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5.5 Metre German Open at Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee, Berlin - Day 2

by Robert Deaves 28 Aug 2021 21:19 PDT 27-29 August 2021
Day 2 of the 5.5 Metre German Open in Berlin © Robert Deaves /

No further racing was possible on Day 2 of the 5.5 Metre German Open at the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee (VsaW) in Berlin, Germany with very little wind on Saturday.

Following a two hour delay the fleet were sent afloat after a light north-westerly arrived, but it didn't last long and the fleet basked in hot sunshine on a mirror-like Wannsee for the next two hours before finally being sent home where AP over A was raised an hour later, in time for the free beer and evening BBQ.

Robert Niemczewski, Vice Commodore of VSaW is sailing Paula, GER 102, on loan from German Class President, Kaspar Stubenrauch, and crewed by Thomas Romberg and Martin Romberg.

He said, "It's my first sail on 5.5 Metre. Kaspar asked me if would sail this boat and honestly it's a lot of fun. Normally I am on the starting vessel as the race officer.

"It's an Evolution, and it's a shame we can't match the Moderns. But it's fine. It's a lot of fun. I am sailing with my usual Star boat crew here."

On the conditions, "It's just the nature. You can't do anything about it and Sunday does not look much better. It's a pity."

He said he was very much enjoying the boat and the class. "It's a beautiful class and I like it. The people are so nice. Some classes are strange, but it's a very good atmosphere here and a very nice group."

Another of the boats competing in Berlin is the all-women crew on Pittwater (GER 110, Susanne Struth, Nina Zibuschka, Pia Matscheroth).

Pittwater is the German class association boat, a Ben Lexcen design built by Hudson Boat Building, in Sydney, Australia. It was intended to be used by Australian crews to reciprocate for the hospitality received by German crews at the 2020 World Championship in Pittwater, near Sydney, Australia. However since then Covid has happened so the boat was made available to a German crew through the class website.

The all-women crew from Essen applied to use the boat and are at their first regatta this weekend.

Susanne Struth explained, "We contacted Kaspar and got this beautiful Pittwater. We had just had five or six days of practice in our hometown of Essen on the Baldeneysee. Then we came here and are very excited to be at the German Open. It's our first regatta in the 5.5 Metre class and our first regatta together as a crew and it's pretty exciting as we are only ladies and I think we are very young compared to the other teams. It's fun to race and the other teams are very nice. It's also interesting to see the other boats and we are learning a lot from them of course."

She explained the boats had always been an attraction, "My father saw the boats during a vacation in France in the 1990s and was very fascinated by them and always took photos of them. He showed the photos to me and I was also fascinated by these boats, so we followed them a bit on the home page."

She says they are learning a lot about the boat. "It's very interesting. The backstays are new for me as I come from H-Boats with no backstays. It also has a big spinnaker, especially for a ladies crew, and on Friday with more wind it was tough for us to hold it, though also maybe just a question of practice and the experience we have to get."

"I have sailed a few H-Boat regattas locally, but Pia has more experience in the Dragon class so that's good for us, and she helps us a lot. It's a good crew."

For the future, "We will try to sail in Thun or Hamburg this year as well. This event was a bit spontaneous as we just got the boat at the end of June so I think next year will be better for planning and we can maybe sail more races. We have the boat until the Autumn and in winter we'll bring it back to Hamburg and we'll see whether we get it again next year."

"But it's fun for us and we'd love to have it again. There are a few cool races to do and you have to plan over the winter that you'd get the boat next year and make a plan for the summer. It would be cool to make 4 or 5 regattas next year."

Racing in Berlin concludes on Sunday, though the forecast remains much less enthusiastic than the fleet to get some more racing done.

Results after Day 2: (one race)

1 New Moon II (BAH 24, Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) 1pt
2 Girls on Film (GBR 42, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfry, Matt Haslam) 2pts
3 Otto (NOR 68, Bent Christian Wilhelmsen, Herve Cunningham, Luka Strahovnik) 3pts
4 Momo (SUI 229, Dieter Schön, Markus Wieser, Thomas Auracher) 4pts
5 John B (BAH 22, Gavin Mckinney, Lars Horn Johannessen, Flavio Marazzi) 5pts
6 Ali Baba (GER 84, Wolf-Eberhard Richter, Beata Kallkowski, Uwe Schwarick) 6pts

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