2020 laser senior europeans preview

2020 Senior Europeans – Who will be the medalists this year?

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The 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy are coming the next week in Gdansk, Poland. The event will run from October 6th to 13th at the Polish National Sailing Center.

After all this hectic months with most of main competitions cancelled, including the Olympic Games in July, the 2020 Laser Senior Europeans will be the major event for our top sailors this year after the Worlds played on February in Australia and the recent Kiel Week held in Germany two weeks ago.

This Senior Europeans will also be a nice chance for the Olympic sailors to test their sailing kills and fitness oddly trained during this pandemic time as part of their preparation for the rescheduled Tokyo 2021 Olympics the next year.

2020 Radial Women’s Europeans

Marit Bouwmeester NED appears as main favorite among Women’s competition. The reigning Olympic Gold medallist in Rio 2016 is also now the reigning 2020 World Champion after winning in Australia. Marit’s supremacy is also reflected on many of last Laser Senior Europeans, winning Gold in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

But there is also Anne Marie Rindom DEN, Bronze medal in Rio. She arrives to the event as the reigning European champion after winning the 2019 edition in Portugal. The Danish sailor was also 2019 World champion in Japan, followed by Marit on second. Anne Marie has just snatched the Kieler Woche’s title from Dutch sailor’s hands in the last race a few weeks ago in Germany, so battle is guaranteed.

Despite the fact that these two sailors have won most of the last Laser Women’s titles, there will be various serious contenders on course. Annalise Murphy IRL –Silver medal in Rio 2016– has recently returned to the class in great shape and will be certainly one of them. Emma Plasschaert BEL –World champion in 2018 in Denmark and Bronze on last Senior Euros in Portugal– will be also a challenging competitor.

I would say the preparation has been done in Kiel, expecting similar offshore tricky conditions! Other than that we have only been training on the northsea, so pretty different from what we expect here! I think it will be a full on and possible high point event! / Emma Plasschaert BEL

Many other well known and experienced sailors such as Alison Young GBR –4th in 2019–, Josefin Olsson SWE –5th in 2019–, Tuula Tenkanen FIN –6th in 2019– or Maria Erdi HUN –3rd at recent Kieler Woche– will be also fighting for the first spots for sure.

I am really excited for the Europeans. It will be a great opportunity to see where I stand in the fleet at the moment and what we need to put the focus on from now on up until the Games. I feel like I have been sailing well lately but we will have to see how that comes out result-wise / Maria Erdi HUN

“I went to Gdansk straight after Kiel to do some training. We wanted to learn as much as possible about the sailing condition so we were focusing on racing. Now I’m home, charging the batteries and looking forward to be fighting for the medals next week! / Josefin Olsson SWE

Recent Youth World and European medallists such as Marilena Makri CYP, Matilda Nicholls GBR, Chiara Benini ITA, Federica Cattarozzi ITA, Alexandra Lukoyanova RUS or Ana Moncada ESP will also try to grab their names for the first time in the major leagues.

“I’m super excited to be taking part in my first Senior Europeans. I had my first taste of a Senior competition several weeks ago at Kiel Week and although it was tough, I’ve learned a lot to take forward to this event.
As soon as we were allowed to go sailing again after the lockdown I moved to where our UK training base was in Weymouth. It was really nice to be back sailing with my fellow British Sailing Team mates, Daisy and Hannah, who will also be at the Europeans. We also did some training with Ali Young, our Olympic representative so it was great to all be training as a squad for the summer months!
I am looking forward to putting together all the work I’ve been doing both on and off the water and making the most of my first major Senior competition. Good luck to everyone and stay safe!” / Matilda Nicholls GBR

“In Italy we had a very strict lockdown so I had a lot of time to gain some weight and get stronger. Just after that our Federation gave us the opportunity to train on Lake Garda with all the Senior team. We did a lot of hours of sailing thanks to the special conditions of that place.
Actually I do not have any expectations about this event. I feel really good in terms of sailing and fitness but it will be my first Senior Championship so I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I will give everything for sure and I hope to have fun!” / Chiara Benini ITA

