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Competition/2015/Worlds 15

24th to 31st October 2015     Poetto Beach, Cagliari, Sardinia 

Photo Album by Patrik Pollak
Photo Album by Alessandro Spiga

336 winners in one event! Impossible task? Well BIC Techno 293 One design class did it again. Yes there were only 18 places on the podium at the end of the championships in Cagliari, Sardinia, but after week of racing with best youth windsurfers from all around the world all participants are winners. Even superstar of Americas cup sailing Max Sirena thinks it was "pretty cool"

Six days of action, tears and laughter at the Techno293 World Championships

336 competitors from 26 countries gathered in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy to take part in the 2015 Techno293 World Championships. The host Windsurfing Club Cagliari put on a great event, especially as the organisers had to take over the regatta just months before it took place due to organisational problems at a previously picked site.

The sailors that came to the island had six days packed with action and 12 races for most of the fleets. Windsurfers preferring strong winds were looking forward to today's racing, as the final day of the regatta was predicted to bring winds of 20 plus knots. The day however brought some rain instead and the final starts were raced in 8 to 10 kts.

In the under 17 girls fleet Katy Spychakov from Israel had already secured her gold medal on the previous day and could just enjoy the sailing today. You could tell she is a fighter though because after finishing 9th in the first race of the day, she went on to confirm her domination over the fleet by winning the final race of the regatta. That was her 9th win in the week. Katy's biggest rival Giorgia Speciale from Italy, having comfortably won the opening race of the day could be certain of her silver medal.

There was much more drama in the fight for the third place. Before the last start Enrica Schirru from Italy and Aikaterini Divari from Greece were tied on points. The Italian was in third for the whole competition, but Aikaterini had beaten her in 6 of the previous races and you could feel the tension. To make matters more interesting the young windsurfers finished the event with their worst results so far. Enrica was 35th and Aikaterini 33rd. After crossing the finish line, the girls did not know who had won. Enrica was sure that she had lost her podium position and cried. There was no need for that and laughter came soon after, when she learned that she was the bronze medallist.

Yoav Cohen was the second sailor from Israel to secure his top position yesterday. The fight for silver and bronze was between Tom Arnoux from France and Fernando Lamadrid Trueba from Spain. Tom needed to beat Fernando by 5 places to secure silver and the Frenchman did more than enough. He won the race and with Fernando eleventh, it is Tom who is taking the silver medal home.

In the under 15 girls there were also some changes in the podium positions. A very strong finish by Russia's Dana Bekmuratova meant that she could join on the podium the two French competitors, Enora Tanne and Heloise Macquaert. Heloise being the World Champion. The world champion title of the U15 boys went to Leonidas Tsortanidis from Greece, Yun Pouliquen and Fabien Pianazza were second and third.

In the Youth Olympic Techno Plus class the Japanese competitors Yuta Mori and Yuta Iwasaki did really well finishing second and third. They could not stop, however, the local representative of Cagliari Windsurfing Club, Michele Cittadini, from claiming the gold medal. He finished the championships with a first and second. In the women's fleet Michele's teammate Elena Vacca came third, just after the French Jeanne Penfornis and Lucie Pianazza.

That concludes the 2015 World Championships.  In 2016 the Techno293 class will travel to Sopot, Poland for the Europeans and will be back to Italy for the Worlds. This time Garda will be the host of this great event.

Under 17 gold medals go to Israel, four more still to grab

The first 2015 world champions for the Techno 293 windsurfing class arrive from Israel. As expected, both Katy Spychakov e Yoav Cohen (Under 17) secured their gold medals one day early. With light wind again in Cagliari, she kept winning (1-1), he just kept the rivals under control (4-2). Celebrations in the water and back to shore, with different reactions. "I won two medals in the past, gold in Poland in 2013 and bronze in France last year, but this world title is different," said Yoav. "The whole fleet has grown so much, it has been a really tough championship for everybody." It's the first world title for Katy: "I'm really happy. With light wind and no waves, today I had no problems."

