October 7, 2017
The second day of the International 5.5 Metre Herbstpreis (Autumn Trophy) at Thunsersee Yacht Club was plagued by light winds that meant only one more race could be sailed. Joined by the Star and Dragon fleets on the water, the decision to make this a three-day event for the 5.5 Metres proved fortuitous following the four races completed Friday.
New Moon, BAH 21 (Christoph Burger, Flavio Marazzi, Peter Vlasov) takes a four point lead at the top from Friday’s leaders Marie-Françoise XIX, SUI 228 (Jürg Menzi, Dino Fumasoli, Christof Wilke), despite both boats discarding today’s race.
A first start was attempted in a southerly, but then the wind switched 180 degrees and the race committee had to move further down the lake to reset the course. Then the next attempt was abandoned on the first downwind, with New Moon leading, after the wind shut off and then switched 180 degrees again.
Everyone’s patience was finally rewarded when a sailable north-westerly arrived late in the afternoon. However it was a very tricky race with a lot of new faces near the front. Several boats, including New Moon had to return for an early start and trailed the fleet.
First round the top was Shaolin III, SUI 226 (Rolf Kellenberger, Andreas Kindlimann, Hans von Werdt) followed by Forza Del Destino, SUI 211 (George Prapopoulos, Simon Pfändler, Philip Prapopoulos).
However on the final upwind to the shortened finish, Forza Del Destino chose the correct side to take the win from Nina, SUI 215 (Heinz Saurer, Hans Scheidegger, Maja Siegenthaler) and Pungin, SUI 213 (Hans-Peter Schmid, Gilbert Dürr, Lionel Rupp).
Both leading boats struggled. New Moon was up to third at the leeward mark but dropped to fifth on the final beat. Marie-Françoise XIX crossed eighth, but remains second overall. Nina moves up to third overall.
The crew of Forza Del Destino were understandably delighted with the race win.
George Prapopoulos said, “Beautiful weather, blue skies, but the wind was not predicted to be high so we were very lucky that we actually got a race in by the end of the day.”
"We were very lucky that the north-westerly settled in, though we barely believed it would come. We actually got a really nice race in wind nice conditions and for once we picked the lucky side.”
He says the 5.5 Metre is a great boat to be racing. “It’s really nice to sail, really cool sailing and the class is Switzerland is pretty strong. We have a lot of new boats. I would like to see all the older boats on the start line as well, but we are constantly building new boats and it’s great to be in the 5.5s.”
There is one more day of racing in Thun with an early start scheduled for Sunday and up to three races possible.