Limone sul Garda / Italy, October 4, 2016. Brad Gibson GBR takes the title from Graham Bantock, who held the title World Champion of the ten rater class since 1999. Brad Gibson at the head of the scoreboard was not letting up on his earlier form by posting back to back wins over the challenging Graham Bantock and FRA’s Christophe Boisnault. Thanks to the hosts and people of North West Garda Sailing for their efforts and hospitality.
The World Championship was organized by IRSA and the Italian "Vela Club Campione". The team led by Virginio Boglietti, Renato Bolis, Matteo Longhi and Gerd Mentges with help from the team of North West Garda Sailing did a great job. Thanks for his work also to Pierre Gonnet our unwavering race officer and last but not least the umpires around Gordon Davies and Chris Atkins (Vice President at World Sailing).
Day 1 of the 2016 Ten Rater class World Championship
Morning sunshine through a light fog greeted skippers on day 1 of the 2016 Ten Rater class World Championship here in Limone del Garda, Italy. This years event is the first to be held for the ‘thoroughbreds’ of radio sailing in 18 years and is the 8th time it's being held. As racing got underway rolling the skippers briefing at 10am, there was great interest to see how the wide range of designs and setups would fare against the known long standing benchmark ‘Diamond’ of defending champion Graham Bantock from GBR. Light winds for the 3 seeding races in waves had wins for FRA’s Stephane Burtin, GBR’s Recently crowned national champion Brad Gibson and local favorite, Italian Matteo Longhi. Soon after the fleets were set and with the southerly ‘Ora’ wind stable we were underway. At the sharp end it was Brad Gibson, Christophe Boisnault, Matteo Longhi and Graham Bantock putting their best foot forward.
Day 2 of the 2016 Ten Rater class World Championship
Skippers were greeted by light rain and little to no wind on day 2 of this year 10 Rater class World championship. With the morning ‘Peler’ northerly winds non existent, the opportunity was taken by skippers to discuss what direction the class should take to build on from the success and interest created with this championship. The notion of forming a class association was widely supported and it was agreed a wider working party should be formulated from not only skippers present but also be welcoming to any skipper across the globe wishing to steer the class forward. The meeting was adjourned soon after the earlier than normal arrival of the ‘Ora’ breeze which remained rather unpredictable over the day in overcast conditions.
A and B rigs were swapped in and out with some real cloak and dagger stuff going on at the top end of the fleet. To the racing and it was close at the top but by day’s end Brad Gibson had stretched his lead over both Graham Bantock and FRA’s Christophe Boisnault who were locked in a tie for second. Italy’s local hero, Matteo Longhi recorded a couple of heat wins to remain in contention for a podium place but would need to be at his best to match the consistency of the top 3 in the large wave conditions.
The full force of Lake Garda kicks in on the last day.
Day 3 and the final day of racing for the 10 Rater Worlds at Limone sul Garda had skippers arrive to strong winds gusting at over 30 knots and racing put on hold due to safety concerns over both launching and retrieval, and the vicious glare created by the morning sunshine. Some were enjoying some practice with smallest suits being used in the crashing waves but most kept their powder dry noticing the difficulty the course laying RIB had in even nosing up to set the course area.
At around 11am conditions had backed off a little to allow racing to commence with D and E suits chosen. As the racing continued the ‘Peler’ northerly winds continued to blow showing off this class at speed surfing the large waves.
With the 4pm close of racing fast approaching under a quickly dying wind, A fleet was called to the control area for what was to be the final race of the event. With light rigs set, eyes turned to the south where a near instant change in wind direction came over the race course. Last minute hurried rig changes were made by some with the fleet launching in rigs ranging from A to C. This heat proved to be a showcase for the event with inches separating Gibson and Bantock after a ding dong battle in overpowered conditions.
After boats had been packed away all that was left to do was share the spoils, with GBR’s Brad Gibson crowned the 2016 World Champion after a solid 3 days racing from defending champion Graham Bantock GBR in 2nd and FRA’s Christoph Boisnault rounding out the podium. Our hosts at West Garda Sailing and FIV were roundly thanked, along with the beach bar staff who kept all well fed and watered over the past 10 days.