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128th Kiel Week Day 5 - One more light wind race for ORC offshore yachts

by Andreas Kling 22 Jun 08:44 PDT 18-26 June 2022

The weather gods had little in mind for the sailors on Wednesday (22 June) at the start of the Olympic part of Kiel Week. Because the sun hid for too long, the thermal easterly wind did not build up.

Doldrums - no races were possible in the eight disciplines neither for the 11th ACO Musto Skiff World Championships. Next attempt on Thursday from 11 o'clock. On Sunday (June 26) the final medal races are scheduled. At least one light wind race succeeded on the offshore course to conclude the Kiel Cup with overall German winners from Berlin ("Intermezzo"/Jens Kuphal/ORC I/II) and Flensburg (Knut Freudenberg/"Halbtrocken"/ORC III/IV).

With a lot of patience, great adaptability to the most diverse weather phenomena and the willingness to hold out until the last moment, the crews of the offshore yachts and the organization boats around principal race officer Eckart Reinke got the maximum out of the possibilities of the Kiel Cup regattas. The six races in three days demanded from the crews not only good seamanship, trim and tactics, but also navigational skills in the Coastal Races.

Fun was not neglected: the weather allowed for snowball fights with hailstones as well as swimming sessions in the Baltic Sea. The new, innovative courses of the coastal races were also a test run for the ORC World Championship, which will be held off Kiel in August 2023.

Through all seasons in three days: Even PRO Eckart Reinke has never experienced that in his 28 years in the Kiel Week organization. "Monday was a phenomenon. We had calm, we had storms that the spinnakers were torn. We were sitting on deck in a T-shirt and the next moment we had a hailstorm, which subsequently allowed us to build a snowman on board." The final day of the Kiel Cup then went one better. After a race and the breeze dropped, the crew of the starting vessel called for the swimming badge to bridge the waiting time. Twenty-five sailors responded to this call and swam their course, for which they were rewarded with a certificate at the award ceremony.

Although only one more race succeeded on the offshore course on Wednesday, there were still six races in the books in the end, including four up-and-downs as well as two coastal races. Reinke had his special eye on the coastal races, whose course setting he has already submitted to the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) in order to be able to sail them to the World Championships as well. "From our point of view, the courses met their expectations. We wanted to show that sailing is more than moving yachts like big dinghies. Sailing also involves navigation. The crew has to get out a nautical chart, calculate currents and plot the best course. The fact that this challenge worked makes us happy and also proud. Now we are waiting for a decision from the ORC," says Reinke.

Praise for the alternation of short and medium-length races also came from the active participants. "The variety is great, the courses of the Coastal Races were an enrichment. If up-and-downs as well as Coastal Races can be scheduled flexibly, then it's a great way to make the offshore events attractive," said "Intermezzo" helmsman and owner Jens Kuphal from Berlin.

With his professional crew, he stumbled a bit in the second Coastal Race on Tuesday evening, but still secured the overall victory in the Kiel Cup: "We are happy that after two second places in previous years, it has now worked out. In the second Coastal we were well in the race until the last mark, but then lost a lot on the downwind." The "Intermezzo" crew had previously torn the big spi during a drop manoeuvre. But with three wins, two second places and a fourth place, the Landmark 43 mod. "Intermezzo" prevailed in the ORC I+II ahead of the XP-44 "Xenia" of Ralf Lässig (GER) and the world champions from the Mills 45 custom "Halbtrocken 4.5" (Michael Berghorn, Kiel, GER).

Surprisingly sovereign was the victory of the First 36.7 "Halbtrocken" of Knut Freudenberg in the ORC III+IV. "We didn't expect to have the luxury problem of dropping a second place at the end. We have a couple of new guys in the crew and are actually still working them in," said the owner. In the up-and-down races, "Halbtrocken" was always ahead, coming in second in each of the Coastal Races. "We always kept an eye on our direct opponents. On the long courses, it's just not possible to control the whole field. And then there's always someone who has a lucky punch."

Behind the "Halbtrocken" the X-35 "Xen" with helmsman Bernd Dreier and the X-332 modif "Sophus" of Jochen Kunze (both Flensburg, GER) landed on the following places. The further season of the "Halbtrocken" is now unexpectedly short. Knut Freudenberg: "We actually wanted to go to the Doublehand World Championship in Sweden, but cancelled it for health reasons. Now we are looking at the German Championship in Warnemünde, Germany. And the big goal is, of course, the World Championship next year in Kiel."

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