J/70 European Championship Preview
Malcesine is gearing up to host the event of the year as more than 130 boats from around the world have arrived to participate in the J/70 European Championship. For the occasion, Fraglia Vela Malcesine and the J/70 Italian Class have made impressive strides in terms of organization and logistics to provide accommodation to crews from twenty-three countries (Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Turkey, and USA).
The Opening Ceremony was on Monday afternoon following the practice race. As for the Championship schedule, there is a possibility for sailing 14 races on the gorgeous waters of Lake Garda, starting June 25th, Tuesday.
The Principal Race Officer of the event is Giancarlo Crevatin. Along with David Bartol, they will both oversee fleets in the two race flights (the fleet was seeded and split into four groups, with each group rotating to sail against each other).
The Italian fleet is the most numerous, with roughly 40 boats and a concentration of high-level teams including reigning champion Alberto Rossi's ENFANT TERRIBLE. Other major players from the final stages of Italian circuit will be participating; such as, Alessandro Zampori's DAS SAILING TEAM, Carlo Alberini's CALVI NETWORK, Claudia Rossi's PETITE TERRIBLE, and Gianfranco Noè's WHITE HAWK (he's aiming for the Corinthian championship).
Russian (18!), British (9!), German (11!), and Spanish (11!) fleets are bringing a stunning number of teams to Lake Garda, among them the well-known Russian woman skipper- Lera Kovalenko- and her ARTTUBE RUS1 Team, Spanish multiple J/80 World Champion- Josè Maria "Pichu" Torcida skippering NOTICIA, and Spanish skipper- Luis Bugallo- racing MARNATURA. The British will be well-represented by several champions; such as Jeremy Thorp's PHAN, Martin Dent's JELVIS, Doug Struth's DSP, Paul Ward's EAT SLEEP J REPEAT, and Patrick Liardet's COSMIC.
Finally, the lone American attending is Joel Ronning's CATAPULT with tactician Victor Diaz de Leon; both are J/70 World Champions.
Vittorio Di Mauro, President of the J/70 Italian Class, said, "Following the success of the Porto Cervo World Championship in 2017, this is yet another record-breaking event for a number of participants and countries represented, and at the elite level of competition. It highlights the organizational capacity of our Association, as well as the competitiveness of our members at the international level; owners who have brought the continental title to Italy for the last five consecutive years. Once again, a unique blend of sailing champions and crew of enthusiasts will have the opportunity to race against the best." For more J/70 European Championship sailing information.