Both Under 17 fleets will assign the other medals on Saturday (first possible start at 11:00). Just one race left for the boys, with two points at the start between second and third seeded, Fernando Lamadrid Trueba of Spain and Tom Arnoux of France. A few more competitors - like Ho Yin Cheng, HKG 36, or Mateo Dussarps, FRA 17 - could still jump on the podium. Two races for the girls, instead. Italian Giorgia Speciale has very good chances for silver - a 13 points margin and too much experience at this level to make risky moves. Her team mate and friend Enrica Schirru still has to earn the bronze medal. Aikaterini Divari of Greece is 9 points behind but she hopes to get rid of the 16 points she's carrying from race 4 - and she also finished ahead of the Italian in the last five races.

Gold for the Under 15 boys will be decided in just one race between Leonidas Tsortanidis of Greece (3-1 on Friday, now leading by two points) and Yun Pouliquen of France (2-2 in the last two races). We'll see if their very strong teams will come into play, somehow. But another Greece vs France is announced for bronze: Fabien Pianazza (FRA 312) against Charalampos Kogias (GRE 107), four points apart. Just keep an eye on fifth seeded Edoardo Tanas of Italy, ready to jump into the fight.

Two final races for the Under 15 girls, if the wind agrees. Heloise Macquaert of France leads on Linoy Geva (ISR 442) by 9 points and Enora Tanne (FRA 322) is three more points behind. Surprises are still possible and even Dana Bekmuratova of Russia and Marta Monge from Italy - first and second in the last race on Friday - still have a chance for bronze, at least.

Techno Plus fleets will have three race to complete the program and Windsurfing Club Cagliari hopes to keep two medals here. Michele Cittadini still leads among the men (1-3 on Friday), but no mistakes will be allowed facing Team Japan, if he wants to grab the gold: Yuta Iwasaki (8 points behind) and Yuta Mori (13) are waiting for him.

Going into the final day with a 13 points lead, Lucie Pianazza could only throw her gold medal away, but her 1-2 on Friday proves she's really focused on the target. Jeanne Penfornis (FRA 889) and Elena Vacca (ITA 711) are even at 23 and will likely battle for silver and bronze with Momoka Hara of Japan.

Mistral test passed, two gold medals have a name on already

Everybody (well, not exactly . . .) was waiting for the wind but we got some dark clouds instead, and some rain too, threatening the fourth day of the Techno 293 World Championships in Cagliari. But it didn't last. By noon sun was out, sky was blue and all sailors were rushing to the course, with the Under 17 and Under 15 boys now split between Gold and Silver fleets. A couple hours of fantastic racing later, the Mistral test confirmed that the two Under 17 gold medals are reserved already, by Yoav Cohen and Katy Spychakov of Israel. Everything else is still to be decided.

With the wind blowing from shore, Race committee had finally a chance to set one of the courses really close. People at the beach during lunch break, in a beautiful, bright day that felt like late summer and not the end of October, enjoyed the Under 15 fleets battling around the marks. Race started with 10-12 knots but wind direction was not very stable. Later it set on Mistral, NW 12-15 knots, with some gusts just to spice things up. Not a relaxing afternoon for the kids that had enjoyed the lighter winds of the previous days, maybe, but just fair for everybody else, after so much pumping and struggling. Easy to complete three races for all fleets, in these conditions.

At the end, one of the happiest sailors was Katy Spychakov, ISR 32, still leading among the Under 17 girls. She raced by herself the whole time and with a 1-1-1 cut every discussion short, putting some more points between her and the only two credible challengers, Italians Giorgia Speciale and Enrica Schirru. "Strong wind and no waves: perfect conditions, finally," said Katy at the end. "Let's hope for something like this also for the last two days. I'm starting to believe that I could lead all the way to the end."

Yoav Cohen, undiscussed leader in the Under 17 boys fleet, doesn't even have to worry about the weather forecast. He performed well in all conditions and with the latest 2-6-2 has a safe 16 points lead. All the others can battle for silver and bronze, now. ESP 211 Fernando Lamadrid Trueba and HKG 36 Ho Yin Cheng are second and third, with early leader Mateo Dussarps (FRA 17) just a few points away from the podium. After missing the cut for the Gold fleet, Italian Riccardo Renna is sure having fun (1-1-1) in Silver.

