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Topper World Championships at Riva del Garda - Overall

by Elena Giolai 24 Jul 2015 23:07 BST 20-25 July 2015

This was a much anticipated day at Fraglia Vela Riva for the conclusion of the Topper World Championships which started on Monday with over 160 competitors, most of them British. After waiting in vain for the northerly wind this morning, everything was put on hold until early afternoon when thankfully (after the "no-show" of yesterday) the southerly wind decided to make an appearance, and then some.

With 14 steady knots the Fraglia Vela Riva organisational machine revved into action for the last and decisive races which would decide who would take home the title of champion of the 5.3 category, the larger as opposed to 4.3 which was much more defined.

And so it was, the Regatta Committee was able to complete 3 regattas within the time scheduled (the third race in fact started just 4 minutes before the deadline at 15.00), giving the title hopefuls the opportunity to compete up to the last metre. The Gold fleet started off with Vittorio Gallinaro of Fraglia Vela Riva going into today's race in the lead and showed nerves of steel by taking a first and second.

In the tenth race Patrick Zeni (of neighbouring Fraglia Vela Malcesine), was able to discard the second disqualification of the second day, but wasn't able to maintain his concentration and took a seventh, then came back with a partial win. Going into the third race the situation was absolutely balanced: Gallinaro was leading by two points over Zeni and Power of Ireland, who although steady in form was too far back to be any threat as was the outstanding Harper of G.B. who was on the chase from the first day.

With the wind holding at 12-14 knots, the last race had the two Italians paired up each making different decisions after the first gate. Gallinaro was leading on one side of the course and Zeni, second in the other, who wasn't successfully covered by Gallinaro. Zeni was free to go on the better side and won by 200 m. However it wasn't enough to take the title from Vittorio Gallinaro who despite the small error of allowing Zeni to get ahead, won the Championship by just one point.

Zeni had paid a heavy price on the second day with two disqualifications, difficult to recover from. Niamh Harper of G.B. took third place and first girl with a one point advantage over an equally good Geoff Power of Ireland.

In the 4.2.category Francesca Ramazzotti (FV Dese4nzano) dominated with an impressive eight wins out of eleven races. Equally impressive were the other Italians who took places on the podium, Brando Mattivi second and Gregorio Moreschi third both of Fraglia Vela Riva. Gregorio took two seconds today compared to two thirds of his team-mate but came in third overall just one point behind.

All in all it was a good, hard-fought championship, in which we discovered a fairly new world for Italy, that of the Topper, a boat which is not too technical and attracts many youngsters from countries like Great Britain where yachting is in the blood.

The successes for Fraglia Vela Riva didn't just stop with the Topper class today: at the same moment Guido Gallinaro won the European Laser 4.7 Championships in Poland, as well as the under 16's. We will have a more detailed account coming up soon.

After this World Championships, in which Fraglia Vela Riva was involved as organising club and also the club with the most participants, we'll take a short breather until we return at the beginning of August with the World Cadet Championships. This double for youngsters is popular above all in Great Britain, Argentina and Australia but is emerging in countries like Belgium and Germany.

Results for each fleet are on the club website

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