LISOT sailors were in Riva del Garda, Italy to compete in the 26th Annual Lake Garda Optimist Meeting which finished on Easter Sunday.
Over 1,000 Opti’s turned out for what’s being called the world’s largest single class one-design regatta. Drawn to the site of the 2008 European Opti Champs this summer, an amazing team of race officials from the club Fraglia Vela Riva ran 5 championship fleets (“Juniors”) of 168 boats each (yes, 168 boats on a single starting!), on 3 separate courses, plus an additional 165 “Cadetti’s” (sailors 10-11 years old).
LISOT sailors faced stiff competition from sailors from 31 countries across a broad array of conditions – from a shifty 5 knots with air temps just above freezing with snow and rain, to steady 25-30+ knots and 4 foot rollers – all with lake water temps in the low 40s.
Harald Faste of Norway beat Luca Paolillo of Italy by 1 point to win the Garda Cup. Luke Tan of Singapore was just 6 points behind in third, after throwing out a 22nd. Sailors from Germany, Poland, Croatia and Great Britain rounded out the top 10.
The Race Committees ran 2 or 3 races each day, starting at noon after the light morning northerly dies and the southerly “sea breeze” literally switches on (the wind roars up the lake and goes from zero to 20 knots in literally 3 to 5 minutes – you can see it coming up the lake in as a cloud of mist).
After 3 days of racing in semi-random fleets, sailors were assigned fleets based on their overall finishes after Day 3. The first 168 boats sailed in Gold, the next 168 in Silver and so on for Bronze, Emerald and Pearl fleets.
Marcus Edegran – 26th overall and in Gold fleet with 126 points (first US boat)
Antoine Screve – 32nd overall and in Gold with 145 points
Declan Whitmyer – 115th overall and in Gold with 315 points
Katie Kelley – 40th Bronze (374th overall) with 548 points
Roger Dorr – 17th Emerald (527th overall) with 702 points
Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick – 19th Emerald (529th overall) with 708 points
Harry Koeppel – 26th Emerald (538th overall) with 734 points
Sam Stan – 145th Emerald (655th overall) with 965 points
Adele Whitmyer – 13th in Pearl (689th overall) with 867 points
Roma Screve – 111th in the Cadetti fleet
The kids had a great time both on the water and off – Riva del Garda is a picturesque town at the foot of the Alps (built in the 1600’s) where everything is in walking distance –hotels, supermarkets, yacht club, shopping, restaurants and bars.
With the hotels facing the town square and water front, every night the kids played soccer with the Danish and Irish teams, or roamed the small streets in search of a new gelato stand. Most parents were found enjoying their 10th cup of Latte Macchiato for the day at an outdoor table (even in 40 and 50 degree temps).
On the lay day some drove an hour north for great skiing (including a few coaches), others drove to Venice, and others took a ferry across the lake to the Malcesine cable car up to Mounto Baldo (1750 meters) where the Beirgarten and sleigh riding were a big hit for both kids and parents.
Congratulations to all our sailors.