The European Championship of the most popular one-design keelboat Class is to be held between the 24th of September and the 1st of October at Lake Balaton in Hungary. Altogether, 250 sailors and 49 boats entered the exciting continental regatta from eight countries. A strong competition is expected indeed since the German World Champion will be sailing too. Concerning the Hungarian sailors, Farkas Litkey (multiple Hungarian Champion, 13 times Blue Ribbon winner and Soling European and World Champion) entered, as well as several Hungarian champions, who are internationally well-known sailors in other Classes. Hungary held a European Championship for the first time in 2008 with 35 entries. Since then, the popularity of the Class is continuously increasing, and it did become the largest one-design boat Class of the Hungarian Sailing Association. The J/24 is a general favorite due to the strict and standard Class regulations: the boats are completely the same therefore providing real competition. The regulations do not only concern the boats and the equipment but the weight of the crew as well. “We are really delighted that so many European teams entered the regatta, and we are also excited about welcoming the US Champion Keith Whittemore. He entered since this an open championship. J/24s do have a serious reputation at Lake Balaton by now. Our regattas are drawing a lot of attention every year—serious field, great battles and quality sailing are provided for those who chose a J/24,” said Erik Hercsel, captain of the Hungarian J/24 Class. The Principal Race Officer of the European Championship, Bendek Fluck, is Hungarian. He is quite an experienced professional, as he was the PRO at several World Championships and he managed the Finn Gold Cup in Balatonfoldvar at the beginning of September. While the main sponsor of the European Championship is Audi Hungary, many international brands decided to support the event: Quantum Sails Hungary, Jet Travel, Julius Meinl, International, Ricky Sport and Bravo Boats. Follow along at http://j24europeans2017.hu/j24-european-championship-starts-weekend-lake-balaton/.