FB - You are reigning European Champion but you will not be defending your title here in Torbole. How come you are organising this event and not sailing in it?
CR - I had decided before we won the Championship two years ago not to sail this year. I agreed with the crew that we would do a two year programme leading up to the Worlds in La Rochelle and I committed myself to that almost full time, sailing around 160 days. After that I wanted to stop and give some time to my family.
Giorgio Zuccoli had asked me to help him in planning for this championship in Torbole which I was very happy to do. When we lost Giorgio I wanted to go on and make it a very good championship in his memory.

FB - What makes Lake Garda and in particular Torbole such a special venue?
CR – Everything! Particularly it is the wind, which is very well known for its reliability, every day you are sure to have a good wind. Also the club is extremely good and the town in very well set up for this type of event.

FB – What should competitors who are new to Lake Garda be looking out for on the course?
CR – This place is quite interesting. Everyone will tell you to go left first until you hit the rocks and then tack. This is OK except that sometimes is it on the left and sometimes it is on the right and you have to know exactly whether it is a day on the left or a day on the right. Knowing the lake is a huge advantage.

FB - Who do you think are favourites to win the Europeans this year?
CR – That is very difficult. The Italian National Champion Flavio Favini, who has also just won the IMS 50’ Worlds and knows Torbole well, must be near the top of the list. Laurent Pages and Sebastian Col are both strong contenders, as is Jaimie Lee who has been doing extremely well this year. Another name we haven’t seen so much of but who came second in Hanko and won a Bronze Medal in the Soling in Sydney is Jorn Johannessen. I think we will have a fantastic and close competition.

FB – Thank you Christian for taking the time to talk to us while you are so busy organising the event, good luck for a successful event and we look forward to seeing you back on the water next year.