Among the Under 15 boys it's a very tight race between Leonidas Tsortanidis of Greece (1-4-1) and French sailor Fabien Pianazza (2-2-2): just one point between them after 8 races. "I love gusty wind, this was exactly my day," said Leonidas. "Finally I found the right pace."  FRA 781 Yun Pouliquen is now third but will have to defend a possible bronze medal from two Italians, Edoardo Tanas and Giorgio Stancampiano, just a few points behind.

Heloise Macquaert (FRA 946) will keep the Under 15 girls' yellow lycra at least for one more day, but she really had to work for it. "Today it hasn't been easy. Everybody knows that I race better in lighter winds," confirmed the young French sailor. "Good for me that I managed to finish second in the last race."  Podium is more or less defined in this fleet, with FRA 322 Enora Tanne second and ISR 442 Linoy Geva third, but positions could still be switched. Just for the record, none of the top three girls could take a Mistral race: the winners were Capucine Marsaudon (FRA 1801), Mollie Densley Robins (GBR 3030) e Dominique Slater (USA 220).

In the Plus fleets, great day for local sailor Elena Vacca. She knows all the secrets of the course, she knows Mistral, and she managed to beat Lucie Pianazza twice, taking away the second place overall from Jeanne Penfornis of France. Gold is probably out of reach, but Elena can contend the silver medal to Jeanne and to Momoka Hara of Japan (very good her 1-2-3 with strong wind). In the men fleet another local champion, Michele Cittadini, still leads, but every day the Japanese team finds a new challenger for him: Yuta Iwasaki took away 7 points from his lead in just three races.

Forecast says that wind will probably arrive later on Friday. Race committee postponed the first possible start to 11:00. Leaders' lycra ceremony at 9:45.

Light wind specialists had their day but now the fun begins

Another light wind day didn't stop the action at the Techno 293 World Championships in Cagliari. Race committee waited for the breeeze to pick up before calling the competitors out, but at the end all fleets except one managed to complete two races. Enough to challenge the top positions in most of the groups.

There was the usual fun and laughter on shore when the sailors waited for the wind. But when it came to racing it was business as usual. The Under 15 boys sailing on the 6.8 sq m sail are now led by Edoardo Tanas of Italy. He's tied at 14 points with Charalampos Kogias from Greece and three points ahead of NED 600 Jim van Someren. Out of the top ten group is now ISR 250 Bar Navri, fleet leader for the first two days (but only 11-14 in the last two races). Starting today, they will all race together in the gold fleet: after completing the qualification series, both U17 and U15 boys will be split in two groups, depending on their performances so far.

After six races, also the Under 17 boys fleet has a new leader - ISR 253 Yoav Cohen. With a strong 1-2 he took the top spot from Mateo Dussarps of France (OCS and 6). Third position for Itai Kafri, winner of the last race of the day. The 2014 U15 gold medal, Tom Arnoux of France, didn't have an easy afternoon (13-10) and ended up 11th.

Katy Spychakov from Israel and current European champion Giorgia Speciale are still favourites for the top place in the Under 17 girls fleet but 5 to 7 knots were not enough for them to leave the group behind and both often found themselves in complicated situations at the marks. The home girl Enrica Schirru is now in third, on equal points with Giorgia, and she will not give it up without a fight. The day belonged to another sailor, though: Lidia Sulikowska from Poland got a first and third and jumped up to 5th overall. Like all the other light wind specialists, Lidia will really have to do her best on Thursday, in winds predicted to reach up to 20 kts, if she wants to climb the ranking even further.

The Under 15 girls are still led by Heloise Macquaert of France, who despite a weaker performance managed to defend her top position from her team friend Enora Tanne and Italy's Gaia Busetta.

The single race for the Techno Plus men was a one-nation show. Japan dominated the fleet by taking the top 9 places. This wasn't enough however to take over the lead from local sailor Michele Cittadini, who despite his 11th place (discarded) still has a two point margin on Yuta Mori and six on Masanao Komatsu.

