Day 3 of the FW Europeans was a slow one. The lightest forecast for the event was today with winds around 5-6 knots maximum which kept the sailors on the beach all day. With 4 races already under the belt for the event there wasn’t any momentum to push for racing today as Saturday’s forecast for the final day looked promising.
With the early declaration of no more racing for today the sailors were able to escape the hotel grounds and go for some sightseeing in to the nearby old town of Gallipoli or further around this part of south Italy.
The final day of the FW Europeans in Gallipoli got off to a flying start. By midday the race committee had dropped the AP flag for a 12.20pm start for Race 5. Today the wind had swung to the opposite side, coming from the north (which is toward the city of Gallipoli). The breeze was still fairly light but this direction had a bit more consistency and the first race kicked off in around 8-9 knots with most sailors on their 12.5m’s.
Michal Polanowski, the leader of the event dominated the first of 2 back-to-back races taking his tally up to 6 straight bullets. Hubert Mokrzycki also had a consistent day taking 2x 2nd’s in the first races ahead of Christopher Frank and Sean O’Brien who took 5, 3 and 3,7 respectively.
Around 1.30pm the sailors were sent back to the beach for a lunch break as the wind started to fizzle out. But as the afternoon wore on, the wind swung more to the north-west and strengthened, and sailors were back out on the water by 2.30pm for 3 back-to-back races.
Mokrzycki was finally able to take a bullet from Polanowski in Race 7 with O’Brien posting his worst 2 results with a 7 and 6 in Race 6/7 but managed to get his consistency back in the final 2 races nailing a 3rd and 4th.
Polanowski was too good, taking Race 8 and 9 wins bringing his haul to 8 out of 9 race bullets and the winner of the event and 2017 European Champion. Mokrzycki was able to close out the event with 2x seconds to take 2nd overall for the event and European Championships. O’Brien beat off a close battle from Pawel Dittrich who had a very consistent day of 4,4,5,4,3 in today’s races but slipped to 5th overall for the event and 4th in the European Championships behind O’Brien.
Overall, to manage 9 races in relatively challenging light conditions was an excellent success for the race committee and the sailors were all happy with the conditions. Gallipoli is an exceptional spot for sailing and we hope to come back to this location again.