It has been a week of hard racing and mental prowess at the Crocodiles de L’Elorn Club in Brest. Near 300 competitors had gathered up here hoping to bring the European title home.

This was no easy feat for any of the champions as the level of all the fleets were very high and most of the windsurfers have had to give it their whole until the finish of the last race. The weather conditions kept them on their toes as the wind was shifty and there was no room for mistake.  Everyone was on edge ashore to find out who would come out first in the event’s ranking and in the European championship itself.

RS:X Men

Happy day for Greece as Byron Kokkalanis brings the European Champion title home with an 8 point-lead on delighted Shahar Zubari from Israel who managed to hold on to the silver medal despite a very tenacious Pierre Le Coq who in the end settled with bronze. The common thread between the men on the podium was the large smile on their faces as medals were quite an achievement after the challenges of this week.

In the overall Open competition, the podium is the same with Britain’s Olympic medallist Nick Dempsey in 4th.5th placed Louis Giard becomes the U21 Class Champion.

RS:X Women

And the winner is….. France! If there was a title hardly won this week, it was the Women European title. All was to play this morning as Charline Picon, British Olympic medallist Bryony Shaw and Spain’s Blanca Manchon took to the water. Finishing 3rd, 5th and 1st of the three medal races, Charline Picon managed a final 3-point lead in front of Britain’s Bryony Shaw and kept Spain’s Blanca Manchon 9 points away.

 In the overall Open competition, the ranking gives Bryony Shaw (GB) winner, followed by Charline Picon (FR) 2nd, Blanca Manchon 3rd (SP), Maayan Davidovich (ISR), 4th  and Natalia Kosinska (NZ) 5th. Kamila Smektala from Poland wins the U21 Class Champion title.

RS:X Youth Boys

In the 2013 Open Youth European Windsurfing Championship, Argentinian Bautista Saubidet-Brikner who’s won 5 races out of 14 over the week logically wins the competition. Poland’s Radoslaw  Furmanski takes silver only one point ahead of Bronze medallist, Chun Ting Lee from Hong-Kong.

Artion Javadav from Belarus wins the U17 Class Champion title.

RS:X Youth Girls

The 2013 Open Youth European Windsurfing Championship has been closely fought by the girls with two races within the race. Gold and silver medals were one point apart when the day started and it is Israel’s Hadar Heller who takes gold home with Britain’s Noelle Finch taking silver. Saskia Sills and her sister Imogen Sills were also one point apart this morning so there was no sisterly love on the water for bronze. Saskia won two of the three medal races thus getting on the podium.    

Shahar Tibi from Israel wins the U17 Class Champion title. 

By Coralie Rassinoux 


Photo credit Vincenzo Baglione



For the 4th day of racing, the dream combination of sunshine and wind delighted the competitors. With 10 to 12 knots, the race committee treated the fleets with three races. 

The competitors sailed under the watchful eye of Jean-Pierre Champion, President of the French Federation of Sailing and strong advocate for the RS:X class as an Olympic class, who declared: “It is important to celebrate the return and sustainability of windsurfing in the Olympic world. Windsurf is essential to sailing as a sport. Now, we must find the right racing formula for competitors and audiences alike. Visually, the class is very attractive but the events have to be understood by a large audience. I hope that this very symbolic championship, held in legendary Brest and organised by the local sailing club, les Crocodiles de l’Elorn is the very first step to the French windsurfing come back.”


RS:X Men

In the RS:X Open windsurfing championship, it was a game of musical chairs in the top 10 with Taehoon Lee from Korea losing his qualification for the medal races to Kiran Badloe from Netherlands.  Byron Kokkalanis from Greece will be in pole position tomorrow with 37 points closely followed by Shahar Zubari from Israël tied with Frenchman Pierre Le Coq with 40 points. Three U21 qualified in that group including Louis Giard who is 11 points ahead from his closest competitor.

In the European RSX windsurfing championship, the order remains exactly the same with a challenge for Kokkalanis who has a short 2-point advantage and Zubari and Le Coq tied.   


RS:X Women

In the RS:X Open windsurfing championship, France’s Charline Picon and the Brest waters have a great history together as she has won her French title here in 2012 as well as her European Vice-Champion title in 2008. Winning the first two races today, Picon was on a winning spree but too early on the black flag in the last race, she enters the medal races in 4th place and 7 points from the lead. This benefits Britain’s Bryony Shaw who takes the lead, followed by New-Zealand Natalia Kosinska who’s been having a fantastic week here in Brest. Spanish Blanca Manchon climbs back up on the podium.

