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Federico Maccari and Federica Wetzl from CUS, Milano win the inaugural EUROSAF College Championship

The 2012 EUROSAF College Championship took place on Lake Garda, Italy, over the week end of the 8th and 10th June, organised by the CUS Milano Kenny Yacht Club. Nine Universities entered this inaugural event, representing Italia (Verona, Mila, Brescia, Genoa, Parma, Castellanza, Cagliari, Turin and Venice), with three other from Switzerland, Sweden and San Marino.

At the end of the event the results board showed Federico Maccari (CUS Milano) crewed by Federica Wetzl (CUS Milano), in first position; second was Bocca Giulia (UNI Verona) crewed by Julia Grosselli (UNI Parma), and in third place Brescia Nassini Luca and Massimo Collotta, also from CUS Milano.

The event used the new and innovative ‘freestyle’ sailing format, which was first adopted by EUROSAF in 2011.  Freestyle sailing sees groups of four boats racing each other in stages, with the winners of each stage sailing-off against the runners up in an elimination series. Finally, the two winners of the elimination series race against each other to find the overall winner, using a style slalom course.

The results of each stage are shown on display board, similar to that used at a tennis tournament, so it is very easy for spectators and competitors alike to see the current status of racing at a glance.

The equipment used was the RS 500 sailing dinghy, generously provide by BoatTech srl, the RS distributor in Italy. Claudio Brighenti, from Boat Tech, said “the RS 500 is a good choice of equipment for an event such as this, because whilst it is a fast boat, it is easily managed by mixed crews”.  For more information on the RS 500 go to www.rs500.org

When Interviewed after the event Federico Maccari, from CUS Milano said “the most enjoyable aspect of the event was to see so many friends and former rivals racing against one another again. The format of the event, using the freestyle courses, definitely makes the event more fun and the style of racing is more exciting than the classic courses used in sailing. I think freestyle is an innovation in the world of sailing and it definitely contributes towards low cost event demanding fewer resources.

Of the equipment Federico said “The RS 500 was a real surprise.  It was fun, easy and exhilarating to sail. The choice of boat was excellent, because we were all able to handle the boat without any great difficulty, even though there were a few capsizes. The races were all hard fought and often decided in the last few meters.”

Marco Predieri, President of EUROSAF said “After the success of the event this year, EUROSAF will consider a repeat of the event next year and, hopefully, in years to come. University sailing is an important part of the sport and it was encouraging to see twelve universities from four countries taking part in the inaugural event. Hopefully, we can establish this event in the sailing calendar and welcome many more universities in years to come”. Marco continued “A special thanks must go to the CUS Milano and YC Acquafresca, who hosted the event, and to their President for allowing the event to use their facilities. We look forward to next year”.