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12 May 2005, 12:04 pm
No Substitute For Consistency
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Melges 24 Liros German Open 2005
Lake Starnberg, Germany

15 boats were at the starting line on Lake Starnberg, Germany for the 5th German Open Melges 24, this year sponsored by LIROS, which took place from the 5-7 May.
The initial weather report was mixed with cloudy skies and some rain-showers forecast but with the wind-report promising increasing winds from the westerly sector blowing at 10-25 knots. Both forecasts proved to be true.

The first race was started at 1330 hours local time in a 10-12 knots breeze and was won by last year's champions on Challenge 2 helmed by Christof NIELSEN (GER). NIELSEN had just arrived from the Antigua Sailing Week where he also won in his boat's category. Second place was taken by Speedy-Ultrasun helmed by the class secretary Günter TZESCHLOCK (GER), with third place going to local crew Firitz helmed by Christian VON DRATHEN (GER).

Race two took place in strengthening winds rising to 15 knots. Lady Bones, helmed by Andy VINCON (GER), took line honours after tough fight with NIELSEN and TZESCHLOCK.

The following day saw part two of the weather forecast coming true with the wind increasing to a steady 15 knots and some rain-showers covering the sky. Three closely fought races were sailed.

NIELSEN was again in good shape and won race three in front of Michael GOOD (SUI) on Aile. Third place went to VINCON. VINCON put in an excellent performance in race four finishing first, in second place was GOOD once again, with third going to local Manfed HÄNLE (GER) on Fefra. GOOD went one better in race five to take a narrow victory over TZESCHLOCK with VON DRATHEN in third.

Before the final race on Saturday, four crews, helmed by NIELSEN, TZESCHLOCK, GOOD and VINCON, were separated by less than four points and all of them could win the event.

On Saturday wind speeds of 18-25 knots and a partly cloudy sky meant there were perfect conditions for the show down of the German Open 2005. The lead on the water changed several times. The first on the weather mark was TZESCHLOCK closely followed by the other boats but he lost the lead on the downwind leg. HÄNLE took the lead briefly before losing it on the second upwind to VINCON closely followed by GOOD.

The next upwind leg brought the top three even closer together, with VINCON still in the lead followed by TZESCHLOCK, after he had recovered from a big loss on the first downwind, with GOOD on their heels in third. On the last downwind leg the positions remained the same leaving the final upwind leg to decide the championship. VINCON hung on to his lead, GOOD moved up into second relegating TZESCHLOCK to third.

Victory in the final race gave VINCON and his crew four bullets and a third. However, they suffered from problems in races one and five, where they finished eleventh and ninth respectively, which ultimately was too great a hurdle to their title ambitions. In the end they took third place overall.

Overall victory went to the more consistent Swiss Crew of Katharina HANHART, Barbara KÖPFER, Elmar GRAF and Michael HERRMANN racing with GOOD, who finished three points clear of NIELSEN at the top.


Pos Nation Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1 SUI Michael GOOD (4) 4 2 2 1 2 11
2 GER Christof NIELSEN 1 2 1 6 (8) 4 14
3 GER Andy VINCON (11) 1 3 1 9 1 15
4 GER Günter TZESCHLOCK 2 3 (6) 5 2 3 15
5 GER Christian v. DRATHEN 3 5 (10) 4 3 8 23
Günter Tzeschlock (As Amended By ISAF). Image, There was plenty of action in the Melges 24 last weekend in Germany:©
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