This is the first international race held on Hungarian waters for the high-performance Olympics classes. The U23 fleet of the 49er and 49erFX classes are going to compete in Balatonfüred at the European Championships starting on the 12th of October. 40 boats representing 14 countries will take to the water from the Hungarian Sailing Federation’s newly built Kékszalag Port.
“These classes have never had an international competition in Hungary, so it is a huge achievement that this year we can organize the U23 European Championship here in Balatonfüred,” said Csaba Cserép, captain of the Hungarian 49er class, board member of the organizing club, the Balatonfüred Yacht Club.
It is a great opportunity for the young Hungarian sailors to race in domestic waters, in a friendly environment, without the need to travel, in a very strong fleet, in which, presumably, future Olympic participants and perhaps even Olympic champions will compete.
29 teams representing 13 countries will be racing in the 49er class at the European Championships. Among them is the Polish team, who finished 5th at the 2022 Junior Worlds and other Spanish teams that finished in the top ten, as well as the Israelis and Italians, both real strong sailors. So, the three Hungarian teams will face tough competition.
The 49erFX fleet is comprised of 10 teams from six countries on the entry list, including two Hungarian teams.
In junior races, the 49er class usually has 60-80 boats, the 49erFX class has about 40-50 boats. The reason why there are fewer teams in this year’s race is that Balatonfüred and the club organising the European Championship, the Balatonfüred Yacht Club (BYC), were given the right to organise the event at the very last moment.
“It only became official in the middle of summer that the European Championship could not be held at its original location, so a new bid was issued for hosting the race. There were two aspirants, but in the end BYC won the right to organize it. This is a great honour and pleasure, but also a bit of burden, since there wasn’t as much time left for preparation as in the case of a bid won in a ‘normal’ time,” said István Böröcz, executive director of the organizer BYC. “We are happy to be able to show what we are capable of, so we are looking forward to hosting the U23 generation in a beautiful lake environment, with good races and colourful programs, organized by a team with international background.”
Registration and the opening ceremony for the European Championship will take place on 12th of October, with the races starting the following day, on 13th of October. The competition will be divided into qualifiers and finals. The final races scheduled for the 15th and 16th of October. The European Championships will conclude with the award ceremony on the last day. Competitors can use the brand-new facilities of the Kékszalag Port, each day on completion of racing, the sailors will be greeted with fresh fruit when arriving back.
Among the social activities, the organisers are planning a dinner evening where the racers can try Hungarian cuisine and taste local wine. There will also be a hotdog and a pasta party, also a food truck will be available at the harbour.
The competition, results and latest news can be found on the event’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/593468039090770/
or on the website of the International 49er Class Association:
and on the website and facebook page of the Balatonfüred Yacht Club
Sponsors of the European Championship:
Balatonfüredi Yacht Club, SCI, Magyarország Kormánya, Magyar Vitorlás Szövetség, Nekem A Balaton, Spesys, Rooster, Monautix, Veszprémi Mezőgazdasági Zrt., Tigris, Frühwald, Lokomitív Ház
Fehérvári Optika, Lázár Pince, Algida, Panasonic, Leier Autó, BDO, Balatonfüred Város, Füred Kult, Balatonfelvidéki Nemzeti Park, Nelson, BalatonHelp