ORC European Championship - Past champions return

ORC Europeans
ORC Media
With the final version of the Notice of Race now posted, entries for the ORC European Championship are now quickly increasing, with teams from seven countries from throughout Europe now entered. Among them are some past champions at this and other international ORC events, with all gathering at Real Club Nautico Valencia (RCNV) for racing over 1-6 July.

Christian Plump was ORC World Champion in 2010, and will be racing on his Swan 45 Elena Nova. His choice to race in Valencia is for the excellence in competition and in the sailing conditions in July, even though at home in Germany will be the ORC World Championship in Kiel in August.

'The competition in the Mediterranean is always good, and Valencia is well-known in the regatta world for racing,' said Plump. 'Some fast boats are already on the entry list and we hope for more yachts soon to join the event. Our team has a three-year schedule of racing in the Med after 13 years in the Baltic, and our crew will be nearly the same as last year, led by our tactician Sten Mohr. We considered for 2014 trying to race in both areas - the Baltic and the Med - in order to participate in the ORC Worlds in Kiel, but unfortunately the Worlds and Copa del Rey are at the same time.'

The Europeans is on a tour of ORC events for Plump's team, and another reason he is racing at this event is because he feels the competition will be tough, but fair using the ORC rating system.

'In my opinion ORC is by far the most open and fair regatta formula ever to be recognized and accepted of so many different racing boats. As owners we feel we are always racing in fair conditions. In general the ORC formula guaranties fair ratings and therefore we expect good racing at events like Palma Vela, the Europeans in Valencia and the Copa del Rey.'

Another international entry that is attracted to race in Valencia is Marco Bruna, owner/driver of the Grand Soleil 37 Valhalla, who expects good competition and a high-quality event.

'After the successful participation in the Copa del Rey in 2013, we looked for an international event that it is logistically well managed by a small team like ours,' said Bruna. 'The choice was obvious with this regatta, which represents the right blend between location and competitive level. We definitely expect a well-organized event with a strong international dimension and the presence of many Italian boats. I'd rather not speak per superstition, but surely it would be a pleasure to say our Corinthian entry will be strong among all crews that will participate in the event.'

Valhalla has a strong competitive pedigree, having won several local events at home in the Gulf of La Spezia, including twice winning the Cup Carnival of Viareggio (2013 and 2014), first place at Mariperman at La Spezia (2013) and victory in Group 3 of the ORC Trofeo Accademia Navale di Livorno (2012). Valhalla also won seventh place at the Copa del Rey in Palma de Mallorca in 2013 and was seventh place among the Corinthian crews at the ORC World Championship in Cres in 2011.

'Our team is composed exclusively of friends,' said Bruna. 'The basic philosophy is to participate in the most beautiful races that ORC offers in the Mediterranean, always trying to get satisfaction results even against international crews.'

But these international crews may have a tough time against some Spanish entries, particularly Pedro Campos, well-known as one of Spain's most-accomplished offshore sailors, with victories earned in several past ORC Championships and even the Volvo Ocean Race. His Movistar team will be racing a Sinergia 40 and defending their overall title earned last year at the Trofeo SM La Reina.

'We hope to defend the title we had earned in previous years,' said Campos, 'In a race that is always difficult and has a lot of prestige. The race being at the same time the ORC European Championship gives us an additional reason to defend the title and to face both Spanish and foreign crews. We will see if this year we can win both the Trofeo SM La Reina and the European title.'

Events begin at the ORC European Championship with Registration and Measurements starting on Monday, June 30th and continuing through Wednesday, July 2nd. Then a 70-mile offshore race starts the competition on Thursday, July 3rd, followed by three days of inshore racing off Valencia to conclude on Sunday, July 6th.

For more information on the event, click here