After visiting Sardinia in 2021, the O’pen Skiff World Championships 2022 is back to France, running from 19th to 23rd July at Carcans Maubuisson in the hot south-west.
The sailing club here is located on the south side of the lake at Carcans, a few kilometres inland from the Atlantic Ocean and the famous surf spot of Lacanau. 250 skippers from 10 countries are present, the best ever entry level for this class at its World Championships.
This year sees the welcome return of the Japanese, New Zealand and Australian teams, who hadn’t been able to travel for competitions for the last two seasons
because of Covid. A return that is very much appreciated but also feared by other skippers, especially with the added presence of Russell Coutts in his role as special coach to the New Zealand team !
New for 2022, the U12s will be racing with the brand new small sail, 3.5 m2, specially designed to make sailing easier for the smaller/younger racers.
The teams are busily checking into their accommodation at this beautiful site in the middle of the pine forests that are typical of the Landes area. Then it’ll be time to deal with registration and get out for some training races before the opening ceremony that will signal the official launch of the Championships.
Follow the race action all week on the event website, where you’ll find all the latest news, photos and videos : https://worlds2022.openskiff.org/
The O'pen Skiff World Championships started very well yesterday afternoon with 4 races completed in perfect conditions. Wind between 10-15 knots, sun and temperature of 29°C. The opening ceremony which was cancelled the day before because of the high temperatures was postponed yesterday evening. After the flags parade in front of the club, all the teams ended up with their feet in the water for the general picture. The location is beautiful and very appreciated by all the competitors and coaches. Thank you to the volunteers who were involved and to the organization who are very solicited.
n Monday morning the General Assembly took place with the choice of the next World Championships venue: it will be Rimini on the north Italian coast. All the national officials attending are very satisfied with this choice and will go there with their sailing team. The new president Benoit Treguilly was also elected and Guido Sirolli remains vice president.
The general atmosphere is excellent, the future of the class is positive with a potential of development, and more countries are motivated like Spain or Holland. It was the opportunity to test the new 3.5m sail, perfect for the new under 12 years old category. It is less powerful but still efficient, and will also be a good initiation sail. 4 races were scheduled Wednesday, 20th afternoon, splitting the U15 fleet in two. The conditions will be similar with 10 to 15 knots.
Watch the video of the first day with the Australian team
The days pass, each one like the one before here at the Lake at Carcans Maubuisson, with magnificent sun and wind conditions ! As it did on the first day, the thermal started blowing just after lunchtime just as the race fleets went out on the water, rising to 15 knots out in the middle of the lake. The result has been 4 rounds of racing for all 3 categories both days. In fact the lake presents a few technical difficulties for the racers, with some long, strong wind flurries alternating with short periods of flat calm, and some unexpected wind-shifts keeping all the skippers guessing at times. The tactical game all the racers have had to play has enabled the true pretenders to the podium positions to start taking their places at the top of the provisional rankings. After the first two days of competition, day 3 is the day to split the biggest fleet, the Under 15s, (153 racers !) in two, with a Gold fleet and Silver fleet for the rest of the Championships. It’s all very friendly on the lake shore, with the various teams swapping their impressions of this event and the stories of all their other sailing adventures. The Under 12s have made a big impression on everyone, firstly with their skill level, but also the big smiles on all their faces that show how much they’re enjoying sailing with the specially designed new smaller sail.
The Frenchies are in a strong position, with Charles Ganivet from Créteil and Clara Zunquin from Royan occupying the first two places, followed by the Italian girl Irene Cozzolino. Given the distance they’ve already put between themselves and the rest of the field, these three are looking good for the podium positions at the end of the week.
In the « Queen » category of the Under 15s, it’s the Polish team that is causing an early upset, dethroning the French and Italian teams who have come to regard this category as their personal property. The Polish team, that gets bigger with every passing season, has two racers leading the rankings in the shape of Piotr Trella and Julianna Ponto. Just a point behind them comes the leading Frenchie, Thimothe Lesniak from Cazaux Lac.
Meanwhile, in the big kids playground, the Under 17s, Italy’s Guillo Siracusa has taken an early command of the situation, but his lead is a slender one, ahead of Poland’s Piotr Kutzniarski chasing hard just a few points behind. Two more Frenchies are on their tails, with Timothe Brisson currently occupying 3rd place. The forecast is mostly good for the next few days. There will be another 3 rounds of racing today, starting at 2pm.
Keep posted !
The third day of the championship was more challenging! 3 races were run in a rather strong wind between 15 and 20 knots. All the competitors were delighted to battle in a stronger wind under a great sun.
In U12 the podium remains the same with Charles GANIVET in the lead but the points are tight between the second (Clara ZUNQUIN) and the third place (Irene COZZOLINO).
In U15, the Polish Piotr TRELLA maintains his first place and increases his lead. Some changes on the rest of the podium with the French Thimote LESNIAK and Nicodeme JONCQUEZ respectively 2nd and 3rd.
In U17 category, some changes are to be noted after 11 races. The provisional podium is composed of Giulio SIRACUSA, ahead of Niccolo GIOMARELLI and Piotr KUZNIARSKI.
