The EUROSAF L30 class European Championship: fantastic event on Lake Balaton

It has been a while since the EUROSAF L30 class European Championship rounded off with fantastic victory of Attila Bakobyi’s team. The event turned to be extremely competitive and fun for all the crews so they are happily present their reflections of the dream time at Lake Balaton.

For the L30 class Lake Balaton is not a new place. Years before the Hungarian gem had already welcomed the L30 fleet but this July of 2021 the event proved to be definitely a special occasion. First of all, the fleet had grown considerably. The L30 Europeans 2021 welcomed fourteen entries representing seven nations. Hungary and Germany had the most entrants. Besides, there were SUI, UKR, ISR, POL, IRL and EST crews.

In terms of performance the fleet was true pro/am composed with the most crews helmed by owners with different background. For some of them the Europeans was the first event in the new class, but friendly atmosphere in the hosting Spartacus Vitorlás Egylet helped the newcomers to adapt themselves in the new community.

Indeed, actually, every day of the event was highlighted by evening reception with snacks and hot meals. Considering fantastic level of Hungarian cuisine, the après racing events were well attended by the sailors.

During the whole competition on 16-20 July wind cooperated perfectly, so no time was lost in waiting. Even more, the practice period and the Championship racing were held in different wind strength and direction, so everyone had a chance to show the best performance.

Owner of Vera Natura HUN 303 Komáromi Sándor comments: “Sometimes the conditions were challenging for our family crew. We sail with my wife and son, who brought his friends to our crew. But we enjoyed the event and racing and we hope to perform better as we learn the boat”.

The local crews were dominating the scoreboard from the instance but the fight was close. After nine races the top-three crews of Attila Bakonyi, Peter Tenke and Klaus Wagner were separated by mere six points. Further below the table, ISR, UKR and IRL crews each had three to five top-3 finishes.

Attila Baknoyi (HUN307), overall European Championship winner: “We are very happy to win the European L30 Class trophy. We were improving every day, but the last day was tough. We experienced pressure from other teams and luckily we maintained our lead”.

European L30 Silver medalist Peter Tenke (HUN308) commented: “Really this event was up and down for us but also as a member of the hosting club I am proud that Balaton did not disappoint the sailors. In three days we had different conditions, we started with light winds that was getting stronger each other day. This is fantastic opportunity for all the crews to adjust their settings and polish their performance. As a result, the fleet was tight at each mark, so everybody had a chance to improve”.

“We are more than happy to win a medal at this Championship. We are new to the class and we are still learning the boat”, L30 Europeans’ bronze medalist Klaus Wagner (GER31) commented. “Obviously we made big progress these days and today our downwind speed was incredible. Imagine that we were penalized in the second race’s start and still were able to recover and finish fourth in this race. Mainly due to our great downwind speed”.

In course of the event there were almost no breakages with the hulls, or the rigging or else. No matter how old the boats were (half of the fleet was brand new, while some others were almost from the very first molds) they performed very evenly. This makes the class unique.

As the L30 European Championship was held under auspices of EUROSAF, the organization’s Secretary General Doris Gstatter attended the event. “We are delighted with the level of organization of the event”, Doris Gstatter commented, “The racing was fantastic. The L30 class can really serve to promote sailing around Europe, as she is multifunctional. You can sail with family or race competitively – L30 is perfect for both”.

The prize giving at the Spartacus Vitorlás Egylet was blessed with a fantastic sunset and warm weather. The teams were cheering each other with good and fun racing and prized the medalists and winners. The class manager Rodion Luka granted a special recognition for the youngest sailor who raced with EST crew having only 6 years old.