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Finn fleet return at Travemuende Week

It was a busy Thursday for the race committee of the 119th Travemuende Week as 15 classes took off into a great day of sailing on the Bay of Luebeck. The warm wind peaked 20 knots from the East with a nice swell.

The Czech Melges 24 'Bohemia Express' and 'Radost II' are tied on points in the ORC Sportsboat Europeans. The Olympic 470 class was dominated by the Danish women’s team Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer who sailed unharmed in front of the mixed male and female fleet. On the 49er course Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessl from Berlin, Germany scored four bullets followed by the Dane’s Martin Due and Peter Keller. And European Junior Champion Jan Kurfeld (Wismar, Germany) led the very strong Finn Dinghy class.

The wind change to an easterly gradient powered by the sea breeze brought a different setup for the sixth day of the Travemuende Week. Visitors of the big sailing event saw a lot of action especially on course area Beach close to the shore, where the 49ers showed some thrilling races. The 18 and 20 year old crew Heil/Ploessel impressed everybody and dream already about their participation in the Olympic Games in 2012 in Weymouth, Great Britain.

On course Bravo the 470 sailors finished three races. 'We don’t spot many of the men’s crews in front out here', said Daria Blaschkiewitz (Luebeck, Germany), who sailed to an overall third place so far with her crew Kerstin Beucke. 'We had dreamlike conditions. Sunny and warm with a constant breeze of force four', Blaschkiewitz said. A Swedish and a Czech girl’s team follow right behind but the Danish female crew Koch/Sommer scored three more bullets today, to show a clean record.

A race day could not have been more dramatic than in the ORC European Championship of the Sportsboat class. The first three teams divided the bullets and follow-up places between each others in all three races. After one discard is taken into account now, the two Czech Melges 24 teams switched places, despite a tie. Alexandre Tinoco is leading with his 'Bohemia Express' followed by 'Radost II' helmed by Milan Hajek. 'When the two are fighting against each other we want to profit', said the third placed Dutch helmsman Marco van Driel, sailing the Max Fun 25 'MYTC' who is trailing by just one point.

The Eurocup of the Javelin class started also on Thursday. The British brother’s team Brian and David Earl scored three first places to take a clear lead. Their national comrades Richard and Kathryn Smith took second with a difference of eight points.

After a long absence a good fleet of Finn Dinghies came together to sail Travemuende Week this year. But it was difficult to beat the German talent Jan Kurfeld (20). Only Andre Budzin (45) from Schwerin, Germany, the two times Masters World Champion could push his bow over the finish line in front of Kurfeld once.

'Andre is very experienced, that’s why he is still dangerous', said Kurfeld. Simon Grotelueschen from Travemuende Week organizer Luebeck Yacht Club is a brilliant Laser sailor but gave his promising debut in the Finn class. He became fifth after the first day of racing on his home waters.

Full result lists on

by Andreas Kling


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6:49 AM Fri 25 Jul 2008 GMT

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