119th Travemuende Week underway

. .
Gusty winds and squalls with hail offered challenging conditions for the start of the 119th Travemuende Week on Saturday (19 July). Sailors competed in ten classes on the first day of the huge sailing event in the Baltic Sea.

Within the Travemuende Week 56 offshore yachts started their first leg of the fourth Baltic Sprint Cup to Karlskrona, Sweden. The race includes 710 nautical miles, visiting five countries in the Baltic rim and will finish on 1 August in Roenne on the Danish island of Bornholm.

An impressive farewell parade saw the 56 cruiser and racer departing Travemuende in the early afternoon to head for the start of the fourth Baltic Sprint Cup that for the first time ever since 2005 started in Germany. Leg number one to Karlskrona, Sweden leads the fleet on a course of 216 nautical miles, and the south west winds should make it a fast leg.

The British Roger 46 'Yeoman XXXII' owned and skippered by Royal Ocean Racing Club’s commodore David Aisher fired off the line, but the German maxi racer 'Calypso', a former 'Wild thing', now owned by Gerhard Clausen from Hamburg, was the leading boat of the racer division at the upwind mark before the course change running towards Sweden.

With south-westerly winds and rainy gusts sailing started for nine dinghy classes and various keel yachts on four race courses on the Bay of Luebeck. 'We managed two races for the big boats and up to four races in each other class. We made the most out of the day', said principle race officer Walter Mielke, 'but we are not sure what the weather will bring for the next days.' The reason is a low pressure system coming up with stormy winds, which might be too much to start racing on Sunday.

On Sunday the International German Championship of the Tornado class will begin, seeing 39 teams at the starting line. But with the wind limit of the class, that sails its last year with the Olympic status for the time being, it might be a difficult day for race officer Peter Ramcke on course Delta with the catamaran class.