“After isolation I went to Palma with the Spanish team to train there this last 4 months to prepare the Europeans. We train almost everyday on the water, cycling and in the gym as well. I have been training a lot and I feel really confident and strong. I feel excited to race again and I hope to do my best and enjoy as much as I can” / Ana Moncada ESP

“I am still under 18yrs old and although I have done the Senior Worlds 3 times already this will be my first Senior Europeans! Every year I wanted to sail this event and there was always something in the way, but this year I’ve made it and I am super excited about this regatta! As most of the other sailors I’ve been training on home waters for the past months since the Worlds in Melbourne. Thankfully Limassol is an excellent sailing venue with mostly strong winds so my coach really pushed me a lot during this time and I believe my endurance and my technique have really improved. On the other hand being away from racing all this time has taken its toll in other areas like strategy, tactics and starting which is a bit scary going into the Senior Europeans as I am way more inexperienced compared to the level of this fleet. We did the Kiel Week regatta (which was a great event) in early September as preparation for this event and I believe my coach’s words at some point were “you seem a bit rusty ” 😄😄
As for my expectations for this event go for starters I definitely want to qualify for the gold fleet. The plan with my coach was to use this event not only to gain some much needed experience in the women’s fleet but also as training for what was my major event for this year, the U19 Laser Radial Europeans as 2020 is my last year in the U19. Now that the Youth Europeans are no longer happening 😢 I will focus much more on my result in this event and I would like it if I can end this event as the top ranked youth sailor!
I would like to thank EurILCA and everyone there for your efforts to try and make as many Championships as possible happen during this very difficult year. Although we all love sailing and training having a major championship as a goal to focus on each season is a big part of what keeps us going!!!”/ Marilena Makri CYP

The Open European Trophy also promises to be challenging, with various Olympic representatives coming from Asia, South America, Central America and North America.

2020 Standard Men’s Europeans

The reigning 2020 Laser World champion Philipp Buhl GER is probably the best candidate for winning the European title this year as well. The German sailor has recently won the Kieler Woche competition on his country and was Bronze on last year’s Euros in Portugal.

This year is obviously quite different and so was my summer training. I took quite some freetime from lasersailing and did more mothsailing instead. But I still got a few good laser camps done, as well. I was lucky that I was able to train with the vikings 😉 (Hermann, Jesper, Karle and the young Skandinavians) quite soon after the lockdowns / Philipp Buhl GER

Reigning European champion Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR will try to repeat the great performance showed in Portugal in 2019. Next British Olympic representative Elliot Hanson GBR must be also considered as one of the strong candidates.

On my way to Gdańsk and looking forward to the event! My preparation for the championship has included several months of rehabilitation after an injury sustained during training.
As I’ve only had 6 days on the water since the Worlds in February you can imagine how pleased I am to be back racing! / Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR

“I’ve been preparing this summer with an overview of Tokyo next year, working on things to leave me in a good position when it matters. Fortunately I have some great training partners which showed as myself and Micky were both on the podium in Kiel. The calendar this year has changed more times than I can remember, but the Europeans has been our main focus for some time. I’m excited to get back racing and see what Poland and the city of Gdansk has to offer” / Elliot Hanson GBR

Rustless Tonci Stipanovic CRO –Silver medal in Rio 2016 and Bronze on last Worlds in Australia– will be certainly also a serious contender.

