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Final series: two course races and the marathon were held on Thursday, with Garda Trentino in its best conditions of sunshine and 18-knot winds

There was a spectacular start to the marathon race which was won by the Dutchman Van Opeeland, in the lead followed by the Italian and home idol, as well as Circolo Surf Torbole athlete, Nicolò Renna. In the women’s  class there is a battle between Emma Wilson and Helene Noesmoen for the top spot.

Check out the official report below: 

 Torbole, Lake Garda – Italy: At the iQFoil Class European Championship being held at the Circolo Surf Torbole, on Garda Trentino, we have entered the heart of the event, that is with the best of the men’s and women’s fleets who from Thursday began the “final series”, which will decide the top ten of the “Medal Series”, super-finalists scheduled for Sunday 22 May. From today, the best athletes will no longer be in different batteries, but head-to-head, for an exciting confrontation between flights, controls, and breathtaking starts.

The “final series” began with a beautiful sunny day and wind that had returned to the normal range of the Upper Lake Garda, around 17-18 knots, and therefore more than enough to hold “course” races: as scheduled, two races were held, followed after a break ashore, by the marathon, about 10 miles in the northernmost part of the lake, within the Trentino border, where the wind channels itself from the south and accelerates its intensity. A marathon that has in the ‘rabbit start’, the most spectacular moment of the entire Championship, just like in the historic regatta organised at the Circolo Surf Torbole One Hour Classic (scheduled this year from 24 to 26 June), in which all the participants parade at the stern of the ‘starting dinghy’, which crosses the imaginary start line at full throttle, across the wind.

Men’s category

Dutchman Luuc Van Opzeeland holds the lead: after a 2-46 in the morning’s course races, he won the marathon race, which in terms of scoring is worth a lot, because it is counted as two races. But the good news is that Circolo Surf Torbole’s first year in the senior category, Nicolò Renna, moved up to second place thanks to an excellent fourth in the marathon race, a fifth in the first course race followed by an average score in the second course race of the day, as he was damaged at the start.

Third overall was Frenchman Goyard, not brilliant in the course races (14-17), but recovering in the marathon race, seventh. More distant, in fourth place with 12 points from Goyard the British Samuel SIlls. In great recovery the Italians Luca Di Tomassi and Daniele Benedetti, respectively jumped to seventh and fourteenth position: Di Tomassi after a seventh and twenty-sixth, in the marathon race recovered valuable points and positions thanks to a sixth (which counts as two races). In the coming days he will have to defend his position to stay in the medal series. The other Italian Daniele Benedetti also did well (9-22 in the two course races), tenth in the marathon.

There was a great duel between the top two in the provisional ranking: only four points divided Olympic bronze medallist Emma Wilson (GBR) and Frenchwoman Hèléne Noesmoen: the britain achieved a first and a third place in the course races compared to the Frenchwoman’s second and first, while in the marathon they came fourth and ninth respectively. The marathon race was won by Israel’s Shahar Tibi, ahead of Spain’s Nicole Van der Velden (fourth overall) and Mexico’s Mariana Aguilar Chavez Peon. Third overall is Poland’s Maja Dziarnowska.

The Italians: Marta Maggetti back in the race, as her calibre dictates; for her a fine recovery, which has earned her over 10 positions. She is currently eleventh and in a position with the next regattas to enter the medal series. Today she got off to a good start with a ninth and a second, followed by an excellent sixth in the marathon race.

The new Olympic class for Paris 2024 has the merit of having finally managed to bring in athletes from not only the old RS:X Olympic class, but also those competing in the PWA World Cup or foil racing. Teams who are proud to wear the national uniform, athletes who previously competed with the previous Olympic board have had to start almost from scratch, putting on weight to adapt to the completely different standards required to be competitive, young hopefuls who have finally found a class in step with the times, old glories who, with experience, have taken little time to be competitive even with the iQFoil. The monotype then always has its charm: the same boards and sails in the water, the same colours, but who is on top makes the real difference. The format also allows those who start below their capabilities to catch up, as for example with the marathon, which counts as two races and offers a spectacular fleet start at the same time.

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