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Last gold medals for France (two), Greece and Italy

Seven medals will travel to France, four will stay in Italy, Israel will take home two (heavy ones…), and also two go to Japan. One medal each for Greece, Spain and Russia. This is the final verdict of the 2015 Techno 293 World Championships sailed in Cagliari, Sardinia. After the last races, Leonidas Tsortanidis of Greece and Heloise Macquaert of France, from the Under 15 fleets, joined Katy Spychakov and Yoav Cohen (Under 17, from Israel) on the world champions list. Michele Cittadini of Italy and Lucie Pianazza of France, both past Techno 293 medal winners, are the new Plus Cup champions.

Time to celebrate for everybody, at the end of a week full of action and fun, with 12 races completed for most fleets. Celebrations for the winners, of course. Smiles from all who came to Sardinia, and said they really enjoyed it - even if October this time was not as sunny and dry as usually is, here. Time to celebrate for the Techno 293 Class, for perfectly rescuing the 2015 Worlds after being forced to cancel the planned trip to Argentina. Celebrations for Windsurfing Club Cagliari, that managed to host a successful event on a very tight schedule and on an even tighter budget - and also takes three out of four medals awarded to Italy. Celebrations also for Cagliari, once again a great location for international regattas (with a dream, mentioned by the city mayor Massimo Zedda at the prize giving ceremony: to host the sailing events if Rome will be awarded the 2024 Olympic Games).

A dark sky and some rain could not spoil the final day. Nobody had a chance to get bored, on the water. A shifty wind forced the Race Committee to change the course more than once. Race 12 for the Under 15 Silver was declared abandoned late into the evening because it was not possible to verify who had sailed the whole course, after a big wind shift.

Many duels to follow - a pity not to have live tracking for all fleets. Gold medals for Under 17 boys and girls had been assigned one day early but Katy Spychakov e Yoav Cohen never thought of watching the fight for silver and bronze sitting on the beach. On the course, one could easily tell that Katy wasn’t happy after a very disappointing (for her) ninth spot in the first race of the day. Then she went on to comfortably take the last one - her ninth victory of the week.

Current European champion Giorgia Speciale of Italy locked her silver world medal by winning race 11 and then she could relax for the last one. Not so for fellow Italian Enrica Schirru and Aikaterini Divari of Greece, tied at 42 points for bronze. The girl from Cagliari was third during the whole week but Aikaterini had finished ahead of her in the last six races. After start, Divari choose to cover her opponent, keeping her on the bad part of the course, while most of the fleet sailed away. Not the right strategy, maybe: on the finish line Divari was 33, Schirru 35, the worst score for both, to be discarded. But while Enrica kept a 12 from race 9, Aikaterini had a 16 to add back to her total and finished fourth, 4 points away from the bronze medal. (For a few, long minutes it wasn’t clear for either team who was actually third: this explains Enrica’s tears - she was desperate on her coach’s boat.)

Tom Arnoux of France choose a much simpler strategy to take silver in the Under 17 boys fleet: start strong, sail away and win race 12. Fernando Lamadrid Trueba of Spain only had to finish less than 4 positions behind his French rival to save his second spot on the podium but he closed 11th and took the bronze instead.

Leonidas Tsortanidis, Fabien Pianazza, race 12

The Under 15 boys fleet staged a double Greece vs France showdown for gold and bronze. Each team took one. Winning both race 11 and 12, Leonidas Tsortanidis closed 10 points ahead of Yun Pouliquen. For the third spot, Fabien Pianazza controlled Charalampos Kogias in the final race.

Gold medal by a safe margin for Heloise Macquaert (Under 15 girls). Going into the final day, Linoy Geva seemed to be her most dangerous rival. But the Israeli girl sunk her chances with two poor performances (16-22) and instead of battling for the top spots she dropped off the podium. Silver goes to another French girl, Enora Tanne, but Dana Bekmuratova of Russia, with a great comeback, is third only because of her worse discard.

Italy takes gold in the Plus Cup men with Michele Cittadini: it wasn’t really his wind in the final day but with a 1-2 he didn’t give a chance to Yuta Mori e Yuta Iwasaki of Japan, silver and bronze. In the women fleet, Lucie Pianazza, Under 17 world champion in 2014, easily sailed to gold. Her teammate Jeanne Penfornis finished second, while Elena Vacca of Italy started to worry after a 9th (discarded) in race 10 but saved her bronze medal by crossing the line just behind Momoka Hara of Japan in the final race.

With all fleets rushing to shore, the most difficult race of the day was going to be the one to return the chartered equipment. It took some patience, but after a few hours of packing and loading trailers (plus sitting in front of the Jury, for some competitors) everybody was ready for prize giving and final celebrations. Next stop for the Techno 293 Worlds: Torbole, on lake Garda, Italy again, host of the 2016 edition. The 2016 Europeans will be in Sopot, Poland.

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