May 12, 2010

Tricky and tough opening day of the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Race Championship

It was a tough and tricky opening day on Lake Constance for all 24 teams that take part in the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Race Championship. A light and changing breeze kept the crews and organizers on their toes.

The two race committees had a full plate with 30 matches each, divided into two groups. Women sailed inside the Binnenbecken inner lake while the race course for the Open division was set on Lake Constance. Conditions were typical of European lakes and the crews that played the shifts and kept in sync with them had a clear advantage.


In Group A of the Women division the undisputed leader was Ekaterina Skudina from Russia with five bullets. Despite the fact Skudina and her crew have been sailing together for less than a year, the years of training on Pirogovo lake on the outskirts of Moscow bore their fruit. According to Skudina, conditions on the Binnenbecken lake are very similar to the ones in her hometown, so the light winds and shifts they experienced today were a familiar pattern.

Three races, out of the five scheduled, took place in Group B and Italy’s Cristiana Monina came on top undefeated. Yet, as Monina points out, it is still the beginning of a long and challenging week and it is too early to know how it will play out. The key for her today was to keep the boat moving and try to make as few mistakes as possible or at least less than what the other crew made. For Monina, luck could have been a positive factor today but only combined with good crew work.


In Group A, Stefan Meister from Germany caused the biggest upset with 4 victories. As Meister stated, a combination of relaxed sailing and a bit of tactical advantage from sailing in the German and Austrian lakes helped him clinch the top spot as he felt confident with the light breeze and the constant changes in direction. This doesn’t come as a surprise to Pierre-Antoine Morvan, the top seeded skipper of the European Match Race Championship, who knew Meister would be one of the skippers to keep a close eye upon.

Group B had less luck as it was only possible to hold just two races under very light conditions. Mads Ebler from Denmark and Alvaro Marinho are now leading with 2 victories each. For Marinho there was no doubt what the key was in these very tricky conditions; spot the wind and sail there.

Round Robin continues on Thursday

Racing continues tomorrow with another full Round Robin within the four groups. The organizers, weather permitting, will try to fire the starting gun at 10am for another long day on the water.

Set on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance and located a couple of miles from the meeting point of the Austrian, German and Swiss borders, picturesque Hard is an ideal venue. Racing takes place a few dozens of meters from the shore, giving the public the chance to be as close as possible to the action.

2010 EUROSAF European Match Race Championship - Round Robin 1 – Provisional Results


Group A (5/5 flights)Group B (3/5 flights)
Skudina,RUS, 5-0Monina, ITA, 3-0
Macgregor, GBR, 3-2Bekatorou, GRE, 2-1
Meldgaard, DEN, 2-3Gonçalves, POR, 2-1
Groeneveld, NED, 2-3Cameselle, ESP, 1-2
Dekleva, SLO, 2-3Hahlbrock, GER, 1-2
Kliba, CRO, 1-4Bossard, FRA, 0-3

Group A (5/5 flights)Group B (2/5 flights)
Meister, GER, 4-1Marinho, POR, 2-0
Lindberg, FIN, 3-2Ebler, DEN, 2-0
Morvan, FRA, 3-2Monnin, SUI, 1-1
Arbuzov, RUS, 2-3Pasini, ITA, 1-1
Spitzayer, AUT, 2-3Cherry, GBR, 0-2
Stanczyk, POL, 1-4Den Boer, NED, 0-2