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European Festival Championship 2016 | Day 4

Hard Day at Sea in Portimão

Rough sea and strong winds tested the strength of the windsurfers in Portimão (®PauloMarcelino)
Rough sea and strong winds tested the strength of the windsurfers in Portimão (®PauloMarcelino)
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The 26 windsurfers at the European Festival Championship Formula Windsurfing Masters, Youth and Women 2016 went back to the water late afternoon this Saturday, May 21, to face hard sea and strong wind off the Rocha Beach, in Portimão. The local Miguel Martinho had another perfect day, winning all three races. The Polish Pawel Dittich rose to third overall, a point away from the Portuguese Vasco Chaveca on the penultimate day of the championship.

The action started late at a time athletes believed they would have another lay day. Saturday was Southeast condition with heat and almost no wind at Rocha Beach in the morning and the afternoon. It was already close to 5pm when the wind turned West and started to blow stronger. Athletes were called for the first start, by 17h45, with wind between 9 and 10 ‘knots’, but conditions turned up rough rapidly.

Athletes had no pauses on the first two races of the day to change sails and adapt to the stronger wind conditions (®PauloMarcelino)

Athletes had no pauses on the first two races of the day to change sails and adapt to the stronger wind conditions (®PauloMarcelino)

The three races of the day were very hard for the 26 windsurfers who had to complete the first two with no pause to change sails in line with the fast changing and stronger wind. The sea was rough, cross-waves a meter high, and the wind rose above 15 ‘knots’, with gusts of 25 ‘knots’. Athletes were today submitted to an intense effort at sea.

Miguel Martinho won the three races of the day and kept is perfect record of victories in all 10 races held in three days of effective action in the championship. The athlete of the ‘Clube Naval de Portimão’ (event host club) is the Portuguese national Formula Windsurfing Champion and is now preparing to be crowned, on Sunday, European Formula Windsurfing Masters Champion 2016.

Miguel Martinho has reasons to be happy: he commands a perfect record of race victories (®PauloMarcelino)

Miguel Martinho has reasons to be happy: he commands a perfect record of race victories (®PauloMarcelino)

Miguel Martinho’s leadership is untouchable, but 2nd place on the podium has been under pressure. Vasco Chaveca (‘Clube Naval de Portimão’) is the runner-up leader since the first day and has been able to resist the pressure of the adversaries. The Lithuanian Giedrius Liutkus was near the second place but he went down today to 4th overall (3rd Masters), five points away from Chaveca.

The Polish Grandmaster Pawel Dittich adapted well to today’s harsh conditions and had a solid performance in the three regattas, climbing up to 3rd overall. With only one day to go the Polish athlete is only one point away from Vasco Chaveca, a situation that promises emotion until the end.

Pawel Dittich rose up to the podium today and his fighting to be the runner-up champion (®PauloMarcelino)

Pawel Dittich rose up to the podium today and his fighting to be the runner-up champion (®PauloMarcelino)

The European Festival Championship Formula Windsurfing Masters, Youth and Women 2016 ends this Sunday, with four more races schedule, if the wind allows. The awards ceremony on the beach is scheduled for 18h30.

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