I’m now in Poland for last preparations but me and my club team were here beginning of September for Poland nationals and trainings. As always my goal is to climb on podium so it will be great to have a medal from both Worlds and Euros on the same year :))
So far conditions are great. Every day there is wind and can’t wait for the first day of championship. Because of Covid I’m missing big fleet and racing with top sailors from the class / Tonci Stipanovic CRO

2018 European champion Pavlos Kontides CYP –Laser World champion in 2018 and 2017– must be also added to the list.

“This year has been strange for all of us with the pandemic situation around the world. It feels really good to get back to racing. I am already in Gdansk training. I would like to enjoy the races and do my best” / Pavlos Kontides CYP

Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA, Michael Beckett GBR, Jesper Stalheim SWE, Sergey Komissarov RUS and Hermann Tomasgaard NOR are five of usual Top 10 sailors we must also consider for winning a medal this year.

“The European Championship is a long-awaited opportunity to compete with the strongest. Getting into Poland was not easy for me due to the partly locked borders. It is very hard to go in the EU from a non EU country. The hardest part for me was to exit Russia since our boarders are completely closed to exit the country. Finally after two hours of waiting I crossed the border to Poland on foot😁. On the European Championship I want to enjoy the races😉”/ Sergey Komissarov RUS

“I have been preparing for the Europeans together with my usual training group consisting of Phillipp Buhl, Jesper Stålheim, Kaarle Tapper and some younger sailors. We started training in Norway in August for 10 days. Then we all did Kieler Woche before moving to Warnemunde for another training camp. The training have been good and I feel well prepared. Now I will start training in Gdańsk and try to learn as much as possible about the conditions here. My goal for the event will be to get a medal. I have gotten a few 5th and 6th places in the Euros before so getting from there to the podium is what I will try for” / Hermann Tomasgaard NOR

Many young sailors will be challenging their skills on course with this Laser legends, some of them for the first time. On this pack we can highlight various Youth World medallists such as Dimitris Papadimitriou GRE, Daniil Krutskikh RUS and Yigit Yalcin Citak TUR

“Preparation for this regatta has started in July where I trained in Norway with my friends from the youth team of Finland and some other great sailors as Hermaan Tomasgaard. Then Kieler Woche which was quite interesting and that I’ve training at home. My expectations for this regatta are to be at the gold fleet and then see in which level I am and press for the better result” / Dimitris Papadimitriou GRE

“Preparation is going well. Training on the water and the gym are a regular. I am very glad that the main regattas in this difficult year for the world will still take place” / Daniil Krutskikh RUS

“I’ve been preparing for this event since the lockdown was finished as hard as I could. Since this would be the only international race this year I am expecting myself to perform well and I am so excited for the regatta. I guess the top sailors has worked as much as anyone who’s ambitious for being on top, so the podium wouldn’t be so different than usual. I wish everyone very good luck for the regatta” / Yigit Yalcin Citak TUR

Due to the pandemic situation unfortunately we won’t count this year with participation of the reigning Gold Olympic medallist Tom Burton AUS or last year’s Open European Trophy’s winners Matthew Wearn AUS and Sam Meech NZL. Many Olympic representatives from all overseas will be part of this year’s Trophy though.

2020 Radial Men’s Europeans

The Radial Men’s European Championships will show a shorter fleet this year with 24 sailors on the start line. Przemyslaw Machowski POL –recently crowned 2020 Laser 4.7 Youth European vice champion in Vilamoura– and Yogev Alcalay ISR –2019 Laser 4.7 Youth European champion in Hyeres– are two of the remarkable sailiors that will compete for winning their first Radial European title.

“Duo to the covid 19, at the period before the event the training was irregular for me. Assuming like more athletes in the rest of the world, we conducted ourselves between restrictions and closure. I made great efforts to maintain training when the situation allowed. In the days I was in quarantine, I improvised solutions to perform training and did the best I could in the existing situation. I come to the competition with great joy and I am sure I will do the best I can, even if the training was not ideal, I will strive for a good result and hope to achieve one”/ Yogev Alcalay ISR

Show is served! Can’t wait for the first warning signal in Gdansk 😉

Useful links

Entry Lists
Event overview
News and reports

Report and interviews by Agustín Argüelles – EurILCA | Cover photo: João Ferrand – 2019 Laser Senior Europeans.

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