The Techno Plus women will also have a hard job to take the gold from 2014 U17 champion Lucie Pianazza of France. Lucie just won her fourth consecutive race, proving that she is solid in all conditions. FRA 889 Jeanne Penfornis and ITA 711 Elena Vacca are still second and third.

The leaders' lycra ceremony is at 8:45 on Thursday morning, followed by racing at 10:00. Tracking devices will allow to follow the U15 boys races.

Little wind, long wait and some surprises with only two races

A long morning by the beach, under a grey sky and with no sign of wind. The Techno 293 Worlds' fleet run into one of those slow days that one would expect on different racing courses - not in Cagliari. Well, it can happen here too, sometimes. After an early lycra ceremony to celebrate the best sailors from the first day, the kids had plenty of time to check the equipment, make new friends, play fresbee, snack around or take a nap.

Only after 2 p.m. a bit of blue sky finally announced a very light breeze. The horn and the flags sending the Under 17 and Under 15 boys to the course started a run to the beach, where the boards had been sitting since late morning. It was going to be a pumping race, for sure, and just getting to the course was quite a warm up.

Competitors found at the start 4 to 6 knots from south-east. Race Committee waited for the wind to settle then decided to give it a try. The two Under 15 boys groups started first but they hadn't even reached the first mark when the wind shifted and the race had to be abandoned. The Plus fleets and the Under 17 girls were still ashore, in the meantime.

After a few tries, both Under 17 and Under 15 boys managed to start and to complete a race, but in such a light wind some surprising results were inevitable. Make a poor start (or a poor choice on the course) and your race is finished. No way to rescue it. On the opposite side, some lightweight competitors that didn't have an easy day on Monday got their revenge. At the end, two new names in the top spots for the Under 17: ISR 253 Yoav Cohen (winner for the Yellow flight) and ISR 234 Gad Matosevich (Blue flight). France still dominates overall, keeping Mateo Dussarps in the lead and reserving the other two lycras for Florian Salette and Tom Arnoux on Wednesday.

Similar story with the Under 15. Definitely a good day for ITA 4 Edoardo Tanas (Yellow flight) and POL 97 Jakub Sykula (Blue), while Bar Navri (ISR 250) added a disappointing 23 to the impressive 1-3-1 of the first day. No excuses at the end: "I wasn't expecting to race, today", said Navri, still in the lead thanks to the first discard of the championship. "But I made some wrong choices on the course. I will need some stronger wind for the rest of the week". Now Charalampos Kogias of Greece is just one point behind, followed by three Italians (Montanucci, Tanas and Stancampiano). It's going to be an interesting race.

The forecast for Wednesday is not very encouraging. We'll see. Race Committee moved the first possible start from 10 a.m. to 10:30. Lycra ceremony at 9:15.

By the way: if anybody is wondering about the beautiful and nasty-looking creature photographed by our Alessandro Spiga yesterday close to the start line - it really is nasty. It has been identified by some experts as a Rhopilema nomadica and it can sting badly. Originally from the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, this jellyfish moved into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal and created a quite a few problems along the coast in Israel. It had never been spotted in Sardinia, before.

France, Italy and Israel, what a start at the Worlds!

A strong start for the 2015 Techno293 World Championships in Cagliari, with three races completed for all fleets in less than 4 hours. And an even stronger start for France, Italy and Israel: these three big teams confirmed their medal ambitions from the first day of race.With the help of a 10-12 knots breeze from South-East, the Race Committee started on schedule and did a good job at running the show, managing 334 competitors on two courses and bringing everybody ashore before 2 p.m. - not too late for a good plate of pasta.

In the Youth girls fleet, we are once again ready to watch a fight between two great rivals - Katy Spychakov from Israel and Italian Giorgia Speciale. Katy is leading after the first day, but she must remember her opponent's late comeback at the European Championships in Liepaja, not many weeks ago. Giorgia had the final say in Latvia, winning the gold by two points. This is a different event though, and today Katy closed first in all three races. "I was hoping fot a stronger wind," she said at the end, "the kind we had at times during the two weeks of training I spent in Cagliari before the Worlds. It was a good start, anyway. Today I managed to keep Georgia behind me but I know that it will be a long and difficult race." Also because another Italian could step in: Enrica Schirru is from Cagliari, she knows these waters very well and she confirmed it with a solid 3-3-3 today.

