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beat cropThe D-One has always specialised in a very international travelling circuit to pleasant locations around Europe, so was hit hard in the Covid era. It was great to see it bounce back with a wonderful championship at Imperia, on the Italian Riviera east of San Remo.

We started the preceding weekend with a round of the Italian Coppa d'Italia. In very light winds the speed of the lake sailors was clear, with Frank Suchanek (GER) narrowly beating Enrico Ciferri (ITA) and Jorg Deimling (AUT).

Many of the sailors then enjoyed a romping 20knot practice on the Monday, wondering what was to come next.

For the Gold Cup itself the fleet extended to seven nations, with good contingents from AUT, GBR and SUI as well as the host nation. We missed some of our usual competitors who were down the road at the amazing Finn Masters championship, but the hospitality from the Yacht Club Imperia was perfect, and the town itself a great mix of superyacht marina and historic medieval city.

spis light cropThe first raceday was, however, a little trying, with a very light wind swinging through 180degrees, a large swell across what wind there was and an unusual current setting in the opposite direction. No-one minded much when the race was finally abandoned as the time limit approached, but we had noted the speed of Suchanek and Thomas Dohnal (AUT) in these conditions. Special notice must go to Alessandro Gasparini (ITA) who led by miles at the first mark before contriving to capsize in 3 knots of wind.

The next day looked like a re-run, and indeed after some hours the fleet was sent back to shore, but minutes later a perfect 8-10knot breeze arrived. In full hiking conditions (for some) the combination of swell and chop changed the pacesetters, and Giles Chipperfield (GBR) showed great downwind speed to win all three races, followed closely by Deimling and Ciferri. Some cricket scores were seen in the fleet as recovering from a bad start or tactical mishap was very hard in the down speed conditions.

podiumSaturday had everything: starting in 10kts and finishing in over 20, with big rolling waves. The larger sailors (the fleet ranged from 65kg to some admitting to 120kg), had a field day on the immense upwind legs, with Patrick Rufenacht (SUI), Michael Mutti (SUI) and local hero Tommaso Buzzi showing very well at the first marks, but downwind technique in the wind and waves saw Chipperfield and Marek Bachtik (CZE) take the wins from Deimling and Suchanek.

Unfortunately, the big winds were the forerunner of a proper storm on Sunday, so the Gold Cup ended there, with just a convivial Sunday of coffee and prosecco to complete a most enjoyable event. Thank you to Yacht Club Imperia for immaculate race management, to Alberto Francheschi for organisation on behalf of the Italian class, and to all our friends for travelling such long distances again to enjoy good racing.

Next up is the Silver Cup within Travemunde Woche and the UK D-One Nationals in Plymouth. The Gold Cup in 2025 will be at the Neusiedlersee near Vienna, hosted by the ever-growing Austrian fleet, with the customary warmup events in Italy and Austria to make the travelling worthwhile. We look forward again to sailing with our friends from all over Europe.

 

Photos from Yacht Club Imperia are at: d-oneassociation.org/gallery/photos

 

 

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