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RS Aero Lago Maggiore International Regatta 2021 in Maccagno, Italy

by Jon Mills 26 May 09:36 BST 20-23 May 2021

With travel restrictions still in place it was nice to see the Lago Maggiore International RS Aero Regatta still enjoy 32 entries, demonstrating the steady build in the popularity of this relaxed event in picturesque Maccagno which would have achieved a much larger fleet in easier times.

Two days of German RS Aero Class coaching on Tuesday and Wednesday was expertly delivered by A-trainer, Raffaele Ravaglia. This led into the International Coaching day on Thursday for all competitors by Danilo De Carolis of 'Smart Coaching', Italy. The sharing of lessons and techniques with new growing fleets internationally brings on more sailors to create better racing and more fun for everybody ultimately.

The International Regatta was held from Friday to Sunday. This year entries consisted of near equal numbers of Italians, Swiss and Germans with the British represented by a couple of sailors based in mainland Europe.

Racing was delayed on Day 1 as the Race Committee waited for Lake Maggiore's southerly breeze to fill in. The fleet launched at lunchtime and enjoyed four lighter wind back to back races in 6-8 kts. Playing the shifts in the centre of the course where there was slightly more pressure was key. Close racing with constant lead changes was the norm and the race team did an excellent job of turning races around quickly. Race four was shortened at the top of the last upwind leg enabling everyone to finish just before the wind died - and close to refreshment ashore!

Day 2 was overcast with no wind in the morning. However at midday enough southerly breeze filled in to enable the fleet to launch in similar conditions to Friday. This time however only two races were run and the fleet were sent scurrying back to shore at the end of race two as thunder clouds gathered and rain beckoned.

Day 3 brought a complete change with sunshine, but a cooler and much stronger northerly wind coming down the lake showing what a great sailing venue Maccagno can be. The fleet launched at 07:45 into a 17 knot morning wind for four exciting races with the usual thrills and spills. The wind strength changed the pecking order for all fleets with some very close battles and constant lead changes throughout the day. In the fresh breeze the Italians gained places on the podiums from the Germans in the RS Aero 5 and RS Aero 7 Classes, whilst in the RS Aero 9 Class the German fleet moved into the top spot ahead of Switzerland with Britain claiming its sole podium in 3rd.

Full results here

Thanks to Unione Velica Maccagno for hosting another splendid event, this year alongside the O'pen Skiff class, and to RS Sailing Italia and Nautica Luino for their continued support. We look forward to returning again to their Italian lake paradise at Maccagno!

The next Italian event is at Circolo Vela Arco in Torbole at lake Garda on 5/6th June, the same venue that the Italian National Championships visit in September. The momentum of the RS Aero Class in Italy and Europe is building quickly towards for the big one, the 4th RS Aero World Championship at Malcesine, lake Garda, in early August!

RS Aero Mainland Europe events list

Video by Danilo De Carolis, Smart Coaching Italia

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