Last week the EUROSAF European Para Inclusion Championships took place on Lake Traunsee. The competitions for the European Championship title in the 2.4 mR and Hansa 303 classes were not held as Para competitions, but as Inclusion classes. The joy of barrier-free cooperation in sailing thus unites people with and without physical limitations at eye level in a sporting ambience and competition context. The host club was the Union Yacht Club Traunsee, where high-class sailing was offered on five days of competition. From an Austrian point of view, Marina Perterer's vice European champion title in the women's Hansa 303 class was the highlight of the week.
Even if the weather was not ideal at the start, results could be scored on all days. In the Hansa 303 class a clear favourite soon became apparent. Polish Piotr Cichocki could win three of four races on the first two days, in the Hansa 303 class of the women the Austrian Marina Perterer was represented from the beginning in the front field. After the first two days of competition, Perterer led the women's classification. In the 2.4 mR class there was an exciting fight for the title right from the start. The Italian Antonio Squizzato led after the first two days of competition only two points ahead of the German Jürgen Freiheit.
On the third competition day three more races could be carried out. In the Hansa 303 class, the Pole Piotr Cichocki continued to draw lonely circles at the top and was able to win all the races of the day. In the women's Hansa 303 class, Perterer had to hand over the lead to Olga Górnaś-Grudzień from Poland. However, with only four points behind, all chances for the title were intact. In the class 2.4 mR the Italian Antonio Squizzato continued to lead the field. Thanks to a race win and a second place, his lead on the German Bernd Zirkelbach, who passed his compatriot Jürgen Freiheit, was seven points.
Duo defends top position
The first decision was already made on the fourth day of the regatta and thus before the final Medal Race on the final Saturday. The Pole Piotr Cichocki could win all three races of the day again and was already unbeatable at the top in the Hansa 303 class. His advantage over his first rival, the Frenchman Édouard Champault, was already 26 points. In the women's race, Marina Perterer finished seventh, 17th and second and was still in a strong second place. In the 2.4 mR class the Italian Antonio Squizzato did not follow on from the performances of the previous days: through places seven, five and six he was the front runner in the Medal Race, but closely followed by a German quartet.
On the last day of the race the sun was shining from dawn on the Union Yacht Club Traunsee. Only the wind stayed away for most of the time, which is why the Medal Race could only be sailed in the 2.4 mR class. The Italian Antonio Squizzato was able to decide this for himself and thus fend off a last attack from the German competition. With 33 points, he clearly prevailed in the end over the two Germans, Bernd Zirkelbach (41 points) and Ulli Libor (44 points).
In the Hansa 303 class no Medal Race could be contested, despite some attempts, due to the lack of wind. In the men's race the Pole Piotr Cichocki was the superior winner of the regatta: with eight victories out of nine races he was superior to the competition. Frenchman Édouard Champault (35 points) and Pole Waldemar Wozniak (45 points) followed him on the podium.
Find all details and results at https://paraem.uyct.at/de/.
Fotocredits: Traunseewoche / profs