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International Radio Sailing Association World Championship - Preview

by Henning Faas 21 Sep 2016 11:41 BST
Brad Gibson - Marblehead class World Champion in 2012 and 2014 © IRSA

Everything is well prepared for the IRSA (International Radio Sailing Association) World Championship. 124 participants from 15 countries have registered for the regattas in Limone sul Garda Italy. From the 25th - 30th September competitors will be sailing to crown the 17th Marblehead class World Champion and from 1st - 3rd of October racing will be for the title of 8th Ten Rater class World Champion.

After the events in 2012 in Ploermel, France and 2014 Gouda, Netherlands the Marblehead class has a fully booked entry of 76. In the Ten Rater class, where the last Worlds was sailed in Singapore in 1999, the organizer is pleased to welcome a full fleet of 48 skippers. After a 17 year hiatus in competing for a Ten Rater World Champion it is noteworthy that the class has never seen a larger entry for a Worlds.

The World Championship is being organized by IRSA and the Italian "Vela Club Campione". The team led by Virginio Boglietti, Renato Bolis, Matteo Longhi and Gerd Mentges with help from the team of North West Garda Sailing has spent countless hours to prepare the venue at Limone sul Garda. The event will be opened on September 24th with an official ceremony and a large Opening Dinner in Limone.

The organizers has invited Pierre Gonnet from France to be the lead race officer for both events. Pierre has spent a lot of time evaluating how to best cope with the expected wind conditions. During the period that the championship will be held, the prevailing wind is a thermally generated southerly breeze. It starts at around 12.00 and blows constantly until 19.00. Wind speed ranges from 8 to 14 knots depending on the surrounding weather systems. In the morning we can expect a light northerly thermal breeze from 8.00 until around 10.00 coming but a little less stable than the afternoon conditions. Wind speed in the morning ranges from 2 to 8 knots.

Harry Drenth with Sailing Today will be delivering the race management and the participants have already been divided into fleets. The websites worlds2016.marbleheadclass.org and worlds2016.tenrater.org provide competitors with info on their opponents in the first round of heats. As usual, the websites allow followers to stay on top of proceedings with constant updates of overall results and the leader board. 

Some of the top sailors are...

Brad Gibson GBR 42

Marblehead class World Champion in 2012 and 2014. He will be defending his title and looking for the hat trick with his internationally and nationally undefeated Design "Grunge". For the first time since its launch in 2012 other participants from England will be competing with the Grunge. Brad is also a top contender for the 10R title having sailed his newly designed Ten Rater "Trance" at the recent UK National Championships beating the reigning World Champion Graham Bantock.

Graham Bantock GBR 95

Multiple World, European and reigning World Champion in the Ten Rater Class. Second in the World Championships in 2012 & 2014 in the Marblehead class he is looking to go one position better. Sailing this own designs "Quark" in Marblehead and "Diamond" in the Ten Rater Class he will be a strong contender.

Matteo Longhi – ITA 24

Winner of the National Championships in France, Italy and Switzerland. He will be looking to put maximum pressure on the English at the top. Most recently, he was able to achieve a close second at the UK National Championships behind Brad Gibson. One of the quiet sailor racing the newly design "Nioutram" by Marc Pomerade from France is seen as one of the non-UK contenders.

Ante Kovacevic CRO 9

Always one of the top ten when he takes part in a World Championships. 2014 he competed with a chartered boat prepared by Graham Bantock and finished a strong third with very limited preparation sailing Marbleheads. This year, Ante has been preparing since April with a Quark and expectations are high.

Peter Stollery GBR 39

World and European champions in the International One Metre Class Peter Stollery was always among the top ten in Marblehead championships. He will be racing a Stollery "Uproar" Design equipped with swing rigs in all sizes.

Martin Roberts GBR 55

Third at the World Championships 2012 in Ploermel he was unable to attend the Championships in Gouda 2014. Having become World Champion in 2006 racing the chartered pink boat from his wife Andrea he is again expected to racing the Dave Creed designed and built "Starkers" at the sharp end of the fleet.

Rèmi Bres FRA 48

For a number of years he has been racing the "Margo" designed by Paul Lucard, regularly finishing in the top 10 at the Worlds. For the first time in 20 years he comes to the starting line with a new design. As Matteo Longhi he is expected to participate with a Nioutram from the hands of Marc Pomerade. This new design placed 2nd, 3rd and 6th occupied UK National Championships in similar wind conditions as expected at Lake Garda. It will be interesting to see what the experienced sailor Rèmi Bres can extract from the design.

www.radiosailing.org

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