Young talents push into the F18

Antonia Tschakert from Lübeck has already taken the sporting oath on behalf of all the athletes for Travemünde Week, but she still has to wait for her regatta entry. The first races of the Formula 18 were scheduled on yesterday's schedule, but the strong winds with heavy gusts did not allow any races in this class. So the first start for the catamaran newcomer will probably be on today, if the wind should drop a little.

Antonia belongs to a group of young sailors in the Lübeck Yacht Club who want to make the leap from the youth classes into the catamaran. "Catamarans have had a strong presence here at Mövenstein for years," reports LYC coach Arne Holweg. "And we heard the calls from the youth who wanted to sail faster boats and have fun. The F18 department was very open to this right away, so we started a project for young people. For the Day of Generations, an experienced helmsman took to the water with a young sailor."

After only a few hours of joint training, this idea led to Antonia Tschakert's TW start on Thomas Neudahl's foresheet. Liam Burdon can already contribute a little more experience in Marc Gleue's F18 trapeze. But he is also one of the young sailors who are now taking the step onto the fast cat. "This is still meant to be a trial," says Arne Holweg. "For Antonia it is the first F18 regatta. Liam has already been to the World Championships and certainly wants to perform and attack at Travemünde Week."

The new generation is warmly welcomed by the absolute cat experts. Helge and Christian Sach, 2006 F18 World Champions and currently fourth in the World Championships, are pleased that catamaran sailing is picking up speed, especially in their home club: "It's so important that we get young people into the class. Internationally, the situation is different, as we saw at the World Championships. There were some who sailed 29er against my boys just a few weeks ago. Here at Mövenstein, the ideal catamaran mooring, it would be important if there was a real stronghold of young people," says Christian Sach, and his brother Helge agrees: "If a big F18 scene with lots of youngsters emerges now, that would simply be a dream. We used to miss that so much in the Tornado, being able to compete with others. But that's getting better and better now."

So while the youngsters are eagerly awaiting their first Travemünde Week event, the big favourites are eyeing their next TW success. It would be the 21st for the Zarnekauer, but the last one was six years ago.

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