24 teams from 16 European nations take out to the water for the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Race Championship
Twenty four teams representing sixteen European nations took to the water today in Hard, Austria for the practice races ahead of tomorrow’s start of the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Race Championship. The morning rain gave way to a beautiful sunshine and blue skies that let the thermal breeze develop and the 6 Blu26 and 6 Scholz22 yachts sailed inside the Binnenbecken lake, in a race course that will certainly put to test the skills of the crews.
Lucy Macgregor, the world’s top woman match racer, comes to Austria with a clear goal, to repeat her 2008 victory. After reaching the top of the world match racing rankings in February, MacGregor and her crew will have to prove they have what it takes to clinch the European Champion title and climb another step on their way to the first Olympic gold medal in match racing two years from now in their home country. According to MacGregor, anything can happen under the tough and shifty conditions in Hard.
Lucy Macgregor, world's number one match racer, trains on the eve of the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship. Hard, 11 May 2010. Photo copyright Daniel Forster / www.go4image.com
According to Alvaro Marinho, winner of last year’s Match Race Hard, it promises to be a very tricky and tough race course. The Portuguese match racing champion considers that two factors will prove key in the 2010 European Match Race Championship. Firstly, the first call on the side to sail in the first beat, and, secondly, downwind it will be important to sail with the shifts as well as the pressure.
The first warning signal is due at 10am and the organization has scheduled a full day of racing for all 24 crews. The 12 women and 12 men crews have been divided into 2 groups of 6 and two full round robins will be raced in each group. Weather allowing, race officials will try to finish the first round robin on Wednesday.
Pierre-Antoine Morvan, top ranked sailor, trains on the eve of the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship. Hard, 11 May 2010. Photo copyright Daniel Forster / www.go4image.com
Set on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance and located a couple of miles from the meeting point of the Austrian, German and Swiss borders, picturesque Hard is an ideal venue. Racing takes place a few dozens of meters from the shore, giving the public the chance to be as close as possible to the action.
Racing takes place on two separate race courses, with separate race committees and officials. The first race course is inside the Binnenbecken small lake, giving spectators the unique opportunity to have a 360-degree access to the races. The second course is on Lake Constance itself, again as close to the shore as possible and men and women will be alternating between the courses.
Mads Ebler, second ranked sailor, trains on the eve of the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship. Hard, 11 May 2010. Photo copyright Daniel Forster / www.go4image.com
Teams train on the eve of the 2010 EUROSAF European Match Racing Championship. Hard, 11 May 2010. Photo copyright Daniel Forster / www.go4image.com