After 49 races in five different regattas and nine classes in nearly always perfect conditions with lots of sunshine and wind, the first Rolex Baltic Week for off-shore sailors ended in Neustadt/Holstein, Germany, on Sunday (15 August) afternoon.
The winners of the International Bavaria Cup were honoured with a Rolex Submariner timepiece in steel. Gunter PERSIEHL, president of the organizing Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV), presented one to Jochen WALDSCHMIDT from Flensburg of Sinjale in the group with spinnaker and also to Lothar MAAß, Stockelsdorf, with Diamant who won in the group without spinnaker. In a breathtaking final, Hamburg's Jan KÄHLER won the German Open of the J/24 class, pushing Max HÖLZER back to second.
"That was a first class series with challenging courses - an excellent promotion for the sailing sport."
Jochen WALDSCHMIDT said what many participants of this premiere had thought, too. No wonder the 57-year-old was in such a good mood: He had won all six races ahead of Schickilacki by Christian HEINRITZ from Heiligenhafen. At the International German Off-shore Championship according to the IMS rules, Sinjale had yet had to find her form and finished only tenth in her IMS 2 class. Waldschmidt: "We will work on the keel and improve the overall trim. And we will aim higher at the German Championship next year."
In the Bavaria group without spinnaker, the winner on his B33 had to fight harder. In the last race, Maaß had to give in to Albaran by Ralf SEELAND from Cologne, that only came second overall with one discard. Diamant, on the other hand, had discarded a premature start.
At the German Open of the J/24s, the final day brought three exciting races at fresh Westerlies. Three convincing starts and positions two, one and two again helped Hamburg's Jan KÄHLER to snatch the title away from Sweden's Max HÖLZER at the last minute. "After a win at the start of the regatta, we had two bad races with one disqualification",
explained Kähler, "now we are glad we had enough races to discard the two bad results."
He also thanked NRV race director Hans-Herbert HOFFMANN: "It was very well organized and we had very professional conditions."
The Swedish team of Max HÖLZER, however, were a little sad that they missed the title by only two points in the end, as they would just have liked so much "to beat the German phalanx for once". Sailing Planet from Malmö had started into this final day with a superior lead, but suffered from a streak of bad luck. Manfred KÖNIG'S Vitesse (Hamburg), too, fell back from rank three to five. "Bronze" went to Stefan KARSUNKE (also from Hamburg) with Gronau.
"We were spoiled by the weather, but also by the sailors"
, summarized Gunter PERSIEHL the "nine great days" at the ancora Marina in Neustadt. Last autumn, he had conceived the off-shore regatta week as the NRV Baltic Week and had found Rolex as one of the world's most renowned regatta partner as the title sponsor. "We will certainly have a next and also a third Rolex Baltic Week",
promised the NRV president, "one of next year's highlights will be the World Championship of the international dragon class."
It will again take place in August.