Just twelve days after Sopot Worlds, the Spanish Championship were held in Puerto Sherry (Cadiz), which incidentally, is now bidding to host the 2020 A-Class Europeans. Abdón Ibáñez reports
Andalusia has a big fleet of Classic A-Class, so it was a very good opportunity to bring back the Classic boats into the Class. A total of 25 A-Class, 12 Classic out of them, sailed the Championship.
It was my first time in Puerto Sherry, and the assigned area was huge. We had space for all the fleets, not only A-Class but F18, and interseries, all with trailers and cars. Also the 160 meters long ramp allowed easy launching for all the fleets.
Puerto Sherry has two different sailing areas: One at the end of the bay, a couple of miles East of the port and another one just in front of the port, more open to the sea.
On Thursday we had the measurements and training at the end of the bay. An easy day with 8 to 12 knots of wind and flat sea. A wonderful day to test all the boats, foilers and classic.
Three races held on Friday on the outer area, with 10 to 14 knots of wind and some waves, all won by Santi Nieto (ESP-84) as he showed his ability flying donwind on the choppy sea. Second position was for Abdón Ibáñez (ESP-74) in races one and two and Juan Luis Paez in race three.
On Saturday, wind was really strong: 18 to 25 knots, and big waves. As the inner sailing area was taken by another sailing competition (children under 16), we had just one race in the outer area. A hard race but none of the foilers had serious problems, although some of the Classics capsized one or more times. It was a great experience for all of us, making easy the sailing for the following day. The race was won again by Santi Nieto, followed by Abdón Ibáñez and Paco Fernández (ESP-10).
On Sunday, four races were held. The day started with low wind (6 to 9 knots) and random holes with almost no wind. First race of the day was won by Abdón Ibáñez,and Santi Nieto following as second, giving some emotion to the championship. Second race started with wind increasing to 12 knots but still some holes. This one was won by Santi Nieto, Kico Espi (ESP-100) was second and Abdón Ibáñez was third, losing all the possibilities for the Championship. Races three and four of the day wind increasing to 15 knots, were won by Abdón Ibáñez, approaching to Santi Nieto in the final results. Kico Espi (ESP-100) was finally third, after beating Toni Ballester (ESP-75) for a few seconds on the last leg.
As per the Classics, the fleet was clearly controlled by Micky Todd (ESP-7) in his blue boat, who was able to beat many foilers in most of the races, followed by Santi Monjo (ESP-2) and the local sailor, Antonio Limón (ESP-87).
It is worth a comment about the boats in this choppy and windy conditiones: Santi Nieto with his Exploder 2017 was clearly faster on the downwinds. Similar was for Juan Luis Paez, also with Exploder 2017 and Kico Espi with Exploder 2016. As per the upwinds, the control was for Toni Ballester and Abdón Ibáñez DNA 2017.
Unfortunately, this Championship was too close to Sopot Worlds, and many of the well known Spanish sailors such as Manolo Calavia, Anton Paz, Gustavo Doreste or José Antonio López were not able to attend.
Final results are as follows:
1) Micky Todd ESP-7
2) Santi Monjo ESP-2
3) Antonio Limon ESP-87
4) Javier Acosta ESP-29
5) José Franco ESP-81
1) Santi Nieto ESP-84
2) Abdón Ibáñez ESP-74
3) Kico Espí ESP-100
4) Toni Ballester ESP-75
5) Oscar Quirante ESP-48