Written by Adriana Campanella
The Italian Class Association promise to do their best to deliver a fantastic event, despite the pandemic, that’s what they did. From the opening ceremony to the closing, the atmosphere was festive! The event celebrated being able to sail together once again and brought the fleet back together. Unfortunately, not all could make it but the hope is to see them back on the water soon!
The Championship started with a magnificent opening ceremony, a few events were being held in the town centre of Colico, Lake Como. The town’s local majorette team and the band performed, and everyone celebrated the kick-off of the event. The very friendly welcome gave a taste of the spirit that characterised the whole week. The last event of the evening was the official start of the Championship, in a speech given by the International Class Chairman, James Curtis. Followed by some inspirational words from the mayor of Colico, some sponsors and the Italian Class were present, and another excellent performance by the band who played all the national anthems of those present at the competition.
Sunday evenings nice weather followed through into Monday, gifting the fleet with two nice races and a southern wind. The first race of the Championship was in the light shifty winds (around 6 knots) and was dominated by all Dutch teams. The second one had to be cut short, unfortunately at the second upwind mark. But this time, throughout the race, the spectators were shown what the Czech teams were all about. All of the first three boats to cross the finish line, this second time, were Czech. While the fleet made its way back to the club at the end of the day, they had a nice surprise waiting for them. Children from a nearby summer camp decided to welcome the sailors back ashore with chanting and cheering, putting a smile on everyone’s face!
The second day wasn’t as promising, but the race committee wasn’t giving up. Even with the cloudy weather which promised nothing for good sailing, the fleet got on the water to try and get some racing done. However, the wind wasn’t having any of it, after two abandoned races, everyone went back to the shore. Though it wasn’t all bad, that evening the fleet was delighted by a Dutch Party that resembled the good times before the pandemic. The party was outside but thanks to the Italian weather, it wasn’t too cold and everyone was able to enjoy themselves.
Wednesday was doomed from the early morning. It heavily rained all day long. The race committee waited for a little, playing card games and socialising with the sailors. The weather didn’t improve, after the postponement, everyone went home and enjoyed a complimentary pizza under the rain together.
The next day, the weather finally changed for the better allowing the racing to resume. The first race of the day was sailed with lighter winds from the north. This race had to be cut short at the second upwind mark but saw a nice battle for the first place between the Dutch team 972m who came out on top, and the Czech 1688. These two were followed by another Czech team, a few Italian teams, and the former World Champions. After a bit of a wait, the second race of the day finally kicked off, with a light southern wind. This race saw a long-awaited comeback from the Italian Roncuzzi brothers (1604), that team that went on to be this year’s World Champions. The two races that followed featured some top racing and tight sailing in light but building winds. This wind in these races was more like what the normal condition at this venue is, as is shown by the sudden comeback of most Italian teams. Later in the evening, the committee planned a small Latino music concert for the fleet to enjoy. Between dancing and someone from the audience joining the concert with a trumpet, it was yet another fun social event.
On the last day of the Championship, three races were sailed, after a morning postponement, in stronger but more shifty winds. It made for a very interesting sailing battle between the top teams of the fleet. But by the end of the second race of the day, Jakub and Tereza (CZE 1688) had already won the Championship, nonetheless, they continued racing, as any good sportsmen would. During the last race, the sailors had to deal with an interesting new variable, the wood floating around the lake. It had dragged down into the river after the heavy rains of the days before. Regardless, the racing was carried out without any incidents.
The prize-giving ceremony was late Friday afternoon. Just like the opening ceremony, this event was also celebrated in the town centre. It was part of the local beer festival! In line with tradition, the winner gave their speech and the chair of the International Class invited everyone to join next year’s Championship in Weymouth, especially the winners to defend their title. This made for an upbeat ending to an extraordinary week!