The Easter holidays ring in the start of the international competition season for Techno 293! In a few short days the Techno 293 and Techno Plus European Championships will be getting underway on the magnificent spot at Torbole, Lake Garda, Italy.
A spot that aficionados of the 293 class will be very familiar with and appreciate enormously for its almost guaranteed wind, its location almost in the centre of Europe (easy travel for everyone), the warm welcome, and top class professional organisation on the water.
As of today, 270 riders have registered with a few days still left before entries close, already the highest ever entry for a European Championships in the history of Techno. That stat shows how well the class is resisting the onslaught of windsurf foil, and it's true across all the age categories. Should be a great event!
We'll be back on Tuesday 11th April with our first race reports from this major gathering.
The competition will get going after the traditional opening ceremony, which will happen in the village of Torbole, nestled in the far northern corner of Lake Garda.
Opening day fanfare!
The Techno class is very familiar with Torbole and its local club, Circolo Surf Torbole, which has already hosted numerous international Techno competitions. As they always do, the local organising team had laid everything on perfectly, a warm welcome for all the riders and an opening ceremony that featured the traditional competitor parade through Torbole village led by a marching band, then the presentation of all the teams one by one on the podium. A great opening day atmosphere and opportunity for all the riders renew old friendships and make new ones.
Easter Monday was devoted to training and warm-upand with the wind filling in to 25 knots it was the perfect wake-up call for everyone! This gave riders and judges alike the chance to make their final adjustments and resolve any technical issues.
Tuesday 11th April. The forecast suggested that the “Ora” (southerly wind) would start blowing around midday…and that proved to be the case enabling the first races to get underway on schedule! The magic of Lake Garda!
A bit weak to begin with, the Ora increased progressively eventually reaching 15 knots, making three rounds of races possible for all the categories. A perfect start!
270 riders from 16 different countries were on the start line for these European Championships, including 100 Italians from all the clubs nearby, every one of them dreaming of the podium.
Two separate courses were set up for the five race categories : Under 19s (U19), Under 17s (U17), Under 15s (U15) and the Under 13s (U13). It’s worth pointing out that the last two categories have the biggest number of entries in the entire fleet. This is great news, it’s the younger generations who will ensure the future success and longevity of the Techno Class and represent a great nursery of future talent for international windsurfing.
Southerly « Ora » wind is again forecast for Day 2, with racing scheduled for another midday start!
U13: Let’s start with the youngest category, where Greek rider Thiseas Nikolopoulos reeled off three wins out of three and leads the rankings from Turkey’s Sarp Sarli and Italy’s Luis Burkhart. The highest ranked girl (girls and boys compete together) is Turkey’s Parla Kabasakal in 6th place.
U15 Girls: Estonia’s Bertha Kivistik made a strong start, winning 2 of the 3 races. She leads from Italy’s Gaia Bonezzi.
U15 Boys: Moritz Schleicher from Germany (2-2-2) is leading after the first day, followed by the Greek duo Panagiotis Ioannou and Evangelos Giannakopolos, lying equal 3 points behind.
U17 Girls: Turkish rider Nurhayat Güven (3-2-1) has grabbed the early lead ahead of the Sardinian Teresa Medde and another Turkish rider, Defne Simay Basdag
U17 Boys: It’s Spain’s Bruno Tor (1-1-2) leading the dance, with two more Greeks,Alexandros Vasmanolis and Minas Koutelas in hot persuit.
Techno Plus Women: Poland’s Falkiewicz leads the fleet for now, ahead of the Italians Angelina Medde and Veronica Poledrini.
Techno Plus Men: Greece in the ascendancy here too, with Alexandros Kokkinakis leading from Cypriot Vasilis Charalambous and local Italian Marco Guida Di Ronza
The party continues despite the weather!
After the early days of the week that went off in perfect sailing conditions, wind and sun, the weather then went downhill fast because of the big depression sweeping across Europe in midweek. Two days to remember, and two to forget, but the wind and sun are back for the end of this week of European Championships.
Wednesday 12th April
Low heavy clouds, predicting the deterioration, prevented the wind from lifting. Despite the best efforts of the race committee to get the riders out as soon as there was the slightest sign of life from the Ora wind, only the Techno Plus category was able to complete a race. Then the wind disappeared completely sending all 270 riders back to the beach.
The forecast had predicted strong wind, rain and even snow… which is exactly what happened. These tough conditions - especially the cold – were a big problem for the organisers, who hesitated a long time before sending anyone out, then finally sending out the U17s and Techno Plus. But in the turbulent winds (coming from the west, very rare here on the lake) which kept strengthening, plus the snow capping the mountains all around, it very quickly became too radical and too dangerous. One race was completed for both categories before the committee sent everyone back to the beach to warm up and dry off.
