Jakub Surowiec victorious in a strong international field at Garda

Young gun Polish Jakub Surowiec wins the fifth edition A Cat European Spring Championship at Circolo Vela Arco.   Report by Pier Faccin.

The fifth Cat A European Spring Championship finished last Sunday after three days of racing. The event was organized by the Circolo Vela Arco on the well renowned Garda Lake. It has been a big success with 48 athletes on the starting line with a large and highly qualified foreign representation from Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Holland, France, Denmark and Austria. Worthy of notice was the presence of a crew from Argentina. 

Despite the commitment made by the Circolo Vela Arco and the excellent leadership of the Regatta Committee chaired by Mr. Antonio Micillo from Genoa, the event closed with only three races over the planned nine of the program. This happened because a cold front had passed along Northern Italy during the race days, preventing the establishment of that sea breeze regime that characterizes the high Garda Lake. 

On the first day, only one race has been completed, but with a wind well above 20 knots. This was due to a cold air pulse descending from the Ponale valley, which divided the race field in two parts. This unexpected wind has caused some collisions, with resulting protests, and also the retirement of some ten of crews. On the second day, two races took place with a southern Ora wind blowing at around 20 knots at the first race's start, then dropping to10 knots at the end of the second race and finally dissapearing completely with the third race of the day underway. On Sunday, the last racing day, despite the efforts of the Race Committee, no races took place. It was a pity, because with an extra race in the bag, it would have introduced the discard in the final classification, allowing a fairer looking final ranking. 

The young Polish sailor Jakub Surowiec won the regatta with a first and two second places. Behind him, the Fiamme Gialle’s athlete and Italy's Rio Nacra 17 Olympian, Vittorio Bissaro, who after winning the first race had to settle for two third places. He was beaten in the other two races only by Jakub and by Mischa Heemskerk, who also won the third and last race. 

At the third place a smiling Sergio Mehl, very happy with a performance surely higher than expected. The current World Champion Mischa Heemskerk, twice the winner of this event, finished in 14th position, but having in his final score a first and a second place obtained respectively in the second and third races. He was strongly penalized after being forced to retire after a collision during the first race. 

From the fourth place downwards was a long list of foreign sailors: Coen De Koning (Ned), Bob Baier (Ger), Tymoteusz Bendyk (Pol), Roeland Wentholt (Ned), Daniel Caviezel (Sui), Pieterjan Dwarshuis Graczyk (Pol) in the top ten positions. Full rankings are available at the Circolo Vela Arco site (http: // www.circolovelaarco.it/). 

From the technical point of view, the first two podium positions were gained by the Polish eXploder platforms equipped with Fiberfoam masts. Only the choice of the sail has been different: Jakub used a Polish Bryt Sail sail, while Vittorio sailed with an Ashby North Sail tailored to the platform. Sergio Mhel, on the other hand, used a DNA platform with DNA mast and Mischa Sail. 

Most of these sailors will meet again on the Baltic Sea, in Sopot, Poland, from 19th to 26th August for the A Class World Championship hosted by the Klub Żeglarski UKS Navigo.