Top sailing clubs from all over Europe are gathering from the 17 – 21 July in Pylos, Greece. Almost 200 years after the historic battle of Navarino, the last battle fought entirely with sailing ships, a modern yacht fleet battles again in these historic waters. This time it is a friendly regatta to crown the best Sailing Club as the European Champion.
The waters in front of Pylos, protected from the waves of the sea but open to the sea breeze, which blow between 11 o’clock and sunset are a perfect arena for sail racing. The races will be conducted with modern, fast J-70 type sport boats, which are provided by the organization. This allows club-teams from all over Europe to participate in this regatta without bringing their own boat to Pylos. An ecological and economical way of modern day sail racing.
In the innovative form of umpired fleet racing, teams share boats and after each race, crews are exchanged in order to ensure that each team competes as many times with each other team as possible. The races are short and start and end at the entrance of the old harbor of Pylos, offering an exciting sailing spectacle to the spectators on shore. Judges – named umpires – are on the water and follow the races closely and penalize any breach of the rules immediately. This ensures that the first boat, which crosses the finish line is the winner of the race and no jury hearings are pending afterwards.
In a nutshell, the new Eurosaf Club Sailing European Championships are fast, exciting, spectator friendly but also ecological and economical – it is the future of sail racing.
The use of robotic buoys will be another innovation at this European Championship. The buoys position themselves at defined GPS positions and allow fast course setting and ultimately more races. The boys have already proven their potential in the Swiss Sailing League and at the Kiel week and will now help to optimize racing at the Eurosaf Club Sailing European Championship.
The favored team for the European Champion title is the Royal Swedish Yacht Club, winner of the Swedish Sailing League. The Austrian team from Traunsee should not be underestimated and is definitely a candidate for a podium finish. The participating Greek teams are difficult to assess but are in their home waters always good for a surprise.