Garda Meeting, the hero is named Riccardo Sepe


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Screenshot 2015-04-07 at 12:28:29 p.m.The one you see in the photo above (AP Photo) is Riccardo Sepe: this year it was his turn to accomplish the great feat, which is to win the Garda Optimist Meeting, an event organized by Fraglia vela Riva, already a 2012 Guinness World Record for the number of participants, which this year had the participation of 29 nations and 863 young sailors (187 cadets and 676 juniors). This is the third consecutive year that an Italian has won. Rome’s Riccardo Sepe (Circolo della Vela Roma) managed throughout these four days to maintain concentration and good boat speed in the conditions found on Garda Trentino, first with strong winds and steep waves and finally with light winds of 10-12 knots in the last two races held mid-morning on Easter Sunday.


Prior to the very final, tensions were certainly high among the top three who were bunched within just 2 points, but in the final Sepe gave his best and with the two discards placed in the overall standings thanks to the nine total races held, and the two last beautiful races, left Denmark’s Christian Spoodsberg a full 23 points behind. Sepe finished ninth in the penultimate race compared to the Dane’s 93rd; in the final race he dominated from the first windward mark, going on to win the 33rd Garda Optimist Meeting with merit. Today his opponents definitely fell apart as the second place finisher scored a 93 and a 22 partial and the third place finisher, Norway’s Uffe Tomasgaard, a 25 and a 57. He won the penultimate race by Hungary’s Arthur De Jonghe, who was a bit haphazard in his partials and had one disqualification.

Italian victory also among the females, with the Italian (already present at the Optimist World Championship in Argentina in October 2014) Gaia Bergonzini (Fraglia Vela Malcesine), who day by day gained position after position, until he not only won the category victory, but also a beautiful fourth place overall. Fifth Gabriele Centrone (not brilliant today with 97.17). Second female, tenth overall and the first bearer among Fraglia Vela Riva juniors Giorgia Cingolani. Third in her category was Germany’s Theresa Steinlein, third overall in the eighth race.


The youngest cadets managed to compete in a total of six regattas: four qualifying and two finals with the fleet divided into gold and silver. The victory went with some fluency to Swiss Maxime Thommen who was the protagonist of three partial victories, a fourth and an eighth, as well as a discarded 15th. Thommen was ahead of as many as three young girls, with the nice 15-point lead over second. Podium then mostly female with second (and first female) Russian Alexandra Lukoyanova, first in the penultimate race; third place overall and second female Turkish Okyanus Arikan, just one point behind the Russian and an important fourth place overall and third female by Fraglia Vela Riva’s Agata Scalmazzi, always regular in the partial positions (5-3-10-9-4-5).



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