Arco – After 5 days of intense competition and 14 races completed, WASZP UK Sailor Matt Beck in on top of the world! In a return to international competition that has been 2 years in the making, we could not have asked for a better event to return us to semi-normalcy. The WASZP Class would like to extend it’s gratitude to Circola Vela Arco, who took on the challenge to run the event after moving locations from Norway just 6 weeks ago. Arco ran a fantastic event on the water and provided fantastic friendly hospitality off the water. To be able to run the event in-line with how a WASZP event should be conducted, under restrictions was not an easy task, but it was executed brilliantly!
As the final day dawned there were 6 boats in contention to win the title, with points between 1st and 3rd exceptionally tight. To display this fact, there were 8 different heat winners from 14 races showing the evenness of the competition. Since the WASZP was introduced to the sailing world in 2016, this is exactly what we had envisaged, one-design racing, on an affordable platform, insanely tight competition and a relaxed environment off the water.
Paul Farien from Germany had the best of the final day with a 1, 2, 3 scoreline, really putting series leaders Matt Beck and Francesco Bertone under immense pressure, suddenly as the scores became tighter, it was evident that you could not protect any one boat and you had to keep your eyes out and across the race-course.
Bertone, who had an unfortunate penultimate day with a breakage, which put him out of 2 races, sailed a sensational regatta and was still pushing hard right up to the final race, however had to settle for 3rd overall with a 5, 8, 2 on the final day.
In a further incredible result, the Savoini brother from Italy Emmanuele and Enzio finished on level points at the end of the event (64 each), to finish 5th and 6th respectively, following Swiss sailor Jann Schuepbach who finished 4th.
In the end it was Matt Beck who did enough with a 2, 3, 6 on the final day to claim the overall championships and take the crown as the best WASZP sailor in Europe. Matt was the top ranked sailor coming into competition after sitting atop the WASZP Global rankings since the UK Nationals in July. In the lead up Matt also claimed 2nd place at the Plymouth SailGP INSPIRE Youth Racing event, clearly putting his name forward for a potential career in the sport.
It is hard to explain how tight the racing was, but you only need to look at the overall scorecard to see how close it really was. With racing this tight and flying around at speed of 14-15knots upwind and 20-25 knots downwind it is an insane spectacle.
There were 8 separate nations in the top 10, showing that the global spread of the WASZP is in full flight, with access to boats all over the world and agent support in 24 countries, the class is certainly going from strength to strength. The opportunity to stay engaged with the rest of the fleet, even if isolated through our Racehub platform [https://racehub.waszp.com/](https://racehub.waszp.com/) is a strength of the class.
In the other divisions within the overall, first women WASZP sailor Nora Doksrod from Norway had a fantastic regatta, finishing 17th overall with 2x top 10 results. Nora has been leading the way for women in the WASZP and has been steadily climbing up the fleet. We are certain with another year of sailing under her belt, she will be right in the mix competing for the overall title at the WASZP International Games next year. The WASZP is such a fantastic platform for men and women to compete equally and the women WASZP sailors are certainly making their presence felt throughout the fleet with a number of strong performances. Victoria Schultheis from Malta finished the event strongly to take 2nd Women and have a tope 10 performance on the final day, while Margherita Porro from Italy and Mathilde Roberstad from Norway also put in scintillating performances.
While the youth (20-25) and apprentice (25-35) categories were battling out at the top of the fleet, the first Junior (U20) sailor was Charles Cullen from Ireland who had a great regatta, taking out the Slalom Championship and finishing 10th overall with a heat win in the middle of the series. In the 6.9m rigs young Antonin Radu representing Switzerland at his first event took out the 6.9m division.
The master and super-master divisions were also hotly contested with Giovanni Bonzio from Italy winning the masters in 30th position and Pit Muller from Switzerland taking the super-master prize. The masters/super-master divisions were hotly contested by 15 sailors who loved having their own battles within the fleet. A strength of the WASZP class is the huge diversity of demographics that sail the class. Young, old, male & female it doesn’t matter everyone can sail a WASZP.