We had a busy day here at the 470 Junior World Championship in Portorož today. While 26 remaining teams still had to pass the measurement, the rest have joined on the racing field for the practice race. It should have started at 1pm, but unfortunately the wind was shifting hugely, even up to 25-30 degrees, so the race committee eventually decided to move closer to the shore, hoping for steadier breeze there. Finally it stabilized enough, at 5-6 knots, for the practice race to start. We had a clear start and all went well. Bojan Gale, the race officer: “We tried everything with the racing committee, all worked well, we only still need to fix some minor things for tomorrow. Let’s just hope the wind tomorrow stays the same as it was today.”

A couple of hours later, 470 Junior World Championship officially opened. The ceremony, with sailors holding flags of their countries, respectfully, took them from the Pirat Sailing Club a short walk away to the Bernardin Lagoon. The ceremony started with a lovely show by young majorettes from Twirling and Majorette Club from Lucija, followed by a couple of short speeches. The representatives of all three organizing clubs - Marjan Matevljič, the president of JK Pirat, Igor Filipic, a vice president of Sailing Club Sirena from Trieste and Alessandro Bonifacio, the sport director of the junior section of Sailing club Barcola Grignano warmly welcomed all the sailors, their couches and guests, stressing out the importance of the cross-border cooperation on such a high level. The audience was welcomed also by Đenio Zadković, the Piran municipality mayor, Sebastjan Šik, the representative of the Slovenian Sailing Federation and Dimitris Dimou, the president of the International 470 Class, who thanked the organizers and told us about his personal connections with some of the clubs: “Marjan (Matevljic, editor’s note), was sailing in 1970’ in flying dutchman against my father, and he was winning. And Allessandro (Bonifacio, editor’s note) was the junior world champion of the 470 class 26 years ago - and I was a measurer at that time, which reminds me of becoming a dinosaur measurer” - which caused a laud round of laughs and applause.

The evening is continuing with healthy snacks party in front of Pirat Sailing Club.

The first start for tomorrow is scheduled for 12.00, with a skipper’s meeting at 10.30am at the race office (registration room).