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    2019 International 505 European Championship – GALLERY

    2019 International 505 European Championship – GALLERY

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    2019 International 505 European Championship

    2019 International 505 European Championship

    The 2019 International 505 European Championship 06/08/19-10/08/19 was a truly exciting 4-day race, it was as intense as it was unpredictable, with some real weather highs and lows, and some incredible talent showcased from previous World Champions.

    The International 505 Class is a very popular international class and is raced actively in 18 countries around the world, the largest in Germany, the US, UK and Australia. It is made unique by its high performance, single design two-person monohull planing dinghy, they are particularly technical to operate and make for fascinating racing. The 505 Class uses its own way of starting races, known as the ‘Rabbit Start’ where you will see the competitor in 10th position sail off port-tack followed by a ‘RIB’ (Committee Boat) upwind for three minutes. Behind the RIB other competitors start out starboard, and if they do not pass in the three minutes they circle down and around the RIB. This system was developed to avoid the recalls often involved in gate-starts and is another feature that makes the 505 Class unique in technique and style.

    The Racing

    The first of the four days saw all 3 races take place on time and in medium wind, mostly the conditions were great – with a few showers. It proved a great first day of racing, spirits were high, and everybody was excited to see what the following days would hold.

    The second day, although windier ran both of the scheduled races to time, and all of the competitors were incredibly close, as the sailors navigated some big waves.

    The third day was the first of the event where the low winds meant the first race start time was delayed by two hours, and that first race when it did run- was a little light, proving difficult for even the most experienced. The westerly breeze died to be replaced by a south easterly wind in the afternoon. For the remainder of the day and the following two races however it really picked up well and ended that third day with great racing conditions and positions so close that there was everything to race for.

    The final day everybody arrived at the water grateful for a good 20knot breeze and some good looking waves. At this point there was really no telling who would finish where, the positions were impossibly close due to the wind being so shifty for the entirety of the regatta. All of the sailors- the least to the most experienced and even the previous World Champions were pushed to the best of their technical ability to sail tactically. So tight was the competition that the team who won overall, didn’t actually get a win until their final race, the win was due to their incredibly consistent skill throughout. Conversely, multiple time 505 World Champion Wolfgang Hunger was in a position to fin the overall regatta for quite some time, but didn’t sail the upwind around the end of the final race as well as GBR winners Roger Gilbert and Ben McGrane and so finished in 4th in a twist typical of the unpredictable and tight 505 Class.

    Overall it was great to see boats from many nationalities, including the Australian team, and the fantastic event put on by Sønderborg Yacht Club was appreciated by all.

    Hartas Productions:

    This was a fantastic event to cover, and all four days held fantastic opportunities for great images and footage. It was a very challenging place to film due to the unstable waves, unpredictable wind and stop-start rain, but as always, the end result is some incredible timeless images and footage capturing some truly breathtaking sailing.

    2019 WASZP European Championship

    2019 WASZP European Championship

    The 2019 WASZP European Championship started in true WASZP form, with an event bigger than has been seen for years. The excitement leading up to this event meant that both on and off the water, there was fantastic buzz and anticipation for what was set to be the event of the year, with 100 boats competing from 18 different nations, at Lake Garda, with some fantastic weather looking promising.

    There was a high level of excitement during the equipment checks and registration, ensuring competitors were in good spirits, racing fairly, and dressed in the latest WASZP merchandise.

    Day 1 of racing was the perfect start, everybody was up and ready to race, Lake Garda’s Ora was pumping at around 18knots, with the 2 fleets, competing in 3 races each. What could have been a logistical nightmare was handled with finesse by the fantastic race committee, ensuring the first day ran smoothly, and to time. Not surprisingly, the day was largely dominated by Spanish sailors Alexander Hogheim Dahl and Joan Costa – there were high expectations on them, and they didn’t disappoint, with almost perfect score cards.

    Scotland’s reigning WASZP Games Champion Rory Hunter was also not to be missed, and wasn’t far behind, as always – impressive and exciting to watch.

    Day 2 of racing wasn’t quite the seamless beginning to the racing we saw on day 1. Challenges arose when it became apparent the wind cycle had completely reset following heavy rainfall through the night. The day wasn’t lost however, Team GBR was putting on live entertainment off the water, and so the WASZP party kicked off at The Speck Stube, giving everybody a night to relax and reset, with lots of socialising, easting and drinking, bringing the day to a merry end.

    Everybody rose hopefully on Day 3, and although the wind remained tricky and unpredictable, racing prevailed and every effort was made to stay of schedule. After a morning of racing, the wind died altogether, meaning qualifying couldn’t finish until later that afternoon.

