July 27, 2018

Travemünde turned it on for the second day of the International 5.5 Metre German Dutch Open with blazing hot sunshine, and steady north-easterly winds increasing to 18-20 knots, producing great waves. New Moon BAH 21 (Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) matched their score from day one, taking two more race wins to move into a six-point lead with three races to sail.

Marie-Françoise XIX SUI 228 (Jürg Menzi, Jürgen Eiermann, Christof Wilke) had a mixed day but remains second while Maitresse Gaat Vreemd NED 35 (Piet Van Opzeeland, Peter Parmentier, Frans Van Schellen) lost ground onFeng Shui NED 26 (Arend Jan Pasman, Ron Azier, Kim Chabani), but holds on to third by just one point.

It was a tough, tiring day, but no one was complaining. It was about as perfect a day’s sailing as it was possible to imagine, with the short courses providing plenty of excitement at the mark roundings.

The fleet split almost equally in two on the first beat in Race 4, with New Moonemerging ahead from the left to lead round the course for the bullet. Feng Shuihad their best race so far in the series with a second, while Prettynama GER 79 (Max Müller, Max Steigl, Martin Ekat), the leading German entry, crossed in third.

Menzi judged Race 5 perfectly, winning the pin end, dominating the left on the first beat and rounding ahead to lead all the way for Marie-Françoise XIX to take the win. New Moon was never far behind and crossed second while Prettynama picked up another third place.

With the wind increasing still further New Moon then won their fourth race of the series from Feng Shui and Maitresse Gaat Vreemd to set up an exciting final day to conclude what has been an outstanding few days of racing so far.

Kim Chabani, front man on Feng Shui explained the day, “Racing today was quite interesting. We started the day with some light winds. We had some issues with our light jib and had to change it for our heavy jib, which in the end was in our favour as the wind picked up quite quickly, up to 18-20 knots and the waves started to increase. Racing was very close and a lot of boats were very close to each other at the top mark, which was tricky for the skippers.”

“In the last race was a change of course where we had the inner loop rather than the outer so there was no spreader at the top mark, which made it even more interesting with all the boats rounding close together.”

“Tomorrow we have, more wind, more waves, and maybe even more interesting.”

The six Evolution hulls competing here are putting on a good showing against the moderns, with two inside the top 10. Ali Baba GER 84 (Wolf-Eberhard Richter, Ingo Meißner) now leads the Evolution class after discarding an OCS from Day 1. Yesterday’s leader Drop Bear AUS 62 (John Bacon, David Sampson, Joost Houweling) drops to 11th.

Skipper John Bacon, from Sydney, Australia, is not disheartened but thoroughly enjoying racing in Travemünde. “Absolutely delighted to be sailing Travemünde for the first time. We are hoping to get the 5.5 worlds at our home club in 2020 and ahead of that we are trying to get some practice in with all the stars in the class over here. The weather is beautiful, the winds are great and we are just having a fantastic time meeting everybody and learning more and more about the boat. And looking forward to getting it home and sailing it this summer.”

He explained the choice of boat, “We looked at buying a buying for Europe and eventually taking back to the worlds Australia. The boat we have was originally called ‘The Sting’ and was built in 1993. It was one of the last Evolution boats that was built and measured and it’s a pretty good boat. It’s got a lot of the aspects of a modern 5.5 and so it’s pretty competitive and we are pleasantly surprised we are doing OK.”

“The boat is pretty interesting. It was the first boat that Christoph Wilke ever built and maybe we’ll do a couple of fancy things to it to see if we can squeeze more performance. But in the meantime we are just trying to learn how to make it go.”

Racing at the International 5.5 Metre German Dutch Open in Travemünde concludes on Saturday with three more races scheduled from 11.00.

Results after 6 races
1 New Moon BAH 21 (Mark Holowesko, Christoph Burger, Peter Vlasov) 6
2 Marie-Françoise XIX SUI 228 (Jürg Menzi, Jürgen Eiermann, Christof Wilke) 12
3 Maitresse Gaat Vreemd NED 35 (Piet Van Opzeeland, Peter Parmentier, Frans Van Schellen) 17
4 Feng Shui NED 26 (Arend Jan Pasman, Ron Azier, Kim Chabani) 18
5 Prettynama GER 79 (Max Müller, Max Steigl, Martin Ekat) 19
6 Duchess of B NED 31 (Victorine Bredero, Wiebe De Witte, Nick Spaans) 27
7 Alpha Crucis AUS 61 (Martin Cross, Joachim Fluhrer, Johny Fluhrer) 40
8 Ali Baba GER 84 (Wolf-Eberhard Richter, Ingo Meißner) 41
9 Silverfox GER 83 (Michael Schulz, Joerg Gruenwald, Jens-Magnus Bothe) 41
10 Odyssée SWE 65 (Bernhard Rost, Ergo Kosk, Niklas Jansson) 45

Full results here.

Many more photos at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fivepointfivemetre