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Hobie Cat 16 sailing in Cagliari, Italy - The Devil's Saddle in the background

Trine Bentzen-Nicolaj Bjornholt, 2013 Youth Champions

A larger-than-usual Gold Fleet at the Hobie Cat 16 European Championships in Cagliari. Not 64 but 71 or maybe 72 boats will race for the title along the Poetto beach until Saturday. The announcement from Class president Andy Dinsdale, after the prize-giving ceremony for the Youth, Masters and Spi Cup winners, was a nice surprise for competitors at the end of a long day. Extra sails will arrive with a night flight from France - Hobie Europe was sending more after the first shipment of 64 plus some spare. A wise decision, because a Silver fleet with not even ten boats would have been a disappointing end for a great week - for the teams cut from the Gold and for everybody else here.

Now the problem is a different one - how much wind for tomorrow? Weather forecast for southern Sardinia is announcing severe conditions with very strong N-W winds. Race Committee called for an earlier start (10:00 instead on 11:00) hoping to finish at least one race before the Mistral passes the 25 knots limit. Also sails distribution will start one hour earlier, at 06:30, to have the fleet ready to leave shore just after 9.

From too much wind to almost nothing: today final races for Open qualifiers and Youth were cancelled late into the afternoon when the sea breeze missed the deadline for the last possible start. The Youth title was assigned with 9 races and went to Trine Bentzen and Nicolaj Bjornholt of Denmark, just one point ahead of the second Danish team, formed by the older of the Bjornholt brothers, Daniel, with crew Sofie Slotsgaard. Third place for the Italian team Gianluigi Ugolini - Giulio Zizzari.

Also on the podium, for Masters, current Italian champions Antonello Ciabatti e Luisa Mereu, who live and sail in Cagliari, followed by two teams from Germany, Jens Goritz - Juliane Brueggemann and Knud Jansen - Torben Wick. The EHCA Spinnaker Cup trophies went to Orion Martin and Charlotte Hilliard of France. Second place for Chris Hancock and Valerie Vanheukelom, third for the 2012 HC16 Open champions, Cedric and Laurent Bader.