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

France, Italy and Denmark lead after four races

Denmark for the Youth event, Italy and Germany among the Masters, definitely France for the EHCA Spi Cup. At the end of day one, the Hobie Cat 16 European Championships in Cagliari are already giving an idea about which flags to prepare for the podium. Orion Martin and Charlotte Hilliard of France are dominating the Spinnaker Cup with four bullets in four almost perfect races. Cedric and Laurent Bader are four points behind - and just one point ahead of Chris Hancock and Valerie Van Heukelan.

The Youth title looks like a family matter. Danish brothers Daniel and Nicolaj Bjornholt, 2012 European champions in Arzon, France, split up for this year. And now share the first place, again: Daniel (1-10-2-1) with Sofie Slotsgaard as crew, his twin brother with skipper Trine Bentzen (2-1-1-2). Third place for Italian Gianluigi Ugolini and Giulio Zizzari, leading fouth seeded Florian and Nicolas Hublet with a three point advantage.

Three teams lead the Masters fleet with a clear margin. First place for Italian champions - and home team - Antonello Ciabatti and Luisa Mereu (2-1-2-2) with Jens Goritz and Juliane Brüggemann (1-2-5-4) from Germany just 2 points behind. Knud Jansen and Torben Wick are third, with a comfortable margin of 7 points to defend the bronze from another German team, Stefan Wiese-Dohse and Susi Gehrmann.

Nobody would have bet a cent on having four races done for each fleet after the first day. When Masters, Youth and EHCA Spi Cup teams left shore, just after 10 a.m., wind was minimal along the Poetto beach in Cagliari. The Race Committee managed to have a course ready to start on time at 11, with less than 6 knots. A second race was abandoned with just the Youth fleet on the course after the wind shifted. Race officials and competitors had to wait for a promising S-E breeze to stabilize. But after that three more very good races were completed, with 12 to 14 knots of wind. A long day, but a really good Hobie day, at the end.

On Sunday first start at 11 a.m. hoping to have four more races to assign the Masters title and the EHCA Spi Cup (prize giving ceremony after the races). The Youth teams will carry on until Tuesday - up to 14 races for them in total.