In the beautiful town of Baratti (LI), in the center of the Tuscan coast, at the Piombinese CVP Sailing Center, the 2023 SILVER CUP took place, valid as the European championship class D-one.
Very tall pines, the chirping of cicadas, the sunny beach and the beautiful sea characterized this event, which however had to deal with a naughty wheather perturbation that put the Italian Civil Protection on alert.
Thursday 29th the championship opened with a beautiful day of regattas with a sea breeze, typical of the area. Thanks to the versatility of the D-one, three pleasant trials were held with a wind of 6-7 knots which enhanced the skills of the light helmsmen. At the end of the first day therefore Jorg Deimling (AUT03), Enrico Ciferri (ITA315) and Alessandro Gasparini (ITA111) were competing for the first three places. Too bad for Andreas Von Arx (SUI101) who suffered a gennaker failure in the last race of the day and dropped off the podium. (ranking of the first day )
Thursday the conditions were ideal for a day at sea and everyone took it like that, like a trip to a wonderful place where you can also do some excellent sailing.
Unfortunately, starting from the first night on Friday 30, a perturbation hit several locations on the Tuscan and Ligurian coasts quite violently, forcing the Italian Civil Protection to issue an alert decree, which implies restrictions on organized sporting activities.
The race committee therefore had to impose a halt to water activities, even if the situation seemed to be under control locally. The decision was not always understood, also because objectively in the afternoon there were the conditions for racing, considering that the helmsmen are all experienced, responsible and aware adults. Having to submit to a measure imposed by the authorities, despite the favorable local situation, therefore warmed up a bit the spirits of the committee which tried, without too much success, to explain the situation to the participants. Considering the good number of friends from outside Italy, not accustomed to the cross-responsibility game that we Italian residents are forced to conform to, it went all too well... Thanks above all to those who did their utmost to try to explain this perverse aspect (and typically Italian) of the organization of a regatta, which makes someone else responsible if an experienced adult, able to understand the risks, takes a boat ride while there is a storm on the horizon.
Many took the opportunity to carry out some maintenance work in the shade of the pine trees in the club's boat park, but the activity did not calm the understandable tension.
On this basis of frustration on the part of all, Saturday 01 July arrived: once the disturbance had passed, a good local southwest wind rose at 15 knots, which unfortunately pushed a wave in a direction perpendicular to the beach, which rose on the shoreline at 70-80cm. In the area where the boats are launched, the depth is scarce one meter up to at least 50-100 meters from the shore and this means that in order to exit (and return) it was necessary to travel upwind (or downwind) this distance with limited maneuverability while fighting with breakers. The group of rowers therefore found themselves having to evaluate whether to risk a rather dangerous exit (capsing during the exit or the re-entry between the breakers in a few cm of water means sure damage to the boat). Especially since the host club didn't get reassurance about the presence of a sufficient number of assistance people who could facilitate the launching and hauling of the boats. The group of sailors therefore accepted the regatta committee's proposal to postpone the start of operations pending changes in the state of the wind and the sea. After a couple of meetings at fixed times, the weather situation hasn't changed much and the majority of the helmsmen have opted not to participate in the regattas.
At least, the Italian Class has managed to recommend appropriate restaurants where you can taste all the local specialties. As can be seen above, the "Fiorentina steak" is appreciated internationally.
In the midst of disappointment, someone from France, a well-known land of adventurers and extreme sports enthusiasts, decided to challenge the waves, the wind, the shallows and the regatta committee by going out anyway to prove their skills. Perhaps an emulator of Paul Elvstrom (who when the regattas were canceled due to excess winds he went out in Finn to do gybing exercises in front of the opponents' fleet stuck on the ground), he tried his luck with an impromptu training outing. It must be mentioned that he was helped by several willing participants who in six tamed the boat initially a bit runaway in the breakers, but he however managed to get out and back in without damage, demonstrating to everyone that it was possible. Were it not for the lack of horned helmet, mustache and several centimeters too much, one could truly say that our Emmanuel (FRA902) embodies the character whose nickname he deserved. However, from all of us starts a handshake and a "Bravo Asterix!"
Fortunately on Sunday the breeze regime settled again, albeit with a little delay. at the turn of the sunniest hours a nice sea breeze arose with an intensity of 9-10 knots which allowed us to carry out three hard-fought trials. Perhaps due to some wind shifts to the left during the starting procedure, but also due to an inflexibility of the jury, some competitors suffered penalties at the start, which heavily influenced the final result. Especially Ciferri with two UFDs failed to be really competitive in the final standings, but also others like Renato de Benedictis ITA110, saw their results drastically worsen. Thanks to the constant performance Tommaso Buzzi ITA 102 instead was able to discard the UFD and scored a good third final.
Congratulations to Jorg Deimling, dominator of the event. Always calm, he studied every capricious wind shift with the calm of an expert and always made the right decisions. Incomprehensible for us who watch it from downwind, but always right for those who have to stay in front. A big Bravo, from all of us. (final ranking )
Thanks again from the D-one Italian Class, to all the participants and in particular to all those who have faced a long journey from abroad to participate in this event. Your presence made this experience unforgettable and helped to overcome the difficulties. We hope to return the visit soon.
Alberto Franceschi ITA149