11th of August 2010

Race report from the Greek Nationals:

It wasn't possible to upload this report earlier because we were all stuck at the coast line of Schinias, Marathonas (North Athens) for the biggest Greek FW event of the year! 4 days of FW action and plenty of swaps on the ranking made each one of the races an unforgettable experience. A total number of 34 competitors registered for the event who had to come across the 12 races (a maximum of 15 races were possible) and even better, the last day had the strongest winds with 4 races completed, thereby closing the event with the best way.

During day 1, three races were completed, with winds up to 12 knots, north-east direction. The 3rd and last race of day 1 was perhaps the hardest, since the very marginal winds and the sudden wind fluctuations pushed athletes to their limits with plenty of pumping! Fortunately, day 2 was more rewarding with the appearance of a south-east onshore breeze of around 15-17 knots allowing 4 races to be scheduled. The lunch of big waves meant that athletes had to slide through them by applying the finest windsurf skills in boat handling ! Saturday (day 3) offered the opportunity for a short break, since the start gun sounded only once with a marginal wind of 7-10 knots coming from south-east direction. So far, 8 races were possible with 2 discards left behind. For sure, some competitors wanted one more discard and at day 4 their wish came true. The magical, locally generated, thermal east wind appeared just after the first possible start at 12 pm. The wind was gradually building up in strength with the peak around 17-18 knots. Sunday was a very busy day for the beach, since all people in Athens take their car and drive down to the sea and cool down - lots of spectators added a nice flavor to the event and had the chance to enjoy the final 4 races of the championship.

It is worth to note down the spectacular performance of the heavy weight rider Panos Plassaras (GRE 9696) who switched-on his terminator mode during the 4th date with his 12.5 sail (he occasionally switches down to 11.0 in stormy conditions). He has been into formula (AND windsurf) for only two years now and always he has been fighting against his limited experience, but this time he managed to turn everyone's eyes to his sail number, after having some great starts. Especially, at race 2 he passed the upwind mark at second place. So pity there wasn't any photographer to capture his first ever best attempt!

The host of the event, Sailing Academy (www.sailing-academy.gr), had superb facilities ideal for wind based watersports. Plenty of open space with grass, tents for shadow (air temperature was averaging at 34 degrees), fresh water and a nice sandy beach offered relaxed and comfortable conditions to all athletes. During the races, three powerboats were available to assist both PRO's and competitors. Unfortunately, broken equipment meant that they had to rescue a few riders during these 4 days! The secretary was equipped with laptops and even the race boat had one. On top of this, Sailing Academy's staff was always around to assist athletes with equipment carrying during in and outs from the sea water and arrangement of storage.

The biggest surprise of the event was the appearance of the most distinguished personality of the FW world class community,Ceri Williams. It was a big honor for Greek FWA to have him spectator and watch the event. Ceri Williams attended the closing ceremony and awarded the trophies to the first 3 overall winners of the event, including Italy's Luciano Treggiari (ITA-7).

The closing ceremony followed by a generous buffet providing fresh salads and traditional Greek style pork and kebab 'souvlaki'!

Greek FWA would like to thank all members of the Sailing Academy who made this event possible, the athletes for their participation and finally, but most importantly, the great job of the race committee who managed to deal with the hot weather during the 4 days!

See DVD from the event - http://www.youtube.com/user/freycam1

Full results

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