The forecast is much, much more clement, more of a “classic” Garda scenario. Light wind from the north up to lunchtime, then swinging round southerly and rapidly increasing to 20 knots. All the fleets were sent out to complete 3 races, and then some. As we finish this newsletter, it’s impossible to bring you any up to date with the scores, too much action to report. To follow the results, and more importantly the rankings, live and direct, which will surely see plenty of evolution during today and tomorrow, we suggest you head for the event website until we’re able to unscramble the mass of results information coming in later on.
But even before the racing has finished we can be sure this T293 and T+ European Championships is a great success. It shows that the class can more than hold its own against the serious interest in Foils, especially among the youngest categories (U13 and U15). The number of entries keeps on rising compared to pre-Covid 2019 levels and the arrival of foils on the scene. National federations everywhere understand that Techno 293 is still the best possible rig for getting as many youngsters involved as possible in the sport and to provide a conveyor belt of future riders who will then make their own choice between Foil, or staying with Techno and Techno Plus. The many coaches and trainers present here this week seem very optimistic, and promise to come with even bigger teams for the next World Championships.
270 NEW FRIENDS FROM 16 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IN TORBOLE!
The 2023 Techno 293 /Techno Plus European Championships finished in fine style with two days of good wind and 6 more rounds of races completed in near perfect conditions. In the end every category completed 9 or in some cases 10 validated races. It was a perfect way to forget the arctic conditions that swept through in the middle of the week. The 270 youngsters present in Torbole returned home with just as many new friends, coming from the 16 different participating nations. That too is the essence of Techno!
On the team demographic front, compared to previous years, the Techno class is strong and stable, but the age profile has changed. There were fewer under 17s who are maybe more interested in foils now, but there was an increase at under 15 and under 13 levels, with Techno Plus steady as she goes.
The conclusion is that the class has just as many riders as pre-Covid and pre-Foil, but it is getting younger, which is one of its strengths, and a guarantee of its future.
The coaches of all the big teams tell us they are as committed as ever to Techno for helping young kids learn to sail, progress and race. More than ever before, the Techno 293 is the best way of generating a core of young, capable windsurfers and sailors of the future.
At the end of these championships, excellently organised as ever by the Circolo Surf Torbole club and orchestrated on the water by a very responsive race committee, the podiums reflect a broad spread of nationalities, some of them that we don’t see very often taking their opportunities.
The very varied and sometimes difficult conditions have delivered us a new, tenacious and versatile generation.
U13: In the youngest category girls and boys compete together, and it was the Greek boy Thisas Nikolopoulos who won it by a distance ahead of Turkey’s Sarp Sarli
and a second Greek, Orestis Nikolaos Palamidis. Turkey’s Parla Kabasalak was the highest ranked girl.
In the U13 5m2
Sail special category, the young Hungarian Florian Katai came
first, followed by Turkey’s Nil Erdamar and local Italian boy Marco Cicerone.
Bravo to all of them, there were some particularly nasty conditions that they
had to confront!
U15 Girls: Victory went to the Estonian Bertha Kivistik by a tight single point margin from
Greece’s Danai Anagnostou and Italy’s Gaia Bonezzi.
U15 Boys: In the biggest field of all in Torbole, Greece made the podium sandwich with Panagiotis Ioannou and Evangelos Giannakoloulos taking gold and bronze respectively. Only Germany’s Moritz Schleicher could prevent the clean sweep taking silver, although he trains mostly in Greece!
U17 Girls: Turkey’s Nurhayat Güven is the new European Champion, followed home by Czech Republic’s Alexandra Lojinova and Italy’s Teresa Medde.
U17 Boys: The Spaniard Bruno Barbara Tor, who took the lead on the opening day, never let it go and won a deserved title 20 points ahead of second placed Minas Koutelas from Greece, then Sardinia’s Riccardo Poledrini.
Techno Plus Women: Angelina Medde, who racked up a series of 1st and 2nd places, was a comfortable winner. Behind her there was Polish ding-dong which saw Linda Falkiewicz beat compatriot to silver by a single point.
Techno Plus Men: Much tighter between all three podium places among the men, but it was
another Greek, Alexandros Kokkinakis who took it by 5 points in the end, with Italy’s Marco Guida Di Ronza edging out Cypriot Vasilis Charalambous for silver by another single point margin.
Here’s how to follow all the news from Torbole live and direct:
Event website: https://europeans2023.techno293.org