Tense start, relaxed regatta

A tight start in the Trave, plenty of space on the Baltic Sea, atmospheric sailing in the dim light: For the sailors, the long-distance regatta for the Travemünde Week did not go around Fehmarn as planned, but there was no shortage of experiences on the course. It took the fastest yachts around twelve hours to complete the 66 nautical mile course from Travemünde towards Wismar, via Dahmeshöved, Neustadt and back to Travemünde. The crew around Alf Henryk Wulf (Kiel YC) was the first to steer the "Stardust" across the finish line in front of the Passat.
 
At the start on Thursday evening, maximum concentration was required from the helmsmen and the crews on the yachts. In the narrow waters of the Trave, not only did the manoeuvres have to be exactly right, but spontaneous evasive actions were also part of the repertoire, as well as precise timing to push the bow over the line with the starting gun.
 
Alf Henryk Wulf proved to have a perfect eye for the distance to the line with his "Stardust" in order to set the last tack close to the jetties in front of the Trave promenade and to pull away with the X41 in the direction of the Südermole. There he took advantage of the space, tacked late and pulled away with port sheets out of the Trave towards the Baltic Sea. "That was really exciting at the start. The Trave doesn't leave much room. But it worked out excellently. Our timing was right. At the height of the first approach buoy, we had caught up with the field of yardstick yachts that had started ten minutes before us," said Wulf.
 
"We cruised into the night. At around 11.30 p.m. we reached the course mark in Wismar, pulled the spinnaker and were able to cross the Bay of Lübeck nice and fast," reported the "Stardust" skipper. With eight to nine knots of wind, the breeze was much stronger than forecast, so the crews were underway quickly. "It was downright beautiful sailing. We only took turns at the helm and the mainsheet, otherwise the crew sailed through. We had great light, it never got completely dark because of the bright northern sky. A really great experience for the whole crew."
 
In the meantime, "Stardust" had built up a lead of 18 minutes over the first chasers. It melted away again shortly before the finish when the wind dropped. But the twelve minutes ahead of Jan Peters' "Adamas" (Heiligenhafen) were enough for the Kiel yacht not only to be the first ship in the harbour, but also to win the race in ORC I+II. In the smaller ORC boats (III+IV), Matthias Renner's "Caramelle" (Lübecker YC) prevailed and in the yardstick yachts, Lars Schöppener's "X-wärts" (Wismarer SV).
 
At 11.15 a.m., the last of the twelve boats that had started, Timo Manske's "Herr Nilsson" (Lübecker YC), crossed the finish line. Only the "Tolenza" of Nils Rogge (Neustädter SV) had to give up. "The mainsail tore," reported Seebahn boss Uwe Wenzel. On Saturday, part three of the Travemünder Woche will follow for the seagoing yachts. The start of the middle distance is at 10 am. "There are 40 boats registered. That's something to be proud of," says Wenzel.

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