Tempest start the worlds with only one race in light wind
New picture in the Olympic Center of Schilksee. The youth sailors have left the German sailing mecca after the conclusion of the Combined International German Youth Championships, now the legendary classes are coming for the revival of the 1972 Olympic Games. Four of the former six Olympic classes are returning to the historic sailing venue – with big title fights and illustrious names. The Tempest opened the regatta with their World Championship (August 17-21), the Dragons (August 18-20) will start on Thursday, and the Flying Dutchman with their International German Championship and the Starboats (August 19-21) will close the event.
The wind proved to be a brake at the start of the revival regattas. Only sporadically the sailable wind lines moved along the outer fjord. So the 35 Tempest crews waited a long time for the signal to sail. Principal Race Officer Fabian Bach took it easy: “There is no reason to get restless. We still have enough time in the coming days to make up races.” Nevertheless, he persistently checked the conditions on the course and then decided at 3 p.m. that the conditions were worth a try. Despite slackening breezes, a race succeeded, with the course length adjusted to the wind.
Closely watching the action on the fjord from shore was Rolf Bähr. The former president of the German Sailing Association (DSV) saw his boat with a large lead at the top. Manned by his nephews Lars and Leif Bähr, “GER 1128” pulled inexorably towards victory. “We started in the middle, then had the field on the left side under control and arrived at the first buoy in second place,” Lars Bähr reported after returning to port. An early gybe on the first downwind leg put the brother duo in front, and from then on the Berliners steadily extended their lead. “It wasn’t our favorite wind, so we’re glad we finished so well, and especially that the race committee pulled it off. They really did a good job.” Asked about their title chances for the Worlds after this convincing start, Bähr said, “Our uncle wants it, we want it. We’re fired up to compete. It’s our first World Cup, but we’ve won the German Open twice.”
They have their eyes on the young team Tobias Spranger/Felix Meggendorfer (Seebrucker RV) as tough competition. The elder brothers of the 49er top team Jakob Meggendorfer/Andreas Spranger had won the Practice Race and were also in a top-position in the first race as fifth. While Tobias Spranger, son of former Tempest World Champion Christian Spranger, already has experience in the former olympic class, it is only the second regatta for Felix Meggendorfer in the Tempest. “But we know each other for a long time – since Opti times, also sail 49er together,” said helmsman Spranger. They were reasonably satisfied with the result of the first race. Meggendorfer: “In the meantime we were second, the second opwind did not go well. But all in all it is okay. We are aiming for a top ten place.”
Things are looking good for that – even if they are “only” third in the club ranking. Because behind the leading Bähr brothers, Hannes Brochier/Peter Kern and Christian Spranger/Christopher Kopp (all Seebrucker RV) line up in second and third place. Fourth are the Swiss Mario Suter/Andreas Hochuli.
Text: Hermann Hell / Ralf Abratis
50 years of Olympic Sailing Regatta in Kiel-Schilksee:
Classes : Dragon (Ranking-Regatta/ 8 Races), Flying Dutchman (IDM/ 7 Races), Star (North European Championship/ 6 Races), Tempest (WM/ 9 Races).
- Wednesday, 17 August: Measurment: Star; Races: Tempest – 1100 hrs. First Start
- Thursday, 18 August: Races: Tempest, Dragon
- Friday, 19 August: Races: Tempest, Star, Dragon, Flying Dutchman; 1800 hrs.: Opening Ceremony
- Saturday, 20 August: Races: Tempest, Star, Dragon, Flying Dutchman
- Sunday, 21 August: Races: Tempest, Star, Dragon, Flying Dutchman – after: Prize Giving Ceremony