Not a perfect, but a good regatta day

Changing skies, rain, sun and wind from flat to medium made for a varied first day of racing at the 134th Travemünder Woche. Although not all planned races could be sailed in the conditions, all five competitions managed to start the regatta.

The Dragons tried everything to get more than one race in the books at the start of their International German Championship. But after long hours on the course, it came down to the one race in which Nicola Friesen from Hamburg set the standard. She won with her crew ahead of her club colleague Jan Woortmann and defending champion Ingo Ehrlicher (Munich). “The wind was unusually shifty, but we went for it. We got out well at the start and went with almost every turn, even though you don’t do that in the classic way with kites – but it was right,” beamed Friesen, who is the best woman in the German rankings. “In the end, of course, a bit of luck is also part of it!”

In the only Finn Dinghy race, Fabian Lemmel (Berlin) continued his winning streak from last year. In 2022, he won the German championship title off Travemünde, and now he is again at the top of the 34 sailors in the former Olympic class.

At the start of the International German Championship on the sea lane, everything was still going smoothly for the total of 21 crew. Race officer Jan Fischer was able to send the fleet out on the 35 nautical mile course on time in two starts. “We had super conditions with around ten knots of wind,” said the Seebahn boss. The course took the yachts first to Neustadt, then out onto the Bay of Lübeck towards Wismar and finally back to Travemünde. But not only did the wind and weather change along the way, there was also another surprise. For the first teams, a course mark, a sea mark firmly marked on the nautical chart, was untraceable. The fastest boats, Michael Berghorn’s “Halbtrocken 4.5” (Kiel) and Walter Watermann’s “X-Day” (Dortmund) covered extra distance before deciding to virtually round the course mark. This is what the following boats did.

The “Halbtrocken 4.5” applied for redress because of the extra distance. “We will decide on that on Sunday after the races. We are now checking where the buoy is,” explained Anderl Denecke, the overall race director. When laying out the sea course, there will be no own course markers, instead fixed sea marks will be used for rounding.

While the “Halbtrocken 4.5” hopes to improve its second place in Group A of the seagoing sailors behind the Finnish “Mercedes Benz” by calculation, the extra course was of no concern to the “X-Day”. “We had to give up after three quarters of the course,” explained helmsman Lars Hückstädt. After a manoeuvre error, too much tension had been put on the headsail and a part of the forestay had broken. The crew worked in the evening to get the boat fit again for Sunday. “Apart from that, we had fun on the course and had 20 knots of boat speed at times,” said Hückstädt.

Jens Kuphal’s “Intermezzo” (Berlin) was also satisfied with the first day and the victory in Group B. “For us, it’s all about getting into the swing of things for the World Championships. We had a harmonious sailing day, the boat is in good condition,” Kuphal said.

The largest group of sea sailors is made up of the Class C boats. Surprisingly, it is not the crew of Kai Mares’ “Immac Fram” (Dänischenhagen) that is used to winning, but Max Habeck’s “Aquaplay” (Munich) that won the first race. After the middle distance of day one of the IDM, up-and-down races and short coastal races followed in the next days.

In the Sailing Champions League, 13 races were sailed at the start of the final event of the season. An international trio is currently at the top. SMC Überlingen is in the lead ahead of the team from the Aland Islands (Finland) and the Polish team from Gdansk. Defending champion NRV Hamburg could only achieve middling results and is only in 14th place after the first of four days. However, the team around ex-Olympic sailor Tobias Schadewaldt still has enough time to improve their position.