Sunday, 18 August 2019
After numerous technical free diving contests such as Underwater target shooting, Free diving pool STA , and Free Diving Dynamic BiFin events, starting back in May 2019, the Lebanon Water Festival 2019 held the annual International Sailing Regatta at ATCL Kaslik. This year the weather conditions were difficult for the participants with wind blowing at 16 to 17 knots and waves that built up to about 1 meter by the end of the regatta. The sportsmanship and the overall atmosphere prevailed the whole event and the level of competitivity increases every year.
The participants competed for two days with a total of 5 races on Laser and Optimists sailing boats. The sailing course was based on only two boues given that the wind created enough of a challenge, forcing participants to create triangle maneuvers upwind in order to reach the boues.
- In the Laser series, the Libano-Jordanian duel was very tight between the three first sailors Ahmad Lahham, Jacques Ferrand and his brother Raphael Ferrand. Given their difference in size, weight and strength their up-wind strategy was very different and paid off for Ahmad who took first place followed by Jacques Ferrand in 2nd position and Raphael in 3rd. The respect and fellowship between all three was beautiful to watch, especially the support and coaching coming from Jacques toward his younger brother Rapheal. Mari Lou Issa was the only Lady competing today, she gave her very best under difficult conditions and gained fourth position.
In the optimist regattas Lebanon came in first in both ctagories.
- In the Optimist category ages 8 to 12 years old, we had the return of Karl Selwan who has now won two years in a row 1st place in Optimist regatta. He was very determined before the beginning of the race to win again this year! Motaz Lahham from Jordan gave a real battle and came in as second, while Karl Soumrani, the very laid back and chilled contestant came in 3rd. Ralph Hobeika only started sailing three weeks ago and gained 4th position.
- In the Optimist category 12-15 years old, Gabriel Ferrand, wins 1st place for the second year in a row, although he was feeling under a great deal of pressure prior to competing. Al other participants expected him to win and therefore put in an honest and enjoyable competition. Mateo Selwan, nick named the “cool guy”, came in 1st in race 3 but overall gained 2 nd position. Waleed Elena from Jordan battled his way to 3rd position, always maintaining his smile and dedication.
The atmosphere during the regatta was upbeat and the competitive edge allowed the participants to see the true side of sportsmanship. This successful 8th edition boosts the spirits of organizers and participants alike, and opens up possibilities towards a new horizon for the 2020 International Sailing Regatta.
UP COMING EVENT, Stand Up Paddle race on the 24th of August in Colonel Reef