Follow the O'pen Skiff world championship news daily on this blog, for latest update, photos and videos.
For more information, check out:
Event website: https://worlds2021.openskiff.org/
Calasetta, July 2021 - FINAL DAY- What fun it was to get together for these exceptional WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!
Like many international events, the 2020 O’pen Skiff World Championships was postponed one year, but happily it has just found its way back to the scheduled 2020 destination, the fantastic spot at Calasetta, southern Sardinia, where 205 eager young skippers from 6 countries had signed up to compete for the O’pen Skiff World Champion titles at stake. The only regret ? The absence of major players such as New Zealand, Australia and Japan, due to the ongoing Covid restrictions still in place in those countries. They have all promised to be back next year, better than ever.
All the same, all 205 of them had to wait one day to test themselves on the water, the first day of competition abandoned due to excessive (over 35 knots !) wind blast. But the wait was worth it, as the following days delivered smooth steady winds, perfect conditions for full-on, exciting dinghy racing in both categories, Under 13s and Under 17s, until the rougher Mistral winds came back at the end of the week, testing the full range of skills the skippers had at their disposal.
From the first day it was clear that everyone was overjoyed to be back on the water, racing and being in the action. And from the first day it was also clear who the eventual winners would be, Josef Krasowski (U13) and Manuel de Felice (U17). Both skippers imposed themselves from the start and never let up, establishing impressive leads in their respective rankings, showing their mastery of varying conditions and a skill level that says everything about the energy and dynamism that the O’pen Skiff class has come to symbolise.
The final day’s racing saw an excellent late surge from Poland’s Daria Pedowska in the U13 category, making her the only girl to make a podium finish, in 3rd place. At the end of four days of hard racing in varied conditions, the new O’pen Skiff World Champions were crowned, although everyone here was a winner, making the effort to be present, and giving their all to enjoy great racing and great fun on and off the water.
1st: Josef Krasowski (Poland) 14pts
2nd: Matteo Attolico (Italy) 49pts
3rd: Daria Pedowska (Poland) 61pts
1st: Manuel de Felice (Italy) 23pts
2nd: Leaonardo Nonnis (Italy) 57pts
3rd: Alessandro Guernieri (Italy) 64pts
Big thanks to the local club, for their warm welcome and excellent organisation, to everyone (competitors, coaches, families, friends, organisers, spectators….) who came to enjoy the event. See you next year….
Calasetta, 15th July 2021 - Day 3 - POLAND AND ITALY TILL IN COMMANDING LEADS
The O'pen Skiff World Championships reached the halfway point. Today, blessed by another end-of-Mistral wind that peaked at around 15 knots, the second day of the scheduled four (following Tuesday’s excessive-wind blank) moved both fleets onward towards the final rankings that will decide the new O’pen Skiff World Champions in the Under 13 and Under 17 categories. After two days racing, De Felice (Under 17) and Krasowski (Under 13) still in commanding leads.
With another day of near-perfect conditions the race committee, chaired by Gianluca Fantini, decided to repeat the previous day’s action-packed programme. There were some minor tweaks to the course design for both fleets compared to the previous day, with a “classic” upwind/downwind configuration bringing the racers back for a finish in front of the watching crowds at the lovely spot at Sottotore beach, just north of the port of Sulcis.
This is the third time the World Championships has visited Italy and, as on Tuesday, conditions were good enough to allow another four rounds of racing, bringing the total to eight and allowing all the rsailors the opportunity of another worst-score discard.
The U17s were first onto the water again, for two rounds of very nervy racing leading to the races required before the fleet would be cut in half, the top 66 going forward to form the Gold Fleet, competing for the official World Championship podium honours, and the bottom 65 forming the Silver Fleet, competing for pride rather than prizes.
The competition was understandably nervous and tight, but with no change or threat to the overnight leader, Italy’s Manuel De Felice (CN Monte di Procida). He didn’t miss a beat, racking up four back-to-back race wins to give him a firm grip on top spot with an incredibly low score of 7 points. And there’s a real prospect of an all-Italy podium, with the consistent Alessandro Guernieri (Circolo della Vela Arco, 17 points) lying second, five points clear of Lorenzo Ceriello (CN Monte di Procida, 22).
In the U13 category, with competitors as young as 9 years old, it’s as-you-were, with no change to the overnight podium positions. Poland’s Josef Krasowski (Sail & Ski Klub Warszawa, 10 points) has consolidated his top spot of the provisional ranking, extending his lead over Matteo Attolico (Italian Naval League Procida, 25) and third placed Juan De Nardo (CN Monte di Procida, 36).
“Today went very well all things considered” said a very satisfied U17 competition leader, Manuel De Felice from Procida/Italy, “I managed some good results, the race course was very difficult and the opponents were really strong. Now we’re into the Gold Fleet contest, the forecast is for conditions I really like and at this point in the competition I hope to stay ahead ".
"These have been two great days for me, I'm having a lot of fun" was the view of U13 leader, Poland’s Josef Krasowski. He too has tightened his grip on the rankings, having already won the International Calasetta Cup, the event’s opening “warm-up” contest, on the opening day. “Like in the warm-up race, the wind was as good as I’ve ever had, I can only be happy with how things have gone”.
