29er European Championships 2023 DAY 1

Stunning sunshine accompanied 6-10 knots of wind to begin racing at the European Championships hosted by The Royal Swedish Yacht Club, Saltsjöbaden. With two seperate fleets on each race course, the conditions were certainly challenging and ‘one thing is for sure, the race is never over’ says local sailing expert, Head coach and Sport manager Anders Bengtsson.

His words will ring true as this regatta progresses, with large shifts and big pressure differences across the course, local sailors are used to the dynamic racing this brings. Some may have not sailed in conditions with these particular challenges, so it will be a steep learning curve for many, but a perfect opportunity to progress the dynamic decision making, boat handling, teamwork and fast tempo of 29er racing that these lake-like sailing conditions require.

29er Euros

Overnight leaders, Under 17 team NED Folkert Van Surksum and Lars Ganzevles have only two points to count with two race wins out of three so far.

With the new addition this year of an Open Fleet European Championship title, 44% of the total fleet have a female sailor on board, and currently in second is mixed team FRA Caroline Pennetier and Benjamin Benhayoun who have put themselves firmly in the game. Local Swedish siblings Hedvig and Hugo Liljegren also had a solid day and sit in third overall, with ITA 3, Alex Demurtas and Giovanni Santi close behind.

Local Swedish sisters Ebba and Ellen Fredriksson were feeling very comfortable before racing today, ‘we have been sailing here this whole summer and have had a lot of hours on the water, focusing just on this competition so we feel very prepared’. They lead the Women’s fleet overnight sitting in 7th overall with HUN Boróka Fehér and Szonja Fehér just one place behind.

29er Euros

2023 Optimist World Champion, Henric Wigforss spoke to the team about joining the 29er class for his first event. With just one week of training with his crew, William Drakenberg they posted a 7th and 8th today so will be sleeping happily tonight. ‘It feels fun to sail a faster boat with more sails, bit more action,’ says William, ‘it’s great to have a new adventure in front of you,’ Henric adds and he echos the sentiment from many of the younger generation joining the fleet from around the world.

Three races were completed for all fleets today with the same scheduled for tomorrow so the sailors will be taking a good rest mentally and physically ready to race again tomorrow at midday.

29er Europeans Website


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