The Open European Championship for 420 just wrapped up in Portorož today, bringing together 243 crews from 22 countries for a fun and challenging competition. The sailing event, which began at the end of June with the '420 Warm-up 420 Reagtta", presented a variety of sailing conditions over the six days of the championship. Lighter crews were happy to navigate weak thermal seabreeze, while heavier ones enjoyed the challenging two days of southerly winds blowing at up to 20 knots. 

The final day of the regatta was marked by anticipation as we awaited the arrival of the "maestral", a northwesterly seabreeze that is a key feature of the region's summer climate. It finally stabilized around 1 pm. The gold groups - women, U17, and the men's and mixed fleet - set sail, each completing one race in around 6 knots of seabreeze. The second planned race was cancelled for the day due to the significant wind drop later in the afternoon. The silver groups finished one race as well. After 11 races, we were happy to announce the best 420 European sailors.

In the Open man/mixed ranking, the American Freddie Parkin and Estella Morris won the championship, second overall are Italians Lisa Vucetti and Vittorio Bonifacio and third the Greek team Dimitrios Sourlatzis and Nikolaos Sourlatzis.

In the man category, the europan gold goes to Greek Dimitrios Sourlatzis and Nikolaos Sourlatzis. Second is Swis team Nino-Livio Lofterod and Samuel Berther, and third are French Zou Schemmel and Jean Philippe Boudardberther.  

In the mixed ranking, the european title went to Italians Lisa Vucetti and Vittorio Bonifacio, the european vice-champions are Slovenians Ana Planinšič and Teo Gerželj, and the bronze went to the British Imogen Wade and Hugo Valentine.

In the 420 women fleet, the Spanish Neus Fernandez Darder and Martina Gomila Darder claimed the europen title before the Greek Iakovina Kerkezou and Danae Giannoul and another Spanish team, Nicola Jane Sadler and Sofia Cavaco Torres with bronze. 

In U17, the 2024 U17 european man champions are Ioannis Tournis and Georgios Iraklis Michalopoulos from Greece, silver goes to another Greek team Sokratis Chamarias and Iason Xypas, and bronze to Italians Emanuele Ciavatta and Marco Rolle. The women U17 european champion’s title goes to Greek Dimitra Peleki and Fevronia Bouzana, Spanish Jana Rahola Codina and Martina Rahola Codina are silver and anoher Greek team Athina Soulioti and Danai Miranta Angelopoulou won bronze.

In U15 the gold goes to Hungarians Bendegúz Kovács and Boldizsár Kovács, the silver to Spanish team Paco Riveras and Celia de la Fuente, and bronze to Turkish Ece Aksoy and Elif Kayacik.

The principal race officer, Bojan Gale: “The last racing day of 2024 Europeans was the most tricky one, and already from the weather forecast, we knew it would be hard to do any racing. We managed to do one race on both racing areas in low conditions with a maximum of 8 knots, but mostly in 5,5-7 knots. When we wanted to start the second race, especially for the gold fleet, where it is more important to have more races and to use the whole available time, the wind shifted to the right. We checked what was happening and realized there were a couple of thunderstorms in the Slovenian Karst and above the Trieste area, which killed the wind. At that point, we still had an hour and a half available, so the correct decision was to wait until the end because all the races were important. The rainstorms moved away slowly, but the wind only came back 15 minutes before the limit. Stabilizing would take another 10-15 minutes, taking us out of the starting time limit. Overall, I think we did 11 nice races for all fleets. I hope the sailors, coaches, the class, and all involved are satisfied, and I wish them to have this type or even better conditions in the next events. I wish all the sailors and coaches a nice sailing season, and I hope to see you at the next championships!”

The championship was organized by the Pirat Portorož Sailing Club (JK Pirat) in cooperation with the Sirena Maritime Club of Trieste (TPK Sirena) and the Società velica Barcola e Grignano (SVBG) club. By organizing the championship under the slogan "Three clubs, two countries, one bay," the affiliated clubs are consolidating the existing cooperation and efforts to strengthen the role of sailing in the region. This event emphasizes international cooperation and a shared passion for sailing while at the same time promoting sportsmanship and friendship between sailors from different countries, which was also recognized by the Minister of Economy, Tourism and Sport, Matjaž Han, who assumed the honorary patronage of the event.

Mitja Margon, Pirat sailing club president: "After exhausting two weeks, I can say with satisfaction that - also according to the congratulations and statements of the participants - we have held one of the best championships in the last ten years, which is a special honor for us and is the result of the tireless work and effort of more than seventy volunteers. This event couldn't have happened without them, so congratulations and thanks to everyone. Thanks also to the sponsors and partners who help and believe in what we do at Pirat, and the medal of our sailors is the icing on the cake. It's hard to describe the emotions, but I think this is the biggest event that JK Pirat has held to date and it's also a great test for the Optimist World Championship, which is waiting for us at the same time the second year. I think the surrounding area has finally woken up and realized what Pirat means for this municipality and, last but not least, Slovenia. We can reflect on the past two weeks with pride and even more motivation for the future.