Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
There’s a brand new reality on the Northern shore of lake Garda, where sailing has its natural home, where the most famous sailors of the world have come at least once in their life - if not yearly - to train for its perfect conditions. Here, where in the morning you have the wind from the north, Peler, and in the afternoon from the south, Ora, the Star Sailors League founded a very active training center run by the Olympic Star crew Frithjof Kleen (GER).
Frithof, aka Frida, manages groups of Star sailors who come here to improve their skills, both in the tuning and in the maneuvering aspect, but also non Star sailors fascinated by 107 years old keelboat. Sailors may bring their boats or use the ones in Riva del Garda provided by the Star Sailors League, then Frida and his team will take them through the day. It normally starts with a meeting very early in the morning, then the group is separated in two and while one is busy with the tuning of the boats ashore the other one goes watching videos to improve the maneuvering. Then altogether on the water where Frida and the coaches set a proper course with start line and marks rounding, followed by a professional de-brief with two groups watching carefully the images of the day on the water.
With this kind of attention and dedication and with the high level of the coaches, among them Robert Scheidt, Diego Negri, and in-house coach Christian Rasmussen from Denmark, the group of sailors improves so quickly accelerating the traditional learning curve.
“It all started last year - says Frithjof Kleen - when we met in lake Garda with Loick Peyron and Paul Goodison to train them for the SSL Finals, it occurred to me that the same training could be applied to any other sailor, and since then we had quite many newcomers to the Star and some already in love with the boat that needed an upgrade. Among the new ones there have been plenty of under 30 sailors coming from the laser and willing to give it a go to the ‘old lady’ that was so fascinating to them. I truly believe this a great opportunity for the Star Class too, because after one or two rounds of training the teams normally join the local fleet to attend some regatta”.
And so it happened and the newcomers have attended the regatta on Lake Garda this past weekend, Trofeo Best Wind in Acquafesca, with junior Laser World Champion Guido Gallinaro (ITA) with Kilian Weise (GER) finishing 4th and Guido Falciola with Luca Paloschi making th ebest out of their intensive training session weekend, finished 7th. It's very likely that all of the new skipper will be happy to attend other regattas, given that the boats are mostly provided by the SSL Trainign Center. Winner of the event in Acquafresca are the Austrians Christian Nehammer with Florian Urban, followed by former Star World Champion Roberto Benamati with Alberto Ambrosini and in third place Davide Leardini and Sebastian Mazzarol (ITA).
With Frida in the Riva del Garda team you can find: head coach Christian Rasmussen (DEN), Killian Weise (GER) giving great support as crew and shore team, Fabio Zeni, professional Italian coach, that helps running races and helming technique, the whole Fraglia Vela Riva offering offices and outside spaces and the elegant Villa Brunelli housing the team. Some official supplier like Fritz sails - with sailmaker Daniel Fritz onsite to give advice and repair the sail - Negrinautica offering Lasers for those who want to train in the Olympic dinghy and materials and P-Star here as a boat builder testing the new P Stars alongside Petticrow testing and offering the new Finn.