First race time for today is 11.00am.
For both fleets, the race committee plans to complete another series of four races.
Calasetta, 14th July 2021 - Day 2: ITALY AND POLAND LEADING THE DANCE
After Tuesday’s mega-blow that immobilised all 205 competitors on dry land, during the night the Mistral wind died down, leaving in its place a light wind and clear skies bathing the race spot at Sottotore beach. Wind at 10 knots, bright sunshine, in short, perfect conditions for a perfect day’s sailing !
With the end-of-Mistral blowing smooth and steady, both fleets were sent out for four rounds of racing (the maximum allowed in any one competition day). Spectators and family supporters were able to enjoy all the action from the beach. A great view point, with the beautiful island of San Pietro as a backdrop.
The 131 entrants for the U17 category were divided into two fleets, Yellow and Blue, and were the first to go out and attack the day’s competition. The course for the 74 in the U13 category was a little shorter, leaving a neutral zone between U17s and U13s to avoid any risk of clashing/crashing.
With 4 rounds of racing done, all the racers were able to discard their worst score from the day’s action.
After the discards, in the U17 fleet, Italy’s Manuel De Felice (CN Monte di Procida) was in the lead ahead of Poland’s Piotr Trella (Miejski Klub Zeglarsky Arka Gdynia, 1,3,1,5). Behind them in third place, Italy’s Alessandro Guernieri (Circolo della Vela Arco, 2-2-2-4).
In the U13s group, Poland’s Josef Krasowski (Sail & Ski Klub Warszawa, 3-2-1-1) has already established a challenging lead, with a top 3 finish in every race. Italy’s Matteo Attolico (Ligue navale italienne Procida, 10-3- 5- 2) is lying in second place just ahead of compatriot Juan De Nardo (CN Monte de Procida/Italie, 15-1-2-9).
" It’s the first time I’ve raced in Italy, I’m really happy to be here”, the verdict of American Benjamin Mohram, "yesterday the wind was way too strong, today is much more like it ! I really love sailing these kind of seas, much more calm than back home. Totally different to the conditions I’m used to in America. Competing against all these people from different countries, I’m learning such a lot and there’s a really cool atmosphere !”
« Today’s conditions were excellent and the wind was perfect for racing” according to Alix Briane, back in the port later on, one of the best placed of the big French team present. « It was great to find myself on the start line with so many other racers. I’m not expecting to finish on the podium, I’m here to enjoy myself and learn !”
The weather forecast for the next two days is for moderate winds. After two more rounds of racing the U17 fleet will be split in two, with the top 65 going on to compete for the Gold Fleet World Championship honours, while the other 66 will compete for the “repechage” Silver Fleet prize.
The full rankings and all the event updates are available on the event website : https://worlds2021.openskiff.org/ and of course available via the official event app, which you can download from Google Play or App Store. Where you can also check out the video of the day, interviews and the event photo gallery.
CHAMPIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTS - DAY 2
Calasetta, 13th July 2021 - Day 1 : STRONG CONDITIONS FOR THE RETURN TO ACTION IN SARDINIA
First light reveals grey skies and 25 knots of wind on the beach, a chilly welcome back to competition for all the teams. Worried at the prospect of starting the Championships in such difficult conditions, they nevertheless go through their preparations of boats and bodies to be ready to take on the beefed-up weather… The waves are even heavier in the middle of the bay, with gusts reaching 35 knots and more. The Race Director decides to put the start time back until at least 3pm before making a decision.
2.30pm : the wind has actually strengthened, forcing the Director to decide that it’s just not worth sending anyone out today. So it’s everyone back here tomorrow morning with the hope that the second day will be blessed with more helpful conditions…it all depends on the morning’s forecast !
Calasetta, 12th July 2021
205 O’pen Skiff are lined up on the harbourside in Calasetta, ready for the 2021 World Championships to get underway. All the skippers have one aim in mind : winning the 2021 World Championship title ! The 2020 contest was postponed due to Covid restrictions, with 2021 seeing the O’pen Skiff caravan finally arriving at its destination here at the southern tip of Sardinia, a location perfectly suited to the world’s most dynamic Junior dinghy sailing class.
The big number of skippers present in Calasetta shows how keen the young competitors are to get back to racing again, and that O’pen Skiff has maintained it’s international appeal despite the pandemic. The only disappointment ? The absence of some countries (New Zealand, Australia, Japan, etc…) due to the strict health restrictions that still apply in those places. They’ve already stated their aim to send even bigger, stronger teams for the 2022 World Championships, due to be held in France. Here in Calasetta, the 131 Under 17s and 74 Under 13s signed up means that 205 racers from 6 countries will be on the start lines, an excellent entry under the circumstances !
At 7pm the official opening ceremony takes place – a Covid-reduced affair obviously – minus the traditional parade through the streets, but including the speeches and team photos on the quay-side steps. After a two-year hiatus from international competition, the competitors, coaches and proud parents are all delighted to be back together, and to be experiencing the friendly-games atmosphere of the O’pen Skiff class.