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ORCi World Championship - Leader extends

by Offshore Racing Congress on 11 Sep 2010
ORCi World Championship Christian Beeck, Fotographie CB
ORCi World Championship and today light to moderate shifty breezes allowed for three more inshore races added to the scoreboard.

The series has been tight amongst the leaders in both the 21-boat Alpha Division and the 31-boat Beta Division, but after today’s intense racing a clear leader has emerged in one group whilst the ultimate results in the other group are still just too close to call. With a 10-15 knot southerly breeze forecast for tomorrow’s final day of competition, PRO Claus Otto Hansen predicts the final two races will be held to complete the entire championship schedule.


Jurgen Klinghardt’s X-332 Sport patent 3 (GER) has extended their lead in the Beta Division, with 8-1-1 scores for the day and a nearly 11-point lead over the division runner-up, Johann Friedrichsen’s X-332 Chinook (GER). Klinghardt said the race course was crowded today on the Flensburger Forde.

'You had to have good starts to find clear air,' he said. 'And it was really difficult to break free of the pack.' But there was no breaking free for anyone over the first race’s 5.75-mile course, as patent 3’s worst score yet in the series – eighth place – was only 1 minute in corrected time behind race winner Redan (NED), a Dehler 39 owned by Hein van Schaik. The following race – this time won by patent 3 – was even closer: their victory margin was a mere 2 seconds, and the top nine boats were all within a minute in corrected time.


The Alpha Division was no easier, with few passing lanes left to those who didn't get off the starting line well. Christian Plump, owner of the Rodman 42 Beluga Sailing Team (GER), said 'The middle of the course was death. We had a shocker in the last race for being caught in the middle on the second windward leg in all the traffic.' With an otherwise impressive scorecard, and a remarkable recovery yesterday from their boom breaking in the short offshore race on Wednesday, the 15th place in Race 7 certainly does look out of place for last year’s ORCi European Champions.

But this may all change tomorrow if two races are held as planned, since this will allow each team to drop their worst inshore race score in the final results. For the Alpha Division this has tremendous significance: even though Richard Vojta’s GS 42R Bohemia Express (CZE) has regained the series lead over Sven Christensen and T. Bastiansen’s IMX 40 Veolia on scores of 4-2-6, it is only by 1 point. And lying only 1.31 points back is Beluga, who is poised to drop that 15th, while Bohemia Express has a sixth and Veolia a fifth to drop.

Christian Binder (AUT), tactician on Bohemia Express, feels that with this math the series is lost for them to Beluga.

'It will be difficult for Beluga to lose,' he explained, 'and they are sailing very well. They have a team that has been together for a long time, and it shows on the water. We feel we can be faster, but being a new team we are just not quite there yet. We’ll look forward to seeing them at next year’s Worlds in Cres.'

It would seem premature to make such predictions, as anything can happen in this 21-boat class, especially in a World Championship fleet: just one bad start, a protest, getting caught in the crowd, a gear failure or injury could yield a double-digit score and change everything.

So no one else seems just yet to be resigned to the results, and racing will resume in earnest tomorrow at 11:25 local time to determine two new ORCi World Champions.

The Flensburger Segel-Club thanks its sponsors Pantaenius Yacht Insurance, Maschinenfabrik Anthon and Dehler, who have helped make the ORCi Worlds 2010 possible.







http://www.fsc.de/regatten/orci-worlds-2010.

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