It was an exciting match racing championship, which was jointly held from 25th of September to 28th of September 2013 in the Bay of Constance by the Yacht Club Constance, the Student Sailing Clubs Constance and Steckborn and the Youth Regatta Friends’ Association. 16 ambitious youth match racing teams from 14 countries competed for the very much coveted European Match Race Championship title. The final on Saturday and the gold medal won the team from Ireland with skipper Philip Bendon confidently with two match victories over skipper Mark Lees from the UK with his team, which was able to receive the silver medal. Third place and the bronze medal went to Valerio Galati from Italy, who defeated the defending champion Guillaume Pirouelle from France with 2:1.

 

Finale Team by Claudia

 

On the first two days of the EUROSAF Youth Match Racing Championship a Round Robin was sailed in light east wind between 1-3 Bf in the Bay of Constance. The 16 participating teams from 14 nations were split into two groups. Also four Constance teams from Germany (Joni Steinlein, Student Sailing Club Constance and Jan Schliemann, Yacht Club Radolfzell ), Switzerland (Nicola Möckli, Students Sailing Steckborn) and Austria (Max Trippolt, Yacht Club Bregenz) and an all-women team from Russia were at the starting line. It was sailed on eight blu26 boats provided by the Youth Regatta Friends’ Association, Volvo Match Racing and Racing Giachen.

 

Team Swiss by Claudia

 

Race director Ivo Gonzenbach used the good wind conditions optimally to start the 14 flights of the round robin with 4 matches. On the water and on land the spectators, volunteers and the host parents (the teams were accommodated at Constance club members) were able to follow exciting duels and excellent boat control of the young teams. Eight international umpires ensured fair play on the water.

 

From the round robins, the top 4 teams qualified for the quarterfinals, amongst them the favorites from UK, Ireland, France and Italy. From Lake Constance only Max Trippolt from the Bregenz team qualified for the quarter-finals.

 

The final pairings:

Lees (GBR) won against Földesi (HUN)  -  2:0

Galati (ITA) won against Rönnberg (FIN)  -  2:1

Pirouelle (FRA) won against Trippolt (AUT)  -  2:0

Bendon (IRL) won against Martynov (RUS)  -  2:0

 

Steinlein by Claudia

 

Then in the semi-finals Mark Lees (GBR) won against Valerio Galati (ITA) and Philip Bendon (IRL) against Pirouelle Guillaume (FRA). Thus, the pairings were available for the finals.

 

On Saturday in the late afternoon a nice North wind with 2 BF began, allowing perfect conditions for the finals. Therefore, great European Championships could be concluded with high-profile finals. Philip Bendon (IRL) won the start of two final races and controlled his opponent Mark Lees (GBR), who, however, made it difficult for the Irish team and put it under pressure by sailing proper maneuvers. The Irish team sailed faultlessly and with a perfect sailing performance they became well deserved champions. In the battle for the third place the Italian team with the skipper Valerio Galati could beat the French team led by Guillaume Pirouelle 2-1.

 

Team Irland by Claudia

 

At the awards ceremony on Saturday evening, the medals were handed over by the Mayor of Constance to the teams.

 

It was a great European Championship – and so serious, the teams fought on the water – on land, there was a very friendly atmosphere and the evenings together in Constance Yacht Club will be well remembered. A big thank and praise of the young sailors went to the organizers, the sponsors, the many volunteers and especially to the Constance host parents who have taken the teams for a whole week. The teams agreed –they want to come back to Lake Constance.

 

Ranking:

1. Philip Bendon (IRL)
2. Mark Lees (GBR)
3. Valerio Galati (ITA)
4. Guillaume Pirouelle (FRA)
5. Markus Rönnberg (FIN)
6. Peter Földesi (HUN)
7. Max Trippolt (AUT)
8. Viatcheslav Martynomv (RUS)
9. Jacob Klitte (SWE)
10. Slawomir Plichta (POL)
11. Joni Steinlein (GER)
12. Nicola Möckli (SUI)
13. Hrvoje Petrovic (CRO)
14. Nicolas Wilkinson (GBR)
15. Jan Schliemann (GER)
16. Ekaterina Ananina (RUS)

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