The curtain falls on the O'pen BIC 2017 World Championships which was held in the waters in front of Circolo Vela Arco. Starting from July 31st the event brought to Lake Garda’s Trentino's shores no less than 187 young athletes competing to earn the title of O'pen BIC World Champion. Thirteen nations took part (Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, San Marino, Spain, Switzerland, United States and Italy) bringing with them over 500 people - the athletes of course, but also their coaches and families - from all over the world to the lower part of Trentino district. All these people will carry good memories home, especially the Kiwi Team who won the two categories in the U13 and U17.
The last session of trials of the O'pen BIC World Championship 2017 has been thrilling and filled with adrenaline as all the others. The competition among the athletes didn't slack and the desire to sail and win remained strong up to the last trial. It was a great international-level competition for the O’pen BIC which has been cutting out a place for itself in both sailing clubs and sailing events all over the world Starting as a confrontation between Italy and New Zealand alone, the last few days of the competition saw French, Australian, Spanish and Danish athletes reach the top tiers as well, after adapting to the peculiar characteristics of the Garda Lake.
It was an unchallenged victory for Sean Herbert (NZ) in the U17 category. Lisa Nukui (JAP) placed second (first girl) while the third position went to Lennart Frohmann (DEN). Then 4th Kristen Wadley (AUS), 5th Giorgio Bona (ITA), 6th Theo Michez (FRA), 7th Giovanni Matteotti (ITA), 8th Kanoa Pick (USA), 9th Gavin Ball (USA), 10th Will Drew (AUS), 19th Charlotte Rizo (FRA) 2nd woman, 21nd Rebecca Brolli 3rd woman.
In the U13 category, the showdown between Mathias Coutts (NZ) and Pol Font Reyero (SP) saw Coutts emerge victorious, leaving the second place to Reyero while Jenna Everett (AUS) won the third, (1st girl). Then 4th Zeno Valerio Marchesini (ITA); 5th John Lattanzi (USA), 6th Hamish Cowell (AUS), 7th Giovanni Santi (ITA), 8th Giorgia Bonalana (ITA) 2nd girl), 9th Breanne Wadley (AUS 3rd girl), 10th Jeanne De Kat (FRA).
Much of the success of the New Zealand team and of O’pen Bic sailing in New Zealand can be attributed to Russell Coutts who was in Arco enjoying the fun sailing atmosphere in a coach and support role for his 11-year old Mathias and all of the New Zealand competitors.
“I was very proud of all of them,” said Coutts, “They all showed massive improvement and learnt a lot racing in such a competitive fleet. There were some very good sailors here. I think all the New Zealand sailors can take a lot of positives from this week to move forward.”
It has been a sizable, high level sporting event, the young age of the athletes competing notwithstanding. The arena of the competition, the Lake Garda, didn't leave anything to be desired: all the programmed racing days went down as programmed under the auspices of the famous local south wind, Ora, which blew every afternoon.
Beside the sporting side of it, the O'pen BIC World Championship was capable of transforming itself in a festive occasion for all people involved, the young athletes and their families as well as the members of the staff; to say goodbye on a note of friendship and conviviality, Friday evening was topped off with a huge dinner for all the people attending the Championship.
Special thanks to Circolo Vela Arco for the great organization, for the Italian Sailing Federation and for the sponsors which have supported the event: Coni, Garda Trentino, Comune di Arco, Trentino, Rigoni di Asiago, Cassa Rurale Alto Garda, Negrinautica and Stuffer among them.