"That was great cinema. You guys rocked it." With this short analysis of Thursday, when at least the RS Feva and the ILCA 4 took to the stormy regatta courses of Travemünde Week, Anderl Denecke, overall TW race director, sent his teams and the sailors out onto the water for another challenging day. It turned into a shifting action with start shifts and re-schedules for the seven classes. While the conger and O dinghies took the "early shift", the ILCA 4s formed a compact programme over the lunch hours. Formula 18, Canoe IC and Taifun as well as Musto Skiffs took a longer break on shore after a first day's racing to then have another go on the regatta courses in the afternoon.
There was no free ride for a world-class team and the TW record winners. Brothers Helge and Christian Sach suspected even before Travemünde Week that it would be a tough job to hold their own against the father-son team of Jesse and Sven Lindstädt. The first races on the Formula 18 course showed that this prediction was correct. The Lindstädts finished ahead of the Sachs three times before they managed to win the day and had to settle for sixth place themselves. This leaves the TW record winners just ahead of the field.
Paul Dijkstra controls wind, wave and competition in the Musto Skiffs. The Dutchman had everything under control on the wobbly dinghy, landed five daily wins in the five races and leads the field ahead of Roger Oswald (Switzerland) and Karsten Groth (Netherlands).
With the most experience at sea, Julia Pechstein/Wolfgang Goeken from Hamburg were able to land a double triumph in the Congers. "The sea experience is extremely noticeable, especially in such conditions. The wind was shifty and turning under the cliffs, and the waves were rough," reported Julia Pechstein. It was too challenging for quite a few sailors in the conger class. The fleet of the dinghy class, which is mainly suitable for inland areas, was already halved before the first start. In the second race, only four boats reached the finish. Julia Pechstein, however, went into raptures: "We had a lot of fun. The space courses were just great. In these conditions, even a conger gets flying." In the 50th year of its existence, the class was keen to organise a regatta on the Baltic Sea. So the traditional class made its debut on the Travemünder Woche. However, the Conger is not completely inexperienced with the Baltic Sea. Until 30 years ago, Conger regattas were regularly sailed off Niendorf, Grömitz and Eckernförde.
The Dutch duo at the top of the O-Jolly field after two races is quite in line with the expectations of the class. "They are showing us how it's done at the moment," says Jörn Cordbarlag, the German class chairman from Plön. Onno Yntema and Mark Tigchelaar lead the field ahead of Harry Voss (Auhagen). For the O dinghy sailors, the Baltic Sea also offered a course on Friday that was at the limit of what was possible. "It was okay for me today, but I am also only 50. Some other O-dinghy sailors are over 70. But two races were enough for me, too," said Cordbarlag, who is currently in seventh place. He is curious to see what will be in store for the O dinghies on Saturday after the stormy wind forecast. "But we trust our race officer Stormie. He used to sail O dinghies himself."
A limited field on the extremely narrow skiffs of the Canoe IC took to the course for the first start of the day. Only the overall leader from Preetz, Ole Junge, and his club mate Emma Grigull put themselves to the test in the morning. After the long lunch break and weakening winds, there were a few more competitors for the three races. This did not change anything at the top. Ole Junge was in the lead, ahead of Frederik Steimann from Segeberg and Axel Bierwagen from Hanover and Emma Grigull, who tied on points.
The Canoe Taifuns are much more stable than the IC, and so the field of starters in the morning was also much larger. However, the day was also marked by maximum effort for the Taifun sailors. Before the conclusion of the German Championship tomorrow, it remains exciting between the current leader Niklas Steimann (Segeberg) and his pursuer Claudius Junge (Preetz).
The keelhaul bird class has finished its German Championship without a title classification. Out of respect for their dead classmate, who could not be saved on Wednesday after a medical emergency at sea despite intensive reanimation measures, the crews, in consultation with the German Sailing Association, did not continue the race. Instead, they did a lap of homage on the Baltic Sea and then removed their boats.