Zan Luka Zelko (Slovenia) and Martina Reino (Canary Islands) took the gold after a brilliant regatta in which neither relinquished their lead. Zelko and Reino collected their trophies as the winners of the Regata de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the first race of the Europa Cup Gran Canaria 2015 in Standard and Radial, the two Olympic categories in the Laser class.
The carnival atmosphere of the Regata de Carnaval was enhanced by a performance from drag queen Kuki at the end of the prize giving ceremony. The organisers’ surprise show captivated international visitors.
150 sailors from 19 countries took part in this final event of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter series, which opened the Europa Cup this year for the first time. Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria organised the event in conjunction with the European Region of International Laser Class Association (EurILCA) and the Spanish, Canary Islands and Gran Canaria sailing federation, with the support of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Hall and Gran Canaria Cabildo.
EurILCA chairman, Jean Luc Michon, who’s been at RCNGC during the regatta, said it was “a great event with good sailing conditions, providing an excellent outlook for the European Championship 2016”, which will also be organised by RCNGC.
“It’s the perfect spot to prepare sailors who are hoping to secure a place for the 2016 Rio Olympics”, Michon said.
During the three days of competition, all of the eight races scheduled went ahead, thanks to favourable wind and sea conditions. Sailors in the Laser Class competed in the Europa Cup and their points also counted for the Regata Internacional de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, which included F18, Nacra 17, 29er, 420 and 2.4mR.
Slovenia’s Zan Luka Zelko was joined on the Laser Standard podium by Lithuania’s Martis Pajarskas (2nd) and Canary Islander Joel Rodríguez (3rd). In women’s Radial, the podium places went to Martina Reino (1st), Maria Erdi (2nd) and Agata Barwinska (3rd).
In men’s Radial, the podium was dominated by RCNGC sailors Luis Cabrera (1st); Ismael Iess (2nd) and Jorge Martínez (3rd).
In the women’s 4.7, Carlota Sánchez (RCNGC) took the gold, Nelly González (CM Radazul), took the silver and third place went to Marina Martín (RCN Arrecife).
The winner in the men’s 4.7 was Alejandro Bethencourt (RCN Arrecife), followed by Ivo Marrero (RCNGC) in second place and Nicolás Fajardo (RCN Arrecife) in third place.
The first prizes awarded in Nacra 17 and F 18 for the Regata de Carnaval went to the German crews of Ecki Kaphengst/Tine-Marie Kaphengst and Robert Schuetz/Ra Kahuel.
The crews on the 420 podium were Elias Aretz/Helenio Hoyos (1st), Patricia Medina/Lara Martínez (2nd) and Pablo García/Raúl Naranjo (3rd). In 29er the victory went to Jorge Cantero and Néstor Vega, current Canary Islands champions. Second place went to Alejandra and Elena Oliva, and Andrés Barrio and Guillermo Maya came in third.
The line-up on the Paralympic podium was entirely Swedish: Hans Asklund (1st), Per Ahrbom (2nd) and Claes Bengtzon (3rd). José Guerra (RCNGC), in 11th place, was the highest classified Spanish sailor.
Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath