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Tornado European Championship 2023 at Achensee in Tyrol, Austria

by Nikolas Betz 25 Aug 2023 14:47 BST 18-22 July 2023
2023 Tornado European Championship at the Achensee © International Tornado Association

From July 18th to 22nd the European Championship in the boat class Tornado took place at the picturesque Achensee in Tyrol, Austria.

A total of 25 sailors from 8 different nations, including a team from Australia, came to compete for the title of European Champion in the categories "Open" and "Mixed Team".

The sailors were confronted with extremely tricky and complicated wind conditions during the regatta days. Wind shifts, light winds, strong winds and numerous thunderstorm cells presented the participants with a real challenge to adapt to the changing weather conditions.

The team FRA-2, Yoann Trécul and Thomas Ferrand from La Rochelle could convince with an impressive performance and secured the gold medal with a large margin. Second place was secured by the Swiss father/son team Marcel and Ben Steiner from Altenrhein with equally outstanding performances.

The bronze medal went to the red-white-red duo Angelika Kohlendorfer and Calvin Claus from Vienna/Austria. They proved an absolute international competitiveness despite their young age.

The exciting races, the perfect organization as well as the challenging wind conditions at the Achensee provided a top-class sailing event, of which the participants were very enthusiastic.

After the conclusion of the European Championship, Manfred Leixner, the president of the sailing club (SCTWV Achensee), drew an extremely positive balance. He was enthusiastic about the variety of conditions, which made the competition even more exciting.

Jürgen Jentsch, the president of the International Tornado Class Association (ITA), also reviewed the 2023 European Championship at Lake Achensee. He praised the SCTWV Achensee and its responsible persons, especially the president Manfred Leixner and captain of the Tornado fleet Achensee Norbert Sailer, for the perfect organization in one of the top destinations of Tyrol and Austria. Jentsch highlighted the warm Tyrolean hospitality and the impressive fringe events, which will remain in the memories of the sailors for a long time. Particularly noteworthy was the professional support of the Tornado EM by the association Achensee Tourismus with its media team, which provided reports and drone videos on social media for the highest national and international media response with 3 million clicks.

Markus Betz, the first chairman of the German Tornado Class Association, also took stock and was extremely happy that the European Championship 2023 took place at Lake Achensee. The different wind and weather conditions were an enormous challenge for the participants and demanded a high level of concentration on all race days.

The European Tornado Championship at Lake Achen will undoubtedly be remembered as an eventful and challenging event. The success of the event was due not least to the perfect organization of the SCTWV Achensee and the warm hospitality of Tyrol.

Opening of the 2023 World Championship in Dervio, Lake Como!

An exciting 1st day of racing of the World Championship on Lake Como comes to an end. Perfect conditions with constant 12 knots of wind from the south allowed two races. A strong wind shift in the second race presented the competitors with tactical challenges.

The first race was won by French sailors Yoann Trecul and Thomas Ferrand. In the second race, however, Jürgen Jentsch and his crew Dolianitis Vagelis were able to sail to a heat win with impressive performances.

Roland Marth (AUT 369) summed up the day by saying, "Under optimal conditions we were able to complete two perfect races today." Marth was pleased with the international diversity, as 29 teams from 10 countries are competing in the World Championship.

The races kicked off the official opening ceremony of the World Championship. Tomorrow, two races are again scheduled to start at 1pm. The tension is rising...

Day 2

Day 2 of the Tornado World Championship begins on picturesque Lake Como. The second day of racing brought changeable conditions with winds from the south and wind speeds of 12 knots and gusts of up to 14 knots. As of the previous day, there were wind shifts of up to 15 degrees.

Despite challenging conditions, the French duo of Yoann Trecul and crew member Thomas Ferrand were able to win both races with their excellent performance, further extending their lead in the overall ranking.

In the evening, participants met for the scheduled AGM to discuss important matters for the future. A total of 29 sailors attended and exchanged ideas about rule changes, protocols and upcoming venues.

Two more races are scheduled for Day 3 of the World Championship tomorrow.

Day 3

After the past two days of racing made it clear that the right side of the lake is preferred terrain for sailors, the race committee decided to create fairer conditions for all participants and strategically move the start line and gate to a different position.

Wind conditions were near optimal with speeds ranging from 8 to 14 knots.

Overall, two exciting and challenging races were sailed today. In an impressive continuation of their previous performances, FRA 2 Yoann Trecul and Thomas Ferrand from France again dominated both races. Their victories in both races allowed them to extend their lead.

With six races completed so far, the World Championship now heads into tomorrow's layday which will give sailors the opportunity to rest, make repairs to their boats and explore the beautiful surroundings of Lake Como.

Day 4

The fourth sailing day of the 2023 World Championship took place in perfect conditions: Wind speeds of 8 - 15 knots took place. The planned two races were sailed. Also on this day the team - Yoann Trecul and his crew Thomas Ferrand from France was unbeatable.

With tactical skill and outstanding performance, the French duo mastered both races. By tomorrow's final, Trecul and Ferrand had won a total of seven races and only one second place. A truly remarkable achievement...

The participants were able to round off the successful day in a fitting manner at the subsequent gala dinner.

The crowning glory of the evening was undoubtedly the spontaneous appearance of Joseph Bennett, better known as "Joyrider". The helmsman of Team GBR 2 thrilled the sailors with rousing live music and ensured an unforgettable evening.

A look at the results list so far promises a highly exciting finale for tomorrow. On the places 2 to 4 SUI 225 with Steiner Marcel and Jörg Steiner, SUI 232 with Jean-Marc Caunillion and Gloor Michael as well as the Austrian team Angelika Kohlendorfer and Calvin Claus deliver a close duel, as they are equal on points going into the final for the front places. The tension rises...

Final day of the 2023 World Championship

The excitement reached its peak on the fifth and final day of the Tornado World Championship. Thanks to constantly good wind conditions, all 10 planned races could be sailed. Before the final, three teams were tied on points in second to fourth place, which noticeably increased the nervousness.

However, the Austrian team AUT 995 with Angelika Kohlendorfer and Calvin Klaus showed strong nerves and won the ninth race. In the tenth and last race GRE 11, consisting of Trigonis Konstantinos and Kalantzis Kostis, convinced with an excellent performance.

In the Open category, Frenchmen Yoann Trecul and Thomas Ferrand crowned themselves world champions with six race wins in ten races. Angelika Kohlendorfer and Calvin Klaus, who dominated the Mixed classification, were also runners-up in the Open category.

List of winners:

Open classification

    1. (FRA) Yoann Trecul and Thomas Ferrand
    2. (AUT) Angelika Kohlendorfer and Calvin Klaus
    3. (SUI) Marcel Steiner and Jörg Steiner

Mixed ranking

    1. (AUT) Angelika Kohlendorfer and Calvin Klaus
    2. (CZE) Pavlis Zdenek and Pavlisova Klara
    3. (AUT) Heinz Böhler and Katrin Oldenburg

Jürgen Jentsch, President of the International Tornado Class Association, praised the event: "It was a wonderful World Championship with 10 challenging races for 30 teams from 11 nations from 2 continents. The race committee did a perfect job in good thermal wind conditions between 8 and 14 knots."

Trendsetting for the Tornado class is the announcement that new Tornados will be produced by Brett Burvill in Australia and carbon masts by Julius Brabericius in Lithuania starting in autumn.

All in all, the World Championship on Lake Como was a great success that the sailors and yachtsmen will remember fondly. It seems that the Tornado class is well on its way to having even more participants at the 2024 World Championship.

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