The BMW Berlin Match Race is set to take place from second to 6th November 2011. The event will this year be hosted by the Sailing Club House at Wannsee (Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee, VVSaW), together with the Berlin Yacht Club (BYC), and is advertised as a Grade One event by the International Sailing Federation. There will be 12 skippers, 48 top sailors, 186 head-to-head duels on the water - but only one winner!
by Anne Stadtfeld
The world's match race elite will gather at the Berlin sailing stadium at Wannsee. German stars - Olympic winner Jochen Schümann and world champion Markus Wieser will be appearing together with professional sailors Matti Paschen (America's Cup participant in 2007 and 2009), Eberhard Magg and Rasmus Kostner (mainsail trim for sailing legend Russell Coutts). The event will also draw the current fourth in world rankings, Bjorn Hansen of Sweden and the 27-year-old winner of the Danish Match Race European Championship 2010, Mads Ebler into the action.
Schümann will be relying on a proven team: together with 470 warrior Heiko Seelig, he has gathered together his Olympic silver medal-winning crew from Soling 2000, Gunnar Bahr and Ingo Borkowski. Those making the longest journeys to Berlin are probably the teams of helmsmen William Tiller from New Zealand and Keith Swinton from Australia.
For the teams it's not just about the prize money - a total of 20,000 Euros, but also valuable world ranking points. The head-to-head races will take place on Class J 80 boats. The first starting signals will sound daily at 10am (3rd-6th November 2011).
The anniversary edition of the Berlin Match Race, which was initiated in 1992 by two prominent members of the two host clubs, Achim Kadelbach (VSaW) and Peter Barnikow (BYC), offers spectators and visitors both impressive and spectacular duels on the water and a diverse land program with multimedia reporting.
A heated and covered grandstand overlooking a large video screen, combined with professional live commentary from well-known sports presenters Nils Kaben and André Keil will bring the match race action onto land. About 6,000 spectators are expected to attend. For all those who are confident on the water, an audience boat will be ready and waiting at the harbour wall.
In addition, the BMW Sailing Base's culinary mile will be offering food for the nerves on land. Depending on spectators' mood and taste, they can choose from exclusive champagne and scampi or hearty pork dishes and punch. Spectators are warmly invited to witness the adrenaline, tension and effort at the most exciting form of sailing regatta.
What is Match Racing?
Match racing means that each race will decide directly between victory and defeat. There is a head-to-head duel between two teams on the water and is also known as 'chess' on the water. To be the second team to sail across the finish line means to lose the race. Match Race is tactically highly demanding and requires intense concentration and absolute precision from each individual crew member.
BMW Berlin Match Race website
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6:13 PM Wed 12 Oct 2011 GMT
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