Split Olympic Sailing week, An April weekend of Laser Wars
With a near no-show on the wind front, it was touch and go last weekend in Split for the Split Olympic Sailing Week 2017.
The well-respected, Split based, JK Labud sailing club has been host to the Split Olympic Sailing Week for 13 years. Although the SOSW regatta is open to all Olympic Sailing Classes; this was a weekend of Lasers. Sailors competed in the Laser Standard, Laser Radial and Laser 4.7.
This Croatian regatta used to be held in March and despite slightly colder conditions in March, the earlier date attracted a much more diverse mix of boat classes. Unfortunately, now it falls between two huge regattas; the ‘Trofeo Princesa Sofia Cup’ in Palma, Mallorca and the World Cup in Hyeres, France. This scheduling amendment has made SOSW somewhat logistically impractical for many Olympic class sailors. Hence, a Laser-dominated course.
This 3-day regatta saw sailors on a drawn-out, standby for wind in an ordinarily, dependable breezy Split. Opening day was a write-off. No sailing. At all. On day 2, there was yet more waiting; a light sea breeze of around 6 knots picked up and one race was scraped in. The third and final day of racing welcomed South-Easterly wind, Jugo. Three races were completed in a decent, 10-14 knots of wind. With three races being the minimum requirement for a race committee to conclude results, this regatta was very nearly without outcome.
The Laser Standard class saw Cypriot Olympic Silver medalist, Pavlos Kontides, take home Gold. Hvar Islander and upcoming conqueror of the laser class, Filip Jurišić, came second and Split-born, Tonči Stipanović, Croatian Olympic Bronze medalist secured third place.
Laser Radial champ was Russian female, Elena Vorobeva, new member of JK Labud sailing club and amongst the younger, next-generation of pros, Ilija Marković from Montenegro secured Gold in Laser 4.7.
More photos and full lists of entries can be found at the official JK Labud webpage