A win for Denmark at the 1st Country Cup

Date
Wed, 01/04/2015

The XXXIII Garda Optimist Meeting kicked off today with the 1st Country Cup and tomorrow the Guinness World Record event will have almost 1000 helmsmen take to the water on Lake Garda, Trentino. The Country Cup Meeting, which was held today on the stretch of water in front of the marina of Fraglia Vela Riva, was an exciting regatta and has already been referred to as a mini -Olympic since it follows the same format as Olympic sailing which has only one representative for each country and a much smaller fleet. 23 helmsmen from as many countries competed in three short races in gusty north winds that put their technical skills to the test.

There was a surprising turn of events in the first race, however, when three quarters of the fleet rounded the leeward mark the wrong way resulting in their disqualification. The regatta was, for some spoiled, by this error but it was a situation that no-one could have prevented. With no discard in place the most consistent competitors  had the best chance. Christian Spodsberg (DENMARK) with a first, second and an eighth won the first edition of The Country Cup ahead of Eskil Jonasson (SWEDEN) and third place went to Petru Neagu of Romania, a member of Fraglia Vela Riva. Italy came in eighth with Alessandro Caldari who was caught up in the disqualification of the first race but who redeemed himself with a second and a tenth in the last race.
At 18.00 the parade of participants took place in front of the town hall in Riva del Garda's main square. This is always an impressive sight as it unites the representatives of 31 countries in a festive atmosphere all sharing the same passion for sailing.
The first races get under way for the cadet and junior categories tomorrow at 13.00hr.

Results:
1. DENMARK
2. SWEDEN
3. ROMANIA
4. THE CZECH REPUBLIC
5. TURKEY
6. GERMANY
7. RUSSIA
8. ITALY
9. POLAND
10. LATVIA
Followed by the thirteen remaining nations