Oskar Madonich & Gilda Dondona crowned Christmas Race absolute winners

Photo: Alfred Farré

The 47th edition of the Christmas Race came to a close in the waters of Palamós bay after four days of competition. Ukrainian Oskar Madonich and French sailor Gilda Dondona, first and second in the ILCA 6 class, were the overall champions, winning the Diputació de Girona awards for the best youth and the Manuel Albalat award for the best in Olympic classes. In the ILCA 4 class, British sailor Ben Anderson claimed victory, while in the double handed classes, British team Neil Barsden/David Bromilow won in 420 and Dutch saiors Tjed Wildeboer and Lars Van den Berg triumphed in the 29er.


In the ILCA 6 class, Madonich secured the title emphatically, winning the final race and finishing 34 points ahead of the second-place finisher and female champion in this class, Dondona. They both claimed the major awards of the Christmas Race. Completing the podium was Dutch sailor Abel Melens, who surpassed Canadian Carlos Carabati on the final day. Spanish sailor Joan Fargas (CN Cambrils) finished fifth, being the highest-ranking Spaniard in this class.


In ILCA 4, British sailor Ben Anderson became champion after winning the last race, surpassing the previous leader, Quim Ferrer from Girona (CN Sant Feliu), who had a challenging day, finishing 28th and dropping to fifth place. Spanish sailor Àlvar Vila (CN Cambrils) secured a place on the podium, finishing third. Finnish sailor Iiris Sepponen claimed the female championship.

In the double-handed classes, 420 and 29er, attempts to complete races on the final day were unsuccessful. The 29ers had a general recall, and although the 420s had a good start, shifting winds and low intensity caused the race to be abandoned.


In the 420 class, British team Neil Marsden and David Bromilow emerged victorious, finishing two points ahead of the French duo Simon Prot and Berier Joyet Sean, who came second, and nine points ahead of compatriots Alice Davis and Oliver Rayner. The French crew of Joane Ezraty and Ainoa Phillipe Sasiain claimed victory in the female category. The top Spanish crew was from Andalusia’s José Antonio Ruíz and Vicente Hernández (CN Puerto Sherry), finishing fourth overall.


The 29er class has its first leaders in the EuroCup 2024 circuit. Tjed Wildeboer and Lars Van den Berg, winners of the Christmas Race (the first event of the season), took the lead. They were joined on the podium by Italian sailors Federaica Contardi and Lorenzo di Pietro. Third place on the podium was for Spanish sailors  Santiago Nuñez and Ricardo de March. Italian team Victoria Demurtras and Caroline Karlsen claimed the female victory, finishing fifth overall.

The second leg of the 29er EuroCup 2024 circuit will take place from February 1 to 4 at RCN Valencia.

The prize giving ceremony took place at l’Espai del Peix with the presence of Palamós Mayor Lluís Puig; Maria Puig, Vice President of the Diputació de Girona; Miquel Aviñó, Vice President of CN Costa Brava/Vela Palamós; Xavier Torres, President of the Catalan Sailing Federation; sports councilor Josep Coll, and Manel Albalat representing the Albalat family.

Sustainable Regatta

The Christmas Race works to be a CLEAN REGATTA, with the 29er class recognized as a CLEAN CLASS by the international association Sailors for the Sea.

For several years now, the Christmas Race has been environmentally conscious, implementing best practices related to sustainability such as paperless event management, responsible  and elimination of single-use water bottles and providing water refill stations. 

The Christmas Race has also registered its educational project on sustainability with the town’s schools with Sailors for the Sea.

Club Nàutic Costa Brava-Vela Palamós Club also holds the EMAS/ISO 14001 certificate and the Blue Flag designation. 


ILCA 6 (68 participantes)

1.Oskar Madonich (UKR), 10 p.

2.Gilda Dondona (FRA), 44 p.

3.Abel Melens (NED), 55 p.

ILCA 4 (61 participantes)

1.Ben Anderson (GBR), 29 p..

2.Àlvar Vila (ESP), 34 p.

3.Iiris Sepponen (FIN), 39 p.

420 (62 participantes)

1.Neil Marsden/David Bromilow (GBR), 10 p.

2.Simon Prot/Berier Joyet Sean (FRA), 12 p.

3.Alice Davis/Oliver Rayner (GBR), 19 p.

29er (36 participantes)

1.Tjed Wildeboer/Lars van den Berg (NED), 15 p.

2.Federica Contardi/Lorenzo di Pietro (ITA), 17 p.

3.Santiago Núñez/Ricardo de March (ESP), 19 p.

En español: ‘Oskar Madonich y Gilda Dondona son los ganadores absolutos de la 47ª Christmas Race’