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Int'l Europe Class Global Veteran Cup - Good wind at Lake Duemmer

by Andy Greager on 30 Aug 2010
Great turnout: 61 competitors at the 23rd Global Veteran Cup - International Europe Class Global Veteran Cup 2010 Tom Oberlies
Int'l Europe Class Global Veteran Cup

Europe Dinghy Veterans fight it out in a total of six races; New Zealand Champion Antje Muller finishes fourth over all and second woman in a strong fleet of 61 boats.


Saturday surprised the fleet with sunshine and moderate winds, so the fleet could enjoy some fantastic racing. Pieter van Laer continued his clean slate, sailing away from the fleet especially when the 'O' flag was up, allowing competitors to pump, rock, and ooch in the short choppy waves. Antje started the day strong with a second place, but drew a bad start in race five. Even though she fought her way back up from mid-fleet to 12th place, this was her discard for the series. She enjoyed the day though: 'Even though the sun was out, it was much colder than yesterday, so for the first time in nine years I was wearing a dry suit. This really created a bit of nostalgia for me. Having to sail through the fleet added to that impression, as I have been more used to the middle than the front of the fleet before this season. It is a lot of fun to sail in a friendly but strong and competitive fleet!' Many fellow sailors were baffled by the 'home advantage' that the New Zealand representative could claim on this German lake; Antje had trained and raced here many times before she emigrated to the other side of the planet in 2001. The boat she is sailing is her original Hein dinghy with a wooden deck, made in Germany in 1993.

An important decision for the New Zealand was taken on that day with the Veterans confirming to hold their Global competition in New Zealand in 2012. It is a first for this event to be held outside Europe. What started as a friendly get-together of like-minded sailors has grown into a competitive but still jovial international event attracting high calibre sailors from inside and outside the fleet. There is strong interest from the European veterans to use their winter for this event, and it looks like at least two full containers will be shipped around the world. For more information about the 2012 Global Veteran Cup, please go to the event information on http://www.boiyachtclub.co.nz/europe.php.

The 23rd Global Veteran Cup has come to a close on Sunday afternoon (EU time) with some impressive results mirroring both the high standard and the flexibility of the Class. The oldest competitor Helmut Krueger, aged 82, was received with great acclaim and carried home a magnum bottle of Champagne. How the boats have changed over time became apparent as the prize for the best fully wooden boat went to Francois Aubard in 22nd place. A special award went to the one and only competing monk, Jerzy Sztyk from Poland.

Just ahead of him was Miroslav Cenek from Czech Republic who took home the prize for the best man over 60 years old, and in addition his Club will host the 2011 Veteran World Cup in Brno. First lady over 50 years old was Anke Dankowski who started sailing Europe Dinghies when her daughter entered the class as a teenager.

Many of the performers in the age classes have been 'pressured' into sailing by their children, like Peter Paeper who finished third in the over-60s, and Ute Mueller who finished second in the ladies 50 plus division.

At the top end, previous Veteran champion Jean-Luc Labonne had to bow to the top three ladies as well as fellow Frenchman Jean-Paul Terret in second place who also won the men's division for 50 to 59-year-olds, and Belgian Pieter van Laer who scored only first places. In the last race, both him and Jean-Paul were a bit too quick on the mark and got disqualified under the black flag rule, but that could not endanger their top results.

The ladies fought it out until the last race, and the honours went to Birgit Harder. Antje's third place was enough for her to stay in front of Anja Fiedler, who deservedly won the last race. After a very successful season in New Zealand, the silver medal in this event confirmed Antje's great form. Regular training, coming down to optimum weight, and a new Quantum sail are Antje's secrets of success.


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