10th of May 2004, Italy, FW European Champs

Formula Europeans - Lake Garda, Torbole

Practice Race Day by Phil McGain
The second registration day here at the Formula Europeans, has seen a record fleet registered for the regatta, over 160 competitors are ready for action in Lake Garda and hopefully the Lake will produce the famous winds which we all expect this time of year.

Seniors, juniors, Women, Masters and Men’s Open all have stacked fleets with the very best sailors from Europe and other parts of the world ready to take on each other and the elements of this famous European windsurfing Mecca, Lake Garda.

The skippers meeting took place today at 1pm to inform sailors about the practice race schedule for 2pm. The men’s fleet was split in two, with Blue and yellow coding to indicate which fleet you had to compete in. With 21 women competitors and a separate start, they will be on their own to battle it out for the top positions.

By 2.30pm the Men’s blue fleet got away clean in a fresh 15 to 18 knots typical Garda breeze, Gonzalo Costa Hoeuvel took on the fleet on port tack and headed straight to the famous WALL. Antione Albeau and Ross Williams go away clean at the boat end of the line and soon after the start tacked onto port and headed into the Wall with Gonzalo. Albeau lead around the weather mark followed by Williams. Being a practice race a lot of sailors pulled out but Albeau and Williams sustained momentum to finish first and second.

The Yellow fleet started 5 minutes after the Blue and had to sail on the inside course for a windward, leeward and back up wind. Buzianis, McGain and Cucci all got away clean down the line, with McGain heading into the Wall first after just a short time on starboard tack, after crossing tacks with Cucci and Buzianis up the weather Mark, Cucci rounded a few meters in front of McGain with Buzianis breathing down there necks in third. Downwind looked very even, but Cucci made the first mistake by heading to the wrong bottom mark, Buzianis got in front of McGain on the downwind and rounded the bottom mark in first. Upwind McGain was able to pull in Micah to round the weather mark in first, but Buzianis stayed in stronger breeze on the left side of the course and finished in first place with McGain in second.

In the women’s fleet, which is as hot as the men’s fleet. Current World Champion Christine Johnson, 3 time World Champion Dorota Staszewska, runner up at Draske Worlds Lucy Horwood, local favorites Verena Fauster and Karin Jaggi. The dark horse of the fleet is recent convert from IMCO Allison Shreeve who recently placed 5th at the Mistral world Championships in Turkey.

The women all got away clean with Dorota taking command immediately by tacking to the wall; Lucy also picked to tack inshore, followed by Verena. Dorota rounded the weather mark well ahead of the pack, with Lucy and Verena rounding out the top 3. With such a long race most of the girls decided to stop after one lap, saving themselves for the real deal tomorrow.

Official races start tomorrow around noon, stay tuned for short reports during the day.

Phil McGain

Join the discussion

barry | 10th May 2004 (21:05:24)

this is fantastic to see. reminds me of the worlds in thailand and all the visions we had then of getting a competitive fleet together for real racing. congratulations to all who put forth so much effort to make events like this happen and share in the love of racing under sail.

i'll be thinking of plenty of wind for the rest of the regatta.


phil mcgain | 10th May 2004 (22:04:28)

thanks barry, yes, lots of good energy here on the beach, should be a great regatta. Garda has turned it on for the past 3 days, lets hope it continues.

Charles | 10th May 2004 (22:07:26)

160 competitors is great, and a lot of them are contenders. That shows that the sport is expanding. Good luck with everything.


Laurent MANSON | 10th May 2004 (22:58:29)

thanx Phil for the comments, it sounds so good i would like to join the race straight away.
I'll come back tomorrow to follow the race through formulawindsurfing.org ...
Have a great day, see you

jan | 10th May 2004 (23:03:28)

What is the reason Kevin is not at lake garda?
I wsh for a great show, it has already been to long since midwinters...
Albeau not on the new AHD?? Is Phil sailing with the new Gaastra race boom prototype??

Chris AUS9111 | 11th May 2004 (00:06:12)

Fantastic video stream, great pics, and good up to date info. Well done. GO AUS911... ;-)

barry | 11th May 2004 (02:51:56)

kevin is in mexico at san carlos participating in a new and unique wave event called The Tropical Energy Tour. organized by Tristan Boxford, this floating contest will be on international tv and has some of the top names in the sport involved.

see www.tropicalenergy.com

kev will be in europe again in italy around the surf festival. and he will be doing a number of races as well throughout the year.


Jan | 11th May 2004 (07:40:53)

Thanks Barry for updating.

phil mcgain | 11th May 2004 (08:37:51)


Kev is in Mexico wave sailing promo.

yes I have the new proto booms at this event.


bryan mcdonald | 11th May 2004 (09:04:52)

Awesome videos! Go Micah!

vincent BENOIT | 11th May 2004 (10:26:56)

good luck for belgian young formula stars,wolfgang and thorvald.

World Citizen | 11th May 2004 (11:58:16)

Jan .....I don't know much about Kevin, but a part of the US fleet, Mr Bush and some marines, has found something more interesting and funny to do..... they are torturing Iraquis at this very moment.....trying to give "freedom" for the people.
Sorry fellows...I know that it is not the appropriated moment, but I could not resist!
Let's focus on positive things like the champiionship...good luck for the skippers.

Zawias | 11th May 2004 (12:45:10)

Team from Poland is the beast.

Monster | 11th May 2004 (17:38:20)

Polan you're a king!! :)
GO GO go go..
Polish team will kick some asses.. !

Michael pol-147 | 11th May 2004 (18:51:43)

Wojtas !!!! Wojtas !!!! Wojtas !!!! Wojtas !!!! Wojtas !!!!! and one more time Wojtas !!!! Wielkie Joł z Łomianek

??? | 11th May 2004 (20:52:42)

polan gazu......

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