Weather conditions demand sailors endurance

Lots of wind, calm, extreme wind shifts: The fifth day of the Travemünder Woche regattas spread a wide range of conditions over the Bay of Lübeck. Endurance was required from race committees and sailors to get the races on the list. But the persistence paid off: the 49erFX were the only ones to remain without a race, all other classes managed between two and three races and returned to the harbour in the evening. “We had too much wind, total calm, extreme spins. Races were started and also abandoned, new attempts were made. It was another difficult day in these conditions,” the race committee office said.

After the first two World Cup days with six races, the Formula18s have been divided into the performance groups. Both the gold and silver groups sailed two races each. And the decisive phase of the title fight began with a bitter setback for the previously so successful Spaniards Pablo Völker/Federico Polimeni. After winning the preliminary round, they conceded a 33rd place and slipped far down the overall rankings. Their subsequent sixth place took them back to the top, but the first beneficiaries were the Swedes Emil Järuud/Rasmus Rosengren, who moved to the top of the overall ranking with a first and a seventh place. Still the best Germans are the brothers Helge and Christian Sach from the organising Lübeck YC in ninth place. “We only sailed out at half past one. It was good that we waited. It was chaotic on the water, a very strange wind. It was shifting back and forth. Then there was another front with wind shifts of 40 degrees. But we still managed two good races,” Christian Sach reported,

In the 49er Juniors, Richard Schultheis/Youenn Bertin (Malta), the previous leaders, also suffered a setback. An 18th place to start the day sent them tumbling from the top spot. The Australians Jack Ferguson/Jack Hildebrand used the opportunity to push themselves into first place. But the title fight is not yet decided. Two more days await the 56 teams in the U23 age group. A look at the results list shows how international the Olympic skiffs are: Eight nations are represented in the top ten.

In contrast, only Germans and Dutch are in the top ten for the J/22 World Championships. Since co-favourite Mike Farrington from the Cayman Islands received an early start disqualification in the second race of the day, he has to be content with 14th place overall for the time being, despite a second place at the start. Top of the list, almost as expected, is Dutchman Jean-Michel Lautier, who has already been 2019 World Champion and sailed to second place off Travemünde in 2015. He has a clean slate with two victories on the first day of the World Cup. Holger Schmitt’s crew from Lohheider See follows in second place. “The conditions were really changeable, we had long waiting times. But the races that were sailed were great. Therefore, we can say it was a very good start into the World Cup. The class is satisfied,” said Thomas Hanf from the Schmitt crew.

The Olympic dinghy sailors also experienced a changeable day. “The wind shifted around 50 degrees, we had storms at times, then again only three to four knots. In the end, it was well-sailable conditions with 12 to 15 knots of wind. Unfortunately, a course mark flew away from us in between. But the sailors managed it very well on their own,” said race director Olaf Stormer. Jörg Cordbarlag, who is in first place with second and fourth place, was pleased with two consistently good races. Defending champion Jan ten Hoeve, on the other hand, had big problems in the first race and had to retire. Afterwards he finished in seventh place.

The players in the Kielzugvogel class knew how to take advantage of the proximity to the river Trave: On Bahn Golf, the jet effect between Travemünde and Priwall provided a breeze that made two races possible by the afternoon. Both were won by Michael Hotho/Marcus Hahn (Grossenheidorn) and they are thus well positioned for the further TW course.

The sixth regatta day of the Travemünder Woche starts with a premiere: For the first time, the Lübeck Sailing Champion’s Cup will be sailed on Thursday. Six teams from Flensburg to Hamburg will compete against each other in league boats on the Media Race Course. In short races, the unofficial title will be decided within one and a half hours.