If everything goes well, the last races will be held today with the announcement of the great champions and the final results.
Good luck to all!
More information, photos, videos and all the results are available on the event website: https://worlds2022.openskiff.org/
Did you know ?
Actually, the polyethylene sheets we use in our manufacture are composed of two layers. The first, top layer, is always made with “virgin” raw materials, which gives us the possibility of a more “even” finish. The second, the “under-coat”, is made from all our production off-cuts of a similar colour: grey/white, which are shredded, then put back into the production cycle. This actually means that almost all our products have some “secondary materials”.
Step 1: Plastic Extrusion
Booted in appropriate safety shoes, our young explorers made straight for “Kauffman”, our extrusion machine. “Kauffman” is the machine that takes the raw materials of polyethylene balls and transforms them into the sheets that make the next step possible: thermoforming (see below). The polyethylene balls are heated to about 200°C, then pressed into 7mm even-thickness sheets.
Paul, Victor, Mathis and Johann getting a hands-on feel for the raw materials needed for the manufacture of the O’pen Skiff.
DAY 4, 5 & 6
The final two days of this magnificent 2022 World Championships were held in the same excellent wind conditions as the first three. The afternoon thermals reached 18 – 20 knots on Thursday, and there were bigger, stronger gusts to come under the cloudier skies on Friday. The varied, changeable winds and sometimes difficult rough chop on the water surface gave some advantage to the more skilful and tactically minded skippers, and in the end that made all the difference. But the conditions also enabled all the competitors, especially the younger, less experienced ones, to take away a lot of lessons and make enormous progress during the week.
The rankings for the youngest class hardly changed all week after the first day. It was a victory all the way for the young Frenchie Charles Ganivet, closely followed by the young Frenchette Clara Zunquin, then Italy’s Irene Cozzolino, and two of her team-mates Andrea Massaro and Andrea Carboni.
The inclusion of this new U12 category, a decision taken at the last World Championships, was an outstanding success. It has allowed the very young skippers early access to the O’pen Skiff class with the added motivation of its own rankings and prize. Looking at the obvious enjoyment and commitment that we saw on the water, you can see that the next generation of O’pen Skiff talent is already well present! Equipment played a big part, the U12s opted “en masse” for the brand-new small sail that also made its debut at these Championships. Designed by New Zealand sailing legend Russell Coutts and his team, it’s perfectly adapted to the U12’s small physique, with the center of power set low down in the sail and a sturdy dacron construction. The visiting coaches loved it too, they’ll be making good use of it for all the beginners at their respective clubs and schools.
After dividing the U15s into two fleets, Gold and Silver, the race for the podium spots was intense among all the main contenders in the Gold fleet. Poland’s Piotr Trella held an exemplary, steady course through
the varied winds, making few mistakes and holding the lead all week. On the other hand, Julianna Ponto, who had gone off like a rocket at the beginning of the week, couldn’t maintain that level and lost her
second place to France’s local hero Thimothe Lesniak, eventually slipping even further back behind Italy’s Luca Franseschini, with compatriot Dom Schiano Di Scioarro hot on his heels, and France’s Nicodème Jonquez.
The Italian team dominated this category, the oldest age group. Guillo Siracusa took an early but narrow lead on an opening day, and never let it go, never out of the top two in any race during the week. His consistency paid off, and he needed it to beat his compatriot Niccolo Giomarelli, who was racking up race wins, but whose two disqualifications prevented him from taking the top podium spot. In third place was Poland’s Piotr Kutzniarski, also very consistent, followed by Frenchie Baptiste Courtias and another Italian, Ricardo Michelotti.
The return of some of the teams from far away was also very important for the class. Absent for the last two Covid years, they were very keen to come back and measure their talent against the best Europeans. The Japanese, Australian, New Zealand, and Indian teams appreciated the event as much as we appreciated their presence. They’ve promised to be back in force in 2023.
The sizeable and talented Polish team has given the usual suspects (France, Italy…) plenty of food for future thought and action, especially with victory in the “Queen” class, the U15s.
Saturday morning’s prize giving ceremony brought the 2022 World Championships to its logical conclusion, with plenty of extra prizes handed out by sponsors Ronstan and TAHE. It was followed by a “Mini-raid” contest for all the racers who didn’t have to leave immediately. In a very light wind, all kinds of “cheating” were authorised, pumping, rocking and paddling, and everyone finished up in the water around the
boats for yet another prize giving, a TAHE surf board to the best rocker!
Everyone from all the fleets will go home with a head-full of great memories of a unique life-experience, and lots of new friends from all over the world. The final day T-Shirt/email address/mobile number swapping was as intense as the final day action! They can’t wait to meet up again at next year’s World Championships, which will be taking place in lovely Rimini on Italy’s Adriatic coast towards the end of July 2023. The entry numbers record was smashed to bits at Carcans and there is little doubt that O’pen Skiff will break through the 300 barrier in Rimini.
See you there!
You can check out all the videos, photos and results from the event, just click here for the official event website: https://worlds2022.openskiff.org/