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Record entries for The Windsurfer class European Championships at Circolo Surf Torbole

by Elena Giolai 7 Jun 11:17 BST 11-16 June 2024

Lake Garda and Torbole will once again be coloured by the legendary sails with the unmistakable Windsurfer class logo from Tuesday 11 to Sunday 16 June, on the occasion of the Windsurfer European Championship.

The world's best known monotype class and the first sailboard that introduced so many boys and girls to windsurfing, is experiencing a second youth after the boom of the 1980s. Re-proposed a few years ago with a slightly modernised hull and rig, it is now back in vogue among many enthusiasts and in Torbole, with Circolo Surf Torbole organising the event by delegation of the Italian Sailing Federation, after the World Championship held in 2019, there is a new record number of participants for a Continental Championship of this class, which has traced the history of one-design windsurfing: at the moment there are 208 pre-registered participants from 15 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the United States, South Africa and Singapore; practically a world championship!

Many of the athletes present are champions who have important victories in various classes and Olympic participations behind them, but there is no shortage of newcomers. A class famous for its 'windsurfer spirit' with which it races in the various disciplines course race, slalom, free style, long distance: fun and sharing unique moments on the most famous beaches in the world for water sports, remain fundamental in the regattas of this board that entertains despite the advent of the very fast foils.

The programme includes Tuesday 11 June practice day and the evening opening ceremony with a parade from Circolo Surf Torbole through the town centre. Wednesday will see the official start of the races with the long distance race with the spectacular start, which will revive the boom of the 1980s with the colourful sails at the start on the same line. This will be followed, depending on wind conditions, by course races, slalom and the always fun free style, with splits, cutting boards and evolutions with board and sail, to be followed from the beach, in front of the Circolo Surf Torbole.

Armando Bronzetti, President of Circolo Surf Torbole: "We are delighted with the numbers, because we have never had so many participants in previous editions in other European countries. Circolo Surf Torbole is ready to host this beautiful event with more than 200 competitors and enter the Windsurfer spirit, which has always characterised the racers of this fun class, which represents the history of windsurfing".

Luca Frascari, President of Italian Windsurfer Class: "After the Australian World Championship held in December, the class is back in style on Lake Garda. 'Deus ex machina' of the event, which will award the European titles, the class secretary and WIndsurfer distributor for Italy Edoardo Thermes, who together with the President of Circolo Surf Torbole Armando Bronzetti, coordinated the entire organisation.

The class has rediscovered energies and racers from its golden years, including several Olympic medallists (Stephan Van Den Berg and Faustine Merret to name but a few), so as to offer a more affordable outlet to those who do not have the time or money to devote to foil, but want to continue racing at a high level. The versatility of this new board is also appreciated by former funboard racers, because at carrying gaits you can sail up to 25 knots! A great event for us all, hoping that Lake Garda will host us in all its splendour and with the right wind!".

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