back in the race trying hard to close the gap.
Condition at night were breezy with some bumpy sea but the south direction wind was helping the fleet to keep the race on a fast track.
As you can see on the tracking on the web page www.ssi.events the fleet, after reaching the mark of "San Giovanni in pelago", a very beautiful rock with a light house on the top "floating" on the crystal waters of the Croatian costs, is now heading to the finishing line in Trieste right in front of the Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano.
The Austrian team is, at present, leading in front of the french team and the belgians, but the advantage is not yet big enough to make them feeling safe of their lead.
In fact, the approach of the Trieste gulf maybe tricky as the wind is expected to drop and this maybe a factor that could mix the cards again.
Teams are expected to arrive in the night or very early morning of Friday 11th depending on weather condition in the gulf of Trieste
The event is the very first "premiere" of this new Olympic discipline, said Riccardo Simoneschi, of SSI and Race Manager of the event: "there is a lot of talking about this new discipline in the sailing world and I was, personally, really interested in making a very first practical experience. I think we have learned a lot and seen the high potential of this discipline for sailing despite many shadows that still have to be enlightened to make it working at the best. I'm very positive and think that like every new idea, it will find the right balance. Many thanks to FIV, Eurosaf, YC Venezia and Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano for their support, to Marina di Sant'Elena for the logistic hospitality in Venice. We are now excited to see the final rush of the Teams during the night."
Prize Giving is scheduled for Saturday morning at 11 am in the Barcolana Village at the Prosecco Doc Hospitality.Everybody is welcome to visit the hospitality truck of the European Championship and the Nastro Rosa 2020, the Italian Sailing Tour, that is positioned at the entrance of the Barcolana Village and where it will be possible to meet some of the sailors of this Championship.