In all classes of the International German Off-shore Championships (Internationale Deutsche Meisterschaft, IDM) the title went to new hands. The winners were determined on Tuesday (10 August) in Neustadt/Holstein at the first Rolex Baltic Week.
In addition to the title, they were honoured with a timepiece, the Rolex Submariner steel edition. The German Off-shore Champions 2004 are Horst MANN from Kiel with L+M Hispaniola (IMS 1), Lollipop by Jan HINRICHS, Berlin, (IMS 2) and the Flensburg brothers Lars and Sven CHRISTENSEN with No Limits in the IMS 3/4 class.
For yet another day, the sailing conditions had been "out of this world", as many competitors put it. The 42 IMS yachts had sailed two and three more exciting races on Lübeck Bay. The leaders were pushed hard by those who still had hopes to seize the title, but tenaciously defended their positions. The hot Easterly wind blew up to 22 knots in the afternoon, so manoeuvres and sail shifts were hard work for the crews.
"My crew was highly motivated; they fought like lions and never ever gave up, not even when we were falling back",
praised Horst MANN his crew of nine, "they gave a hundred per cent."
In the end, his team even had to discard a win as "worst" result, with seven perfect wins to stand. The 63-year-old manufacturer had long been dreaming of his first German Championship. Last year, it had been snatched away from him at the last minute by Thomas BRÜGGE'S Extasy (Neumünster), that came sixth this year. "I will honour the Rolex timepiece",
promised Mann, "it really is a very special prize."
There was no trace of envy, but all the more respect for the winner from second placed Hanseatic Lloyd from Bremen. Tactician Albert SCHWEIZER: "Hispaniola by all means deserves the title. They were perfect."
Though his own crew with skipper Christian PLUMP got "silver" by half a point ahead of Alice by Volker KRIEGEL from Kiel, Schweitzer criticized their "somewhat jerky manoeuvres", which he blamed for not being able to make it to the top. "But apart from this, the IDM as part of this Rolex Baltic Week definitely was an excellent promotion of the sailing sport",
concluded the sailmaker,"we hardly ever have such dreamlike conditions on shore and at sea in these latitudes."
With two wins in the last two races of the day, Jan HINRICHS and his Dehler 39 Lollipop crew had at last made clear why they were deemed favourite, when they had finished only seventh in the long-distance race. The final performance gave him the required lead of one point over Mann o Mann that skipper Dirk MANNO from Flensburg took to second. "We had aimed higher than that, but in this wind, we suffered from speed problems",
said third-in-line Kai Von BERG (Neumünster) with Westwind. For her, it must have been a little bit too much Easterly wind off Neustadt.
"Nooooo Limits!", was heard again and again at the table of the winning crew, their motto and name of the victorious X-332 alike. "All you need is five good friends,"
explained Sven Christensen the success of the team that has helped him and his brother Lars winning their first German Championship ahead of last year's champion Froschkönig (Detlef Amlong/Schwedeneck)."It just went ever so smoothly",
said the owner, "only wins and a discarded second place - what else do you need?."
The Christensen brothers are still debating whether the prestigious Rolex watch that Rolex sales director Joachim R. MERNYAK from Koeln handed over to them be swapped between them on a weekly basis - or so they said with a smile on their face.
The Swan Regatta of the Rolex Baltic Week came to a somewhat curious end. Neither of the six yachts had rounded the first mark correctly and none of them found back to the right course, so race director Coord MÜLLER eventually called off the final race. Those who had been leading the day before thus became the overall winners, Claus BRESSLER'S Chrila from Hamburg in group one and Panini by Axel JUNGE from Lübeck in group two. On Wednesday afternoon, the event will be continued with the Fun Cup and the International Bavaria Cup on Thursday