On day three of the Travemünder Woche regattas, the first winner’s trophy was awarded. The 12-foot dinghies crowned their German title holder with Alexander Hagen (Hamburg), while the Formula 18 and the 49er and 49erFX skiffs started their world championships. On course for the title decision are the sea sailors, the dragons and the Sailing Champions League, which have their final day on Tuesday. Until the afternoon, the sailors found very good wind conditions on the nine courses, then a thunderstorm cell disturbed the action. First it sucked in the wind and caused a lull and then a 180-degree turn. Then it threatened the edge of the Bay of Lübeck, so that overall race director Anderl Denecke ordered the fleets ashore. When the driving rain set in at 6:30 p.m., the sailors were off the water.
After three days with two races each, the German Open of the 12-foot dinghies came to an end with the full programme. After the second race, Alexander Hagen from Lübecker Yacht-Club led the field. He crossed the finish line first in five of the six races. Second place in the first race was his strike result. For the two-time World Champion in the Starboat class, it was the first regatta in a 12-foot dinghy. He had only been in the boat once before. “I really enjoy sailing the boat and would have liked to try it out with even more wind. It was nice to compete in a regatta again and see that it still works,” said the 68-year-old, who had actually turned his back on sailing 15 years ago.
The other two podium places also went to sailors from the Lübeck Yacht Club. Peer Stemmler sailed into second place. Andreas Fuhrhop took third place overall and first in the classic wooden boat classification. The former Commodore of the 12′ Dinghy Fleet North was delighted with the successful staging of the German Open: “It was a great regatta. There was neither too little nor too much wind. Everything worked out well and we were able to run all the six races we had planned.”
With a nice breeze around ten knots, the sea sailors started their third day of the International German Championship, completing two brisk up-and-down races before the wind then dropped and the fleet was sent to port. “On the Up-and-Downs it went really smoothly and we had them through in the planned 90 minutes per race. Unfortunately, there was not enough time for the Coastal Race,” said race officer Jan Fischer. However, this meant that the second longer race was lost for the seagoing sailors. The opening race on Saturday over the middle distance had to be cancelled after a jury decision. A missing maritime mark, which was supposed to serve as a course mark and which had been marked on the nautical chart, had caused problems.
The Wismar junior crew of the “Protest” around skipper Tim Eigendorf had to deal with completely different problems on Sunday. They were on an upwind course in 21 knots of wind in the first reef. “We were all hanging in the rail to put weight on the side. From the front the gusts announced. It was ‘3, 2, 1’ and suddenly we had no pressure. We turned around, but there was no sail and no rigging anymore,” reported trimmer Felix Schießer. The mast was broken twice: directly on deck and at two metres. “We are completely puzzled as to how this could happen. Last year we started the project, completely overhauled the yacht. The mast is new and the boat is in very good condition.” After the mast broke, the crew had to make a difficult decision: In order not to endanger the boat, the shrouds and stage were cut, rig and sails were left to the sea.” After that, it was off to port by motor. “This is so bitter. So much heart and soul has gone into the project. We want to take the yacht to the World Championships in August,” Schießer said. The crew has now launched an appeal for replacement material: “We are not giving up. The World Cup is our dream, we are holding on to it.”
In the Sailing Champions League, the interplay at the top continues between the teams from Gdansk (Poland), Aland (Finland) and Überlingen (Lake Constance). When the races had to be interrupted after twelve rounds in the Champions League as well and the J/70s hurried towards the jetty, the Poles were in the lead ahead of the Finns and the Germans. On Tuesday, the 27 teams from ten nations will try to achieve a place among the top four. This is because the leading quartet will go into the final round from around 12.30 p.m. and sail out the winner of the 2023 Champions League among themselves. “We want to get as many races through as possible by midday,” announces League Managing Director Anke Nowak. The mode of the four-man final: The best in the preliminary round takes one win. Two wins are needed for the title.
Nowak: “Last year we had four heats before the North German Regatta Association was the winner.” The current top three teams have a good chance of making it to the final, and a close fight has broken out for the fourth place in the final. Defending champion NRV Hamburg with Tobias Schadewaldt also still has a chance of making it to the finals again, currently lurking in ninth place.
The dream of winning the next German title is currently taking shape on board Kai Mares’ “Immac Fram” (Dänischenhagen). Before the final day, the crew is leading the field in Group C+D. However, the gap to the second-placed “Aquaplay” of Max Habeck (Munich) is small. And Jürgen Klinghardt’s “Patent 4” (Lübeck) is still within striking distance. For Group A+B, the TW is not about the championship, but the regatta in Lübeck Bay is a good yardstick for the World Championships in August. And the successful crews of the past years seem to be finding the coordination and manoeuvring skills better and better. The European Champions of Group B, Jens Kuphal’s “Intermezzo” (Berlin) leads the field ahead of the European Champions of Group A, Michael Berghorn’s “Halbtrocken 4.5” (Kiel).
Consistency is required at the International German Dragon Championship. But this is difficult to achieve in the strong field of top-class helmsmen and professional crew. So far, Philipp Ocker (Munich) has done best, but before the final day of the championship, he only has a slim lead over Jan Woortmann from Hamburg. Defending champion Ingo Ehrlicher (Pappenheim) also still has a chance of winning the title, while Nicola Friesen (Hamburg), after the early start disqualification with average results, can only attack the very front with absolute top results.
The young skiff sailors in the Olympic 49er and 49erFX classes got off to a flying start in their Junior World Championship with three races. International class boss Ben Remocker was already very happy with the choice of Travemünde as the World Championship venue before the start: “We were already here twelve years ago with the Junior World Championship, and now we are bringing top fields to the start with 56 teams in the 49er and 48 in the 49erFX. I don’t know if there have ever been more starters at the Junior World Championships. It’s a great environment here for the Worlds.” On the course, a team from Malta, Richard Schultheis/Youenn Bertin, came out on top. The 18-year-old, however, has German roots. His parents moved from Germany to the Mediterranean island, now he sails under the red and white flag and provides top sailing on Malta. The best German crew in the 49er are the Bavarians Valentin Müller/Moritz Fiebig.
The 49erFX is Olympic for women. In the juniors, however, also the male youngsters sail the FX variant, as it can be mastered with less weight. Thus, there is a mixed field in the FX at the Junior World Championships, which is currently led by the French women Manon Peyre/Clara-Sofia Stamminger. Sophie Steinlein and coxswain Max Körner have created a good starting position for the rest of the World Championships.
In three races, the 97 Formula 18 catamarans also rushed around the World Cup course. Ex-world champion Helge Sach (Zarnekau) confessed: “We were on the water for seven hours, my head is pounding. An infection further weakened the experienced helmsman, who has formed a successful duo with his brother Christian for decades. But the Zarnekau team will not be stopped. They got off to a good start at Travemünde Week. Fourth, fifth and seventh place meant ninth overall after day one, making them the best German duo in the field of 17 nations. “That fits, but it should have been better with the wind,” said Helge Sach. After the start, the Spaniards Pablo Völker/Federico Polimeni are in front.
In the ranking regattas of the Finns and Dyas, clear victories are emerging. Jens Olbrysch/Norbert Schmidt (Herrsching) have only first places in the Dyas list after five races, and Fabian Lemmel (Berlin) is also a commanding leader of the Finn Dinghys after a series of top-three results.