49er Sailing European Champs in Austria

49er Sailing

European Champs about to commence in Austria

Some of the world’s best high-performance sailors are ready and raring to go for day one of the 2020 Forward WIP European Championship at Lake Attersee, Austria. With the first qualifying races due to take place on Tuesday 29 September, the Union Yacht Club Attersee is hosting 30 Nacra 17 catamarans, 40 crews in the 49erFX and 60 in the 49er skiff. Racing will take place from September 28 to October 4.

Among the front runners for contention in the foiling catamaran division, the Nacra 17, are the reigning World Champions from Great Britain, John Gimson and Anna Burnet. The reigning Olympic Champions from Argentina, Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli, have spent a good deal of the northern hemisphere summer in Europe because flying to and from Argentina remains very difficult under Covid 19 travel restrictions.

Unfortunately Monday brought very different conditions, constant drizzle and flat calm, with only the most dedicated of Swedish 49erFX crews going out for a drift around the lake. The race committee made an early decision to cancel practice racing and most teams took the opportunity for some down time before the serious stuff begins on Tuesday. Sailors are simply grateful that the organizers at Union Yacht Club Attersee were able to make a European Championship happen at all. “Normally these events are two or three years of planning,” said Zajac. “They have done an incredible job to make this regatta happen.” Everyone – sailors, coaches, organizers – had to bring proof of a negative test for Covid 19 before they could register at the venue. The wearing of masks in public areas is enforceable with a 5-point penalty on any team deemed to be in contravention of the regulations.

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