Day 1 of the IFCA Grand Prix Croatia with a great start

Italian Francesco Scagliola and Brigita Viilop from Estonia claim first victory.
After today's 10:00 skippers' meeting, all competitors were put on standby as there was no sign of any thermal winds yet. The AP flag was up for a couple of hours until it finally started to pick up a little somewhat around 14:00 with some competitors going out for training in about 7 to 11 knots.
At 15:30 the AP flag went down and the races could start with the first 4 Heats of the men. 

After a tricky start of the first Heat, which had to be resailed, the races could continue in full swing. 

The local hero Enrico Marotti started off with a good pace, winning all of his Heats until the thrilling final where he finished in second place due a little mistake around the mark. It was the light and fast up-and-coming Italian Francesco Scagliola who didn't hesitate a second to overtake Enrico and flew over the finish line, winning the first A Final of the event.

Francesco Scagliola: “It was really nice to be in front of people like Enrico and Bruno, they are really really good riders. Maybe the wind was better for me this time, I'm lighter, but I'm really happy because I sail good.”

Men's top 8 results after elimination 1:
1 ITA-353 Francesco Scagliola
2 CRO-401 Enrico Marotti
3 SLO-9 Jan Kosmina
4 ITA-160 Bruno Martini
5 ITA-1111 Andrea Ferin
6 SLO-2 Jani Lovric
8 CRO-133 Marko Sekulic DNF
8 POL-23 Maciek Rutkowski DNF

In the Women's division we saw the Estonian newcomer Brigita Viilop winning all the races, followed by Palma Cargo from Croatia, a well known BIC Techno and now RS:X sailor on second, and Croatian national slalom leader Vredana Brncic on third. 

This is Brigita's first international competition: “It feels awesome, I didn't expect to win at all – great day!”

Women's results after eliminations 1, 2 and 3:
1 EST-217 Brigita Viilop
2 CRO-751 Palma Cargo
3 CRO-134 Vedrana Brncic
4 CRO-51 Urska Kavcic Desnica
5 CRO-14 Lara Bulic
6 CRO-144 Katarin Pelivan

The European Slalom Master's Title will be awarded to the best Master competitor at the end of this event. Currently in Top 3 are: Vladan Desnica from Croatia, Wojtek Brzozowski from Poland and Slowenian Stojan Vidakovic.

The first day of the IFCA Grand Prix Croatia came to an end due to too light winds at the end of the day. Unfortunately the Men's B Finals could not be sailed due to unsuitable sailing conditions. The Race Director sent the competitors back to the beach hoping conditions would improve to continue racing but had to call the event off eventually in the late afternoon.

All in all it was a successful first day here in Bol, Croatia, at the Zoo Station Windsurf Center. 

The skippers' meeting tomorrow is scheduled at 11:00 with the first possible start at 12:00. Let's hope the thermal winds will kick in a bit earlier than today.

where to follow updates:
The IFCA Grand Prix Series Finals will be held this September on the island of Mauritius and the first IFCA Grand Prix Slalom Champion shall be crowned.

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