Tension-filled TW 2023 finale

A look at the wind forecast for Sunday made Anderl Denecke, principal race officer of the Travemünder Woche, smile on the morning of the last TW day: “This will be the best day of the week in terms of wind. We can expect another beautiful day of racing on the offshore course and on the Media Race Course,” said Denecke. The offshore sailors and the athletes of the Segelbundesliga wanted to take advantage of the weather scenario and went to the start already from 10 am for an exciting final day.

The finale also compensated Jens Kath, sporting director of the Travemünde Week, for the weather challenges of the past days: “We had the most difficult wind conditions in years, which made for extremely long days and pushed everyone involved to the limits.” Nevertheless, 314 of the 378 scheduled races were brought to the finish line. Therefore, Kath was able to state, “All championships had enough races and thus deserving winners.” With four World Championships, one European Cup and four German title fights, the TW consolidated its reputation as a championship week. In addition, the Trave Races, the new format of the Lübeck Segelmeister and the Volksbank Rotspon Cup brought sailing close to the spectators. “You don’t get that anywhere else,” said Kath, “The goal has to be to expand that.” And he continues to hold on to a real title fight in the Trave.

The outlook for the coming year also already gives rise to much anticipation for championships: Three World Championships (Javelin, Flying Junior and International Canoe) and the German Starboat Championship are on the cards. In addition, the dragons have brought one of their top events worldwide, the Grand Prix, to Travemünde. In addition, the German Youth Championships of the Optis and Teenys are a highlight for Jens Kath. “We expect more than 250 boats in the Optimists, have signalled to the federation that there is no boat restriction. Everyone can come.” The Optis will have their TW domicile on Priwall.

The German Sailing League is also in talks with Travemünder Woche about a match day in 2024 on the Media Race Course. The league competitions this year are the best advertisement for a continuation of the intensive partnership between Travemünder Woche and the league. 13 flights with a total of 39 races were sailed per league. In the end, NRV Hamburg in the Erste Segelbundesliga and the Bavarian Yacht Club (BYC) in the Zweite Segelbundesliga came out on top. These were close contests, with only a one-point difference in the First League in favour of NRV over VSaW Berlin deciding the match day. In the Second League, BYC was level on points with Blankeneser SC due to the majority of victories sailed.

“It has been very wild conditions over the past three days: on the first day we waited until 2pm for wind, and on the second day the thick rain front came. We had low, medium and high winds, some with a lot of shifts. But we managed 13 out of 16 possible flights in both leagues,” summed up Anke Nowak, Managing Director of the Sailing League.

Travemünder Woche Regatta und Festival
Segel Bundesliga. Foto: segel-bilder.de

For the winning teams, the performance in Travemünde was naturally a pleasure: “It was fantastic sailing conditions, with nice wind, but not easy to sail. It was an exciting final in which we had to sail really well once again. For the first time we have won six races in a row. We are very happy about the victory,” said Tobias Schadewaldt, helmsman of the NRV team. The victory would compensate a little for the not so successful Sailing Champions League Final. It would have been a good idea to change the crew once again and rely on the “old hands”. At the next match day in Kiel, the NRV will once again use the junior team.

Kristian Lenkmann from the Bavarian YC had little time to enjoy the evening: “It was super conditions, even if the weather was not so good at times. We will celebrate our victory on the way home to Bavaria,” said the successful helmsman.

The offshore yachts of the ORC and Yardstick classes with full crew as well as the duos of the German ORC Championship Double Handed were once again sent on a middle distance race by race officer Jan Fischer. The course through the Bay of Lübeck offered a perfect day of sailing. “It was a beautiful course today, and a great race with an extremely close finish,” reported Andreas Grasteit (Lübecker YC), who won the German Championship title in Sailing Double Handed with his wife Birthe on “Grace”. “Today it was just under two minutes difference, yesterday after more than eight hours of sailing even only two seconds.” Uwe Kleinvogel/Michael Haupt (Rostock) had to admit defeat with the “Nemo” by a narrow margin.

Travemünder Woche Regatta und Festival
ORC Double Handed Offshore. Foto: segel-bilder.de

Grasteit praised the nice atmosphere and the good camaraderie among the competitors: “During the day you sail against each other, in the evening you celebrate together.” The fact that only five boats came to the IDM was due to the tight schedule with the World Championships, he said. “Many people can’t manage to take two weeks off in a row for regattas. And the demands on the boats for a championship are too high for many. Those responsible in the association should think about this.

There was great satisfaction among the teams in fully crew: “We were a bit worried about an announced front with strong winds, as we didn’t want to get any more damage before the World Championships in Kiel in a week’s time. But luckily the forecast didn’t materialise,” said Alf Henryk Wulf (Kiel YC), owner and helmsman of “Stardust”, which was the first ORC boat to reach the finish. “Calculated it will not be enough for us for the top position, but we are very satisfied with this conclusion to the Travemünder Woche. We sailed all the races from the German Championship to the Long and Middle Distance, and used them as intensive training for the World Championships. They were varied courses with the most different wind conditions. We had very good results as a pure amateur crew against absolute top teams with professionals on board and we take that as a big motivational boost.” Wulf was correct in his guess for the calculated result. Frank Haßler’s “Fru Hansen” (SV Heiligenhafen) secured the ORC day win and thus also the overall ranking in the middle distance classification.

In the yardstick yachts, the crew of Lutz Pouplier (SV Herrenwyk) with the “Tsunami” was the measure of all things. In both middle-distance races he was calculated at the top and was thus also the sovereign winner of the overall standings.