    Of the two fleets racing, the Silver fleet only raced once, but, what a race it was! Brilliant feedback from the Silver sailors, meant that heading into the final day the racing looked to be incredibly intense, and too close to call. The Gold fleet managed to stay on schedule getting in their two races ready for the final day of racing.   

    Day 4 began with a pressure to begin, was the weather on our side? A steady 13knot breeze, a tangible relief and renewed excitement for the final day began with The Gold Fleet beginning their races and reigning WASZP Games Champion Rory Hunter coming back from a difficult Day 3 with some spectacular racing. Once again though, there was absolutely no getting away from Spanish heavyweights Alexander Hogheim Dahl and Joan Costa, who really did claim this event as their own.

    The Silver Fleet remained consistently tight, but after a nail-biting day of sailing, it was Calle from Sweden who shone, in perfect Lake Garda conditions to finish the Championship.

    With so much build up to this fantastic event, which kicked off with a live-streamed SLALOM, followed by a WASZP Championship on a scale not seen for more than 3 years, it is difficult to know where to go from here. Don’t fear, with WASZPS simply climbing from strength to strength now, and with larger and ever-growing fleets and followers, it is no surprise that a number of competitors have already signed up for next year, which is set to be held once again at Malcesine, Lake Garda 30/07/2020-06/08/2020. It will be an incredible event of over 170 boats, watch this space!

    2019 WASZP Europeans IMAGE GALLERY

    2019 WASZP Europeans IMAGE GALLERY

    Purchase Images

    To purchase any image in hi-res please note the reference number and click the button, I will reply via email with a price.

    2019 WASZP Slalom Championship

    2019 WASZP Slalom Championship

    Well the wait is officially over! The WASZP European Championships started with a bang! 90 boats competed in the inaugural European Slalom Championship.

    While Slalom has been around for a long time, the WASZP format is breaking the mould of traditional sailing events. Close to shore, quick 3 minute races and an elimination series that is easy to follow for both spectators and sailors alike!

    The whole event was produced LIVE and beamed into households around the world, with global feedback coming through all platforms. Many of the sailors spoke about their friends and family (some of which had never ben sailing before) how they loved the format and how easy and exciting it was to follow.

    After 2 hours in beautiful Lake Garda conditions, the fleet had been narrowed down to 8 boats for the 3 race Grand Final series. As a curtain raiser to the Grand Final the 6.9m class had their own final with Matildhe from Norway taking the championship.

    With tension building and a large crowd on the shore watching, the atmosphere was electric as the sailors bounced off the Malcesine shoreline. Sailors were spurred on by their teammates and fellow countrymen and women, they were so close they could here the crowd.

    The Grand Final started in amazing fashion with Mael Garnier from France leading the race only to fall off the boat on the final gybe into the finish gate to let Nicolai Jacobsen through to the lead and take race 1 followed by Eliot Savelon from the Netherlands.
    Race 2 of the Grand Final series was some of the closest and best racing we have ever seen. With Jacobsen pushed back to 8th it opened the door for Savelon and Alexander Hoghm Dahl to sneak through to the lead in the series.


    Going into the final race the points were close and 5 boats could still win the title. Savelon had to finish in front of Alexander or inside the top 6 to claim the title. It was not easy as the fleet was really heated up lead by Australian Jack Felsenthal who led the race from start to finish. However it was all to play for in the middle of the pack, Savelon looked to have it in the bag until a loose gybe saw him crash out of the sky! This then opened the door for Felsenthal, needing Savelon to finish outside the top 7 to win. In a finish separated by only 2 seconds from 3rd to 7th anything could happen, Alexander pushing to hard to stay on the podium crash gybed on the finish line meaning countryman Jacobsen clinched 3rd spot on the podium behind Felsenthal and leaving Savelon at the top of the tree, what an event!

    Next year the International Slalom event will prelude the International WASZP Games held on from the 30th July to 6th of August. Book your accommodation as you wont want to miss this one!

    Alexander Dahl-Hogheim, 4th place overall in the Slalom Championships. Photo by Hartas Productionsings.

    WASZP Veteran Nicolai Jacobsen came third in the WASZP Slalom event. Photo by Hartas Productions

    Intercontinental entrant Jack Felsenthal from Australia was the runner up in the event. Photo by Hartas Productions

    Eliot Savelon from The Netherlands, overall winner of the 2019 WASZP Slalom Championship! Photo by Hartas Productions