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European Laser Championships 2016. Courtesy Alberto Sanchez Sailing Photography
European Laser Championships 2016. Courtesy Alberto Sanchez Sailing Photography

2016 Laser Radial European Champs wrap up & Finn European Champs start

Five months out of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games the European sailing season kicked-off last week, with the 2016 Laser Senior Championships (28 February – 4 March) wrapping up in Las Palmas, Canary Island, Spain on Friday, 4 March local time. Today, Monday, 7 March 2016, the Finn European Championship starts in Barcelona, Spain (7 – 13 February 2016).

Australian Sailing Squad’s Ashley Stoddart (QLD) represented Australian Sailing in Gran Canaria in the Laser Radial and after twelve races finished the event in 22nd in the 99 boat fleet.   Ashley Stoddart secured Australia a spot in women’s one-person dinghy, the Laser Radial, for the 2016 Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the 2015 Laser Radial World Championship in Al Mussanah, Oman in November and will be vying for selection over the next couple of months.

The European Championship, hosted by the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria, saw challenging, shifty conditions and big waves on most days. After racing was cancelled on the first day because of too much wind and another day cancelled due to the lack of wind, the event saw long days on the water with extra races scheduled across the remaining days.

Despite wanting to do better results wise, the regatta was a welcome opportunity for the 22-year old to prepare for the Laser Radial World Championships coming up in Mexico in April.

“The regatta was a good opportunity to test myself before the Worlds, and that is the regatta we are really peaking for with it being the next opportunity to produce a baseline performance for selection.  For now I am not content with this result, but will use any disappointment as a fuel for the fire in my belly to succeed.  This week I was reminded of the brutal nature of the laser class with its close racing and that winning requires so much grit where there is nothing in the wins and losses.  I walk away from the event feeling motivated and knowing the work required between now and the World Championships in Mexico in a little over a month’s time,” a determined Ashley Stoddart said after the event.

“It was not an easy week by any measure and it was tough for me with an overall result of 22nd. There were particular improvements and strengths, which weren't always reflected in the results and other areas of my game that were exposed and these gaps were reflected in the results,” she said self-critically.

And about the event as a whole she added: “We had long days on the water, with four days of three races a day as a result of being behind schedule. We had most wind strengths across the twelve races and played in big sea state, which remained quite large even in the lighter conditions on the final days. The regatta was testing in all areas and the venue required a high level of technical, tactical, strategic and physical ability.”

Next on the calendar for Ashley Stoddart will be the Laser Radial World Championships in Mexico from 14 to 20 April), before the European circuit continues with the Sailing World Cup in Hyères in France at the end of April.

For more info see event website here: http://www.gcsiw.com/events/european-laser-senior-championships-2016/

2016 Finn European Championship

Racing at the 2016 Finn European Championship will start in Barcelona, Spain today, Monday, March 7, 2016 with ten races scheduled until next Saturday when the final race and the medal race will be sailed.

90 sailors have registered to compete in what will be one of the most intense weeks racing of the year with many nations using the week as part of their Olympic trials process.

Australian Sailing Squad’s Jake Lilley (QLD) secured Australia country qualification for the Finn class for Rio 2016 at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain. But who will be representing Australia in the class come Rio is to be decided over the next few months with both Australian Sailing Squad’s Finn sailors Jake Lilley and Oliver Tweddell (VIC) vying for selection.

Jake Lilley represented Australia at the 2015 Rio Test event in August, where he finished sixth. Both sailors had a challenging World Championship in November with Jake Lilley finishing the event in 19th and Oliver Tweddell in 22nd.

Jake Lilley just finished a training stint at Australian Sailing’s National Training Centre in Middle Harbour, Sydney and left for Europe with his eyes set on Rio.

"We just finished a month of equipment testing and training in Sydney and it was good to be exposed to different resources. I learnt a lot and there are a lot of promising signs for the European season ahead,” Jake Lilley said.

The Europeans in Barcelona will up first and I will stay in Europe for the rest of the season competing in Palma, at the World Cup in Hyères, the World Champs in Italy and the final World Cup in Weymouth and if all goes well, hopefully we’ll be heading to Rio in July for some training and then for the Olympic Games.”

“Most of the main contenders are at the European championships. But we’re not so worried who will and who wont be there as we have a very specific agenda to work on and objectives to tick off. I’m sure we can learn a lot at this event, but everything is just building towards to the Worlds and ultimately the Olympic Games,” he added.

The championship is organised by “Federació Catalana de Vela (FCV), Unió de Federacions Esportives de Catalunya (UFEC), Reial Club Marítim de Barcelona and Reial Club Nàutic de Barcelona, supported by the City Hall of Barcelona and Generalitat de Catalunya.

2016 Finn European Championship

  • Jake Lilley (QLD/QAS) – ASS
  • Oliver Tweddell (VIC/VIS) – ASS

How to follow the event
About the event
The 2016 Senior and Junior European Championship is being held at the Barcelona International Sailing Centre in Spain from 4 to 12 March. An opening series of ten races will be followed by the medal race for the top ten on Saturday 12 March.
Event website is: 2016.finneuropeans.org
Useful links
Entry List: http://2016.finneuropeans.org/en/default/races/race-inscriptions
Noticeboard: http://2016.finneuropeans.org/en/default/toa/race
Twitter: twitter.com/Finn_Class (Use #finneuros)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Finn-Class-110408332633/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/thefinnchannel

Follow the Australian Sailing Team via
Website – www.australiansailing.org
Facebook – www.facebook.com/AusSailingTeam
Instagram – www.instagram.com/AusSailingTeam
Twitter – @aussailingteam
Youtube – www.youtube.com/c/AusSailingTeam

Up coming events on the Road To Rio
Key Australian Sailing regatta dates on the Road to Rio
MARCH
2016 Finn European Championships, Barcelona, Spain Racing dates: 7-12 March
2016 Princess Sofia Regatta, Palma de Mallorca, Spain Racing dates: 28 March – 2 April

APRIL
2016 470 European Championship, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Racing dates: 7 – 12 April
2016 49er and 49erFX European Championship, Barcelona, Spain Racing dates: 11 – 16 April
2016 Laser Radial World Championships, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico Racing dates: 14-20 April
Sailing World Cup Hyeres, France Racing dates: 26 April to 1 May

MAY
2016 Laser World Championships, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico Racing dates: 12-18 May
EUROSAF Garda, Italy,  9-12 May
EUROSAF Delta Lloyd Regatta & Para World Sailing Championships, The Netherlands,  24-28 May 2016

JUNE
Sailing World Cup Weymouth, United Kingdom Racing dates: 8-12 June

AUGUST
2016 Rio Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Racing dates: 8-19 August
2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Racing dates: 7–18 September

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