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Trident-UK 2012 May

2013 Tornado European Championships at Lake Constance Overall

by Andrew Dowley 21 May 2013 08:33 BST 16-20 May 2013

With light winds early in the morning the postponement flag went up for the Tornado class and the sailors remained on shore watching the A Class cats float out to their racing area. Around 1 hour later the race officer removed the postponement and the sailors got ready and went out onto the water.

It was Roland and Nahid Gaebler who held the lead going into the last day and they were hoping there would be no racing because the Greek team of Iordanis and Kostas could discard a 5th if there was further racing in the championship.

Soon after there were 32 Tornados drifting toward the start boat waiting for the race officers instructions, it didn't look good with the postponement flag on the front of the committee boat struggling to fly in the light airs.

One hour later the wind had disappeared and two hoots were what the sailors were waiting for after a challenging series of racing. It was time to head home and pack up ready for the road home.

Roland and Nahid Gaebler are the new Tornado European Champions, knocking the Greek Red Bull sailors off the podium they have held since 2008. Roland's last European Championships victory came in the 1990's.

A big thank you to the Yacht Club Rhein Delta and everyone involved in organising the Championships, it has been a great few days for the sailors with a good mixture of social and sailing.

The next major Championships for the Tornado Class is the World Championships being held in Ibiza in late September, the planning is already well underway. Before that there are a variety of races being held around the World which also include the Austrian Championships in Attersee next week.

Full results can be found on the Tornado Championships website, www.tornadochampionships.com

Update from TeamGaebler

Behind us are difficult months and it is a really great feeling to sail such a constant series in various winds on Lake Constance at the Tornado European Championship. With the single places of 1-1-3-1-1-3-2-2 we could beat the favourites from Greece, who finished overall second and third. Also the renewed victory in the Mixed ranking makes us very happy. A total of 31 teams from 8 countries took part in the European Championships of the Tornado Class.

The winds blew light to strong. Off and onshore. From all directions. Various tactical options we experience on the race course close to the delta of the Rhine. It was not easy to find the right way with all the wind shifts and gusts. We had 4 different wind directions during one day! The sailing near the northern Alps are often very tricky.

Also we felt to be in a special race with the Greek top sailors, who had an intensive preparation for this event. In this situation it was not easy for us to catch better tactical option to escape and overtake them and same way to handle the risk of a fatal wind shift. A 3rd place was our discard after 8 races! And with 4 single race wins, it’s one of our best series ever in sail racing.

In 2010, we beat the Greek Team at the World Championships. In the last two years they often overtook us in the final just by some points. Sometimes we felt a bit unlucky. This time we took the title three points ahead Jordanis Paschalides & Kostas Trigonis.

Since 2009 we sail together as a mixed team. It was our first win of an Open European Championship title in the Tornado for both of us. The Mixed Championship title we have now won four in a row. For Roland it was the 8th Open European Title in the Tornado Class since 1991.

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