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5.5 Metre German Open at Deutscher Touring Yacht Club, Tutzing - Day 1

by Robert Deaves 25 Aug 2023 13:25 PDT 25-27 August 2023

Melx III (GRE 5, Stavros PAPAGIANNOPOULOS, Yannis MITAKIS, Pavlos KAGIALIS) leads the German 5.5 Metre Open at Tutzing on the Starnberger See. Ali Baba (GER 125, Wolf-Eberhard RICHTER, Beata KALLKOWSKI, Bernd SELIG) are second with the classic Manuela V, (ITA 36, Guido TOMMASI, Marco ANESSI, Edoardo GAMBA) in third.

The championship is being expertly hosted by the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club, with great hospitality for the all the visiting sailors.

After a week of very high temperatures and windless conditions on the Starnberger See, an overnight weather change brought rain, storms, lower temperatures and some wind. Even though it was quite unstable at times, and the first race had to be abandoned, three races were sailed on Friday in a building wind largely caused by approaching thunderstorms. The first two were sailed in higher temperatures and lighter winds, while third was finished early in a cold rainstorm and much stronger winds and the lake was surrounded by dark clouds and lightning.

With the threat of thunderstorms from early afternoon, the fleet of 15 boats - seven classics, four evolutions and just four moderns - sailed quite small courses with a premium on good starts and clean mark roundings.

After initially being abandoned following a 90 degree wind shift, Ali Baba led round in Race 1, only to be passed by Melx III on the downwind. No Stress (SUI 201, Jörg SONNTAG, Olaf SCHULZ, Jacob REK). Melx III then led all the way in the second race to win from Manuela V and Lady Luv (GER 8, Manfred PÖSCHL, Johannes BANDTLOW, Peter WACHS), after second placed Ali Baba didn't notice the reduced number of laps and lost two places.

After a large shift just before the start, Ali Baba tacked on the gun near the pin and crossed the entire fleet and lead round for the win. The course was shortening at the second top mark, closest to the club, as the forecast storms had arriving and the fleet and a good rinsing on the way back to club for a BBQ and beer on the terrace.

Stavros Papagiannopoulos had a classic in 2018 and then in 2020 bought the modern but we didn't sail it until this year because of Covid.

"We started with a classic and now sail with a modern. We find it quite interesting and exciting It's good sailing and the atmosphere in the class is very nice as well, so that's why we are in. it.

"Today it was quite different for us. Our August is not like that. Anyhow it was nice sailing. startling with very low windspeed and during the day it built up and the last race was quite windy and very exciting. We did well. We were a bit lucky. We are happy but we are learning. It's days for us in the class, so it's a learning curve for us."

He said the crew is exceptional. Yannis Mitakis is a two time Olympian in the Finn, while Pavlos Kagialis is a two time Olympian in the 470 with a bronze medal from Rio in 2016,.

"We have been sailing together for years, offshore back home, and they wanted to try it as well."

Many of the classics here are preparing for next week's Enoshima Trophy, presented to the class by Dr Herbert 'Biwi' Reich, Olympic participant in Subbnboana in Japan in 1964. It was first sailed for here in 2014 and Subbnboana (GER 12, Gerd AUGUSTIN, Christian OEHLER, Hubert SCHÄDL) is taking part again and sit in eighth place after three races.

The boat has been in Christian Oehler's family for a number of years after being rescued. He said the day was challenging but they had a lot of fun.

"It was beautiful but we could have done a bit better. We did OK. Had fun. Our helmsmen knows well how to steer the boat but we had a very small course, just 800 metres so rounding he marks was very important to get a good position and make important metres. It was also the first time we three have sailed together, so it was OK. It was fun."

Racing continues until Sunday, though the forecast for the coming days contains a lot of rain and more thunderstorms.

Results after Day 1: (top five, 3 races)

1 Melx III (GRE 5, Stavros PAPAGIANNOPOULOS, Yannis MITAKIS, Pavlos KAGIALIS)
2 Ali Baba (GER 125, Wolf-Eberhard RICHTER, Beata KALLKOWSKI, Bernd SELIG)
3 Manuela V, (ITA 36, Guido TOMMASI, Marco ANESSI, Edoardo GAMBA)
4 No Stress (SUI 201, Jörg SONNTAG, Olaf SCHULZ, Jacob REK)
5 Striezi (GER 107, Johannes SCHMEDERER, Florian LAUTENSCHLÄGER, Gunter ERNST)

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