There will be no love lost on the water tomorrow!  

In the European RSX windsurfing championship, podium for the title is in that order: 1-Bryony Shaw, 2-Charline Picon, 3-Blanca Manchon. 


RS:X Youth Boys

Same podium two days running, will tomorrow bring change? Argentina’s Bautista Saudibet-Brikner consolidates his lead with 40 points when second-placed Poland’s Radoslaw Furmanski counts 52 and Chun Ting Lee 61. Artion Avadar from Bielorussia, France's Clement Bourgeois and Adrien Mestre, all competing for the Under 17 also make it to medal race day showing a Youth class filled with enthusiasm and drive.  


RS:X Youth Girls

It’s a very fierce battle that the girls are fighting as first and second are only 2 points apart and third and fourth are 1 point apart. Britain’s Noelle Finch is holding tight to keep Israel’s Hadar Heller at bay. British sisters Saskia and Imogen Sills will be keen to prove to each other who’s the boss when local sailor Lucie Belbeoch also qualifies for tomorrow’s races.

 by Coralieu Rassinoux


Photo Vincenzo Baglione




Long day at RS:X Europeans


It was the first of the two finals’ races day today in Brest, France and morale had to be strong to manage the time spent waiting for the wind. But as the sky cleared up and the wind shyly tried to build up, the announcements on the race village kept the same song as no steady wind entered the Bay of Brest today. 

As the 270 competitors kept themselves busy playing ball or going through their races from the previous days and doing interviews with the press, the organisers waited until 5pm local time to cancel the RS:One and RS:X Silver fleets’ races. The RS:One enjoyed a Pulsar race course yesterday, a slalom in teams that is shorter, very dynamic and raced close to shore. The organisers are hoping to set the same race course for the medal races on Sunday.  

The Gold Fleets of the RS:X class got lucky as the wind came in and the decision to go ahead with the regattas was taken at 6:30pm with a signal for the Youth fleet 30 minutes later and the Mens and Womens races 45 minutes later.

The Youth Boys RS:X races didn’t bring any change in the top four. However, fantastic jump in the ranking for Evgeny Ayvazyan from Russia who finished 2nd of the first race and won the second one and went from 19th in the overall provisional ranking to 6th! The performance for Frenchman Clément Bourgeois was slightly smaller but still to be noticed as he gained 4 places and now lies in 5th after a podium in the second race. The top four still belongs, in that order to Argentina’s Bautista Saudibet-Brikner, Poland’s Radoslaw Furmanski, Hong Kong’s Chun Ting Lee and Britain’s Kerian Martin.

In the Youth Girls RS:X competition, Hadar Heller from Israël finished 3rd and 4th which opened the way for Britain’s Noelle Finch and Imogen Sills. Though they all stay on the podium, the order is now Noelle Finch in the lead followed by Imogen Sills in second place and Hadar Heller third. 

Nick Dempsey probably wishes tonight that the racing had been cancelled as he lost his lead today though he remains 3rd on the podium after finishing 10th and 29th today. This turned to the advantage of Przemyslaw Miarczynski from Poland who takes the lead followed by Byron Kokkalanis from Greece. Tomorrow’s races will be hard fought, no doubt! 

As for the ladies, it was a good day for Charline Picon.  Finishing second in the second race makes her climb to second place in the provisional overall ranking with Maja Dziarnowska from Poland still first and Maayan Davidovich still third. Bryony Shaw from Britain, despite a third place in the first race leaves the podium.  Blanca Manchon sits in 5th.

Pictures of the first 3 racing days are now available for download on our FTP server. Please credit the photos to RS:X/RS:One/Christian Chardon. 

Today’s VNR includes interviews in Spanish with Blanca Manchon currently sitting in 4th place in the overall ranking and in French with Charline Picon 5th in the overall ranking of the RS:X Womens windsurfing championships.

By Coralie Rassinoux

Confused Sailors Left Scratching Their Heads

 The second day of the 2013 RS:X European Windsurfing Championships, the RS:X Open Youth European Windsurfing Championships and the RS:One European Championships has left many 249 sailors from 38 countries feeling dazed and confused.