In the Youth boys fleet the French are strong once again. Don't look for the 2014 U15 gold medal Tom Arnoux at the top, for now: he closed the day with an almost perfect 2-1 but because of an OCS in the first race he has to give way to Mateo Dussarps (2-1-2) and Florian Salette (1-3-3), for now. A discard tomorrow will bring him right back in the fight. Daniele Gallo from Italy is in third position overall. "Wind was perfect today," said Daniele. "I had been in Cagliari years ago but I didn't remember such a fun race course. I'm sure it will be a great Championship."

The Italians, French and Israelis also had a positive day in the U15 fleets, with FRA 946 Heloise Macquaert winning all her races in the girls' fleet. "I had some good starts and that helped to control the race," said Heloise. ISR 250 Bar Navri is leading among the boys, ahead of Simone Montanucci and Giorgio Stancampiano of Italy. Leonidas Tsortanidis of Greece (22-2-2) and Fabien Pianazza of France (RET-1-1) had a difficult start but both remain strong medal contenders.

Another perfect score for the opening day in the Plus men fleet. Michele Cittadini's 1-1-1 ahead of JPN 400 Juta Mori confirmed that the representative of the host club (Windsurfing Club Cagliari) goes for another medal - he was third U15 in Martigues in 2010 and third U17 in Medemblik two years later. In the women fleet, Lucie Pianazza is still the safest bet, even if she didn't start exactly as planned (DNC-1-1). FRA 889 Jeanne Penfornis (1-2-2) leads the group for now, followed by Italian Elena Vacca (3-3-3) and Momoka Hara from Japan.

On Tuesday the day will start early: the Leaders Lycra Ceremony, for the best three athletes of each fleet, is scheduled for 8:45. First possible start at 10:00 but we expect lighter winds, which means probably just two races for each fleet. The T293 Youth girls and Plus women will be tracked.

Welcome to Cagliari - are you ready to have fun?

The 2015 Techno 293 World Championships are officially under way, after the opening ceremony held here in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. It has been a simple and fun event, with a short parade from Windsurfing Club Cagliari - host to the event - to a small amphitheatre facing the sea, by the Marina piccola harbour.

Each country had a chance to enter the scene carrying a sign and their flag, while their national anthem was being played. Some large teams literally arrived running into the square. Some others were smaller but definitely not shy. The host country, with the largest fleet in the race, entered last. It was quite a site to see, at the end!

Techno 293 Class president Ezio Ferin was master of ceremonies for the evening and introduced some brief speeches. Windsurfing Club Cagliari president Giuseppe Marghinotti welcomed competitors, coaches, family members and friends, hoping for everybody to spend a great week in Cagliari. Not everybody can win, obviously, but I'm sure that all together we will share many moments of sport, friendship and fun."

One of the guests for the ceremony was Max Sirena, former skipper and team director of Luna Rossa. Max lived in Cagliari for almost two years, until his team dropped out of America's Cup over a much criticized boat size change. But he will have to move soon, because just recently he joined as manager Emirates Team New Zealand. It is always great for kids who are just starting their career in this sport to have a chance to meet such sailing role models. Another guest was local sailor Andrea Mura, also with some strong America's Cup experience (he was mainsail trimmer with the Il Moro di Venezia 1991-1992 campaign in San Diego, California).

Before the opening ceremony, the 300 plus competitors had a full day. From mid morning they went through registration - luckily the organizing team here managed the whole process smoothly. Many were really busy working on boards and sails. A few groups had just arrived and still had to unpack or collect their chartered equipment. Many competitors took advantage of a warm, sunny day with a light breeze in the afternoon for a little more practice, followed by team meetings.

With two more hours on Sunday morning to complete registration and a practice race scheduled for the afternoon, the atmosphere is definitely cheerful: everybody wants to start racing. We still need to wait for the total count of competitors but we are expecting to see between 320 and 350 of them in action from Monday, split between two race courses.

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