2013 – Arbon, Switzerland
Today, the 2013 Access European Championship comes to an end. On this last racing day in Switzerland, sailors from 12 countries arrived early at the Arbon Marina, ready to start with their preparations. Everybody was excited and ready to leave Lake Constance with an excellent performance. Once again, the rain would make things difficult, yet the winds were certainly much stronger than the rest of the days.
The two-person Access boats would be the first to start racing. Skippers and crew had prepared their boats from early on and headed out to the race area. Starting from the port side of the starting line, The French team of Gilles Guyon and Marie-Joe Besson placed themselves at the top of the fleet. Behind them, the Swiss team of Dominik Stäger and Julian Müller were giving chase, and trying their best to position themselves in first place today.
It proved a difficult task because Hungary’s Zoltan Pegan and Eva Mircev were the first to reach the weather mark and, deservedly so, enjoyed a flawless performance in this first upwind leg.
The team of Joshua Rothenhäusler and Dominique Scheller from Switzerland were following them closely, managing to be almost as fast as their Hungarian rivals. And so we’d have another Swiss presence in third spot, with the slimmest of margins separating this performance from those at the top. Nevertheless, victory belonged to the Hungarians, Pegan and Mircsev.
When the start of the SKUD 18 race was finally given, the crews of Vera Voorbach and Jan-Rein Van Esseveld from Holland, and that of Andrea Stella and Elisabetta Baradella from Italy, looked set to complete some fine performance as they left the port side of the starting line.
But another Italian team, that of Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti would lead the SKUD 18 fleet for the most part of the race, successfully dealing with the challenge posed by their British rivals, Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell. Yet after a fierce battle in the downwind leg of the race, the Britons tenacity paid off and they finally managed to overtake the Italians and dominate the race, eventually winning it by a comfortable margin.
The Access European Championship promised exciting moments until the very final day, and so it was. Another exceptionally successful event reached its climax, and all sailors that gathered here in Switzerland and the Arbon Marina, will remember fondly those races in Lake Constance. An impressive awards ceremony at the end of an action-packed day ensured that many of these athletes would be quite eager to return here. Thanks for following!