The Women and Girls were out first, starting where they ended yesterday – rigging up in the rain and gusty conditions. As they reached their respective race courses the rain had eased but the next challenge for the sailors was some incredibly challenging winds – going from 8 to 18 knots and swinging back and forth with no real consistency.


In the Women’s fleet, each of the three races had a different winner with the spoils going to Blanca Manchon (ESP), Laura Linares (ITA) and Bryony Shaw (GBR). Shaw’s win in the final race was pretty emphatic having finished before the next sailor had even entered into the slalom.


Shaw commented, “The conditions were really challenging, both shifty and variable in strength. You could be on the start line with twenty seconds to go in eight knots which suddenly built to fifteen necessitating a change to the whole game plan at the very last minute. That coupled with a building tide made every race totally unique – a real challenge!”.


Shaw sits in third place at the end of day with Natalia Kosinska (NZL) in second and Maja Dziarnowska (POL) holding onto her lead. Kosinska and Charline Picon (FRA) had the most consistent day, managing to read the conditions the best. Picon won the French Championships here in October but insists that there is no local knowledge that would have helped with any of today’s races.


Over on the Youth’s course all of the top three girls from yesterday were racking up some big scores. Heller Hadar (ISR) was most in tune with the conditions to post an impressive 1,1,3 score line and rocket her way up the leaderboard into sixth overall, discarding her OCS from yesterday. However it was another Israeli who jumped into the overall lead, Sahar Tibi overhauling the Brits of Saskia Sills and Noelle Finch and developing a five point lead.


Saskia Sills – “I just struggled to get into a rhythm. In the second race the top ten girls were all trying to sail without the daggerboard but it just didn’t work out for us. We went around the top mark pretty down the pack and we had to work hard to keep our results sensible – it was definitely my discard.”


In the afternoon when the Men and Boys came out the conditions were very much the same – tough going. However, like Tibi in the morning, Nick Dempsey (GBR) posted a 1,2,1 scoreline, seemingly in touch with the weather gods and reading the conditions perfectly.  He has now increased his overall lead at the end of day two.


Dempsey said,” Having won the first race of the day, it took the pressure off me and I just relaxed and enjoyed the racing. It was definitely tricky out there but it seemed to all come good for me today.”  For the rest, it was a tough day in the office and one which required a lot of effort to make sure that, as the fleets split into gold and silver, the sailors are the right side of the cut.


Piotr Myszka (POL) was the only sailor in the group to blot Nick Dempsey’s card taking the second race win from him. “This is a tricky place to sail, I just find the shifts so difficult to read and I am not reacting fast enough to them at the moment. Nick was amazing as he was reading everything so well – I managed to take one race from him but the other races were a fight for me to get any kind of a result from them. I am still in the event and hoping to be in a position to challenge for silver or even gold come the medal races.”


Compatriot Przemyslaw Miarczynski, or ‘Pont’ as he is affectionately known, is sitting in second place, tied with Byron Kokkalanis (GRE). In the other group Shahar Zubari (ISR) took two race wins either side of an indifferent 13th to sit in fourth place.


Local sailors Pierre Le Coq and Louis Giard are the best of the French and sit in 6th and 8th respectively.


In the Youth Men’s fleet the Europeans still aren’t getting it all their own way with Baustista Saudibet (ARG) and Chun Ting Lee (HKG) holding first and third. Splitting the two is Pole, Radoslw Furmanski. All of the top three took a race win today with only Furmanski having a better set of results and not posting a discard. Just a point off the top three Kieran Martin (GBR) also had a solid day posting 2,5,4 and these four have a clear lead over the chasing pack of French and Israeli sailors.


Thursday is a rest day for all fleets with many sailors looking to take in some of the beautiful sights of Brest and the surrounding areas before refocusing the mind ready for Round 2 and then the medal races. Both the Senior Men and Women will now split into gold and silver fleets as well the Youth Men; the Youth Women remain in a single Group.


The 2013 RS:X European Windsurfing Championships, the RS:X Open Youth European Windsurfing Championships and the RS:One European Championships will be organised in Brest, France by Les Crocodiles de L'Elorn in co-operation with the French Sailing Federation (Federation Française de Voile, FFV) and NeilPryde Bikes from the 30th June to 7th July.

by Bas

Photo Christian Chardon