Champions and Vice-Champions of Europe!

Ott Kikkas with his IY 11.98 is the European Champion ORC 2023. Enzo De Blasio, Vice-European Champion, sailed the IY 11.98 Scugnizza. Giovanni Toscano's IY 11.98 Varenne took second place on the podium in the Corinthian division. It was a triumph for all the owners who, yes, really enjoyed themselves.

Together with Massimo Piparo on Guardamago II, the four Italia Yachts 11.98s that sailed in the waters of Malta for the European ORC Championship closed seven beautiful races in the bluest waters possible, against a field of worthy competitors. That's what they say.

Beaming with victory, Paolo Bucciarelli from Sugar 3, a multiple World champion, comments, "Like every victory of ours, we like to thank those who worked 'behind the scenes' to make us achieve our successes: shipyards, sailmakers, ropes makers, riggers, and so on. From our point of view, we had a lot of fun on board."

Honorable mention goes to Sugar 3 and congratulations to the fair play of Scugnizza, from which comes this comment: "It was a close and continuous fight, from the first day of racing, from start to finish without a moment's respite. A series of very beautiful races, and congratulations to the winners," says Enzo De Blasio, second behind Sugar 3. "We are very happy to have won this other silver medal. We had an almost unbeatable opponent (Scugnizza won 2 out of 7 races), but we do not give up, and our crew always performed at its best. The racecourse is beautiful, and Malta is a beautiful place to race. We were not always lucky, but that's part of the game," concludes De Blasio.

"A fast but challenging race," commented Massimo Romeo Piparo, owner/helmsman of Guardamago II, at the end of the long race. "One team surprised us by coming 'out of nowhere' and taking advantage of a 180-degree wind shift, but the standings are tight, and we can climb back up." It was a pity for the sudden wind hole in race six, which severely penalized the team. For Giovanni Toscano on Varenne, the championship was "Excellent. I have never participated in such a well-organized event, with great assistance even at the dock. Everything was highly professional," says the helmsman of the team, made up of non-professionals, which took second place in the Corinthian division.

For Daniele De Tullio, "The sun and the splendid welcome of the island of Malta were the perfect setting for a perfect week of racing. The owners of the four IY 11.98s in the race were happy and satisfied to have taken part in the entire championship. As a shipyard, we could not have asked for more, also in observing the four boats always in a row on the line honors, demonstrating to be the fastest on the water. Then, congratulations go to Sugar 3 for the European title and to Scugnizza for the second place on the podium and for being the opponent to beat."

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