Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen (NED) lead fleet as Worlds go into final stages.
Yesterday saw the Formula 18 World Championship fleet divided into a Gold and Silver Fleet, with at least another six races minimum to be run before the awarding of the Formula 18 World Championship title. Three races are scheduled for today. Currently still in the lead are Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen, sailing for the Netherlands. With first place in the preliminaries, one first (Race 11), two seconds, and one eighth place deleted (Race 1), they hold on to first place with six points. Mitch Booth smiled when asked about his chances of winning the title: "I'm starting to feel a bit old for four races a day, but the chances of us keeping things up to par for three is pretty good."
In second place are Jean-Christophe Mourniac and Franck Citeau (FRA), who sailed with a US 200 sail, since their own was destroyed earlier in the week on the day of the storm. Deleting a fifth (last race), the French team go into today's racing with 10 points. Things are not looking so good for the Sach brothers. "During the second race, we had a problem with our self-tacking jib and capsized," Christian Sach (GER) said, looking very disappointed at the fact that he and his brother were not able to complete the second race of the day. They came in fifth for the first race, third in the second, and the last race of the day got them eleventh place. After deleting one score, they are now currently at eighth place. The Olympic medallists who took silver in Sydney also failed to complete one race, but the chances that Darren Bundock / Luca Remagnino (AUS) might take the title are also pretty good. Taking a first in the next race, they proved that they are not out of the ring yet. They took a sixth and a third, and adding the fourth from the preliminaries, this brings them to a total of 14 points.
With three of the top favourites on the "Alpha" course in the Lübecker Bay today, the race was on for the Olympic Tornado class. Tomorrow is the final day for all the catamaran classes, but in about four weeks the Tornado World Championship, which is also the first qualification regatta for the 2002 Olympic Games, will get underway in the USA. Nine races have already been run, and currently in the lead are ex-Laser sailors Andrey Kirilyuk / Valery Ushkov (RUS) with 13 points. These two have only been sailing together since last August. Kirilyuk was Laser World Champion in 1996, took the silver medal in Laser Radial Championship, and then switched to Soling. In this class he took second place in the World Championships, and took part in the Olympic Games 2000. Together with Ushkov, he only managed to come in 14th place at the Europeans this year, but it is important to bear in mind that their boat was eleven years old. Here in Travemünde, they have been sailing on their brand new boat - the same one that helped them take second place in Warnemünde, right after Landenberger / Polgar (GER).
Johannes Polgar is pleased with the way things have worked out: "Tomorrow we'll be heading out to sail three races. We're just getting warmed up, and know we can do it!" At the end of the last two days of racing, Polgar and Andrew Landenberger (GER), who took silver for Australia in the Olympic Games in 1996 in Tornado, came in first. Currently they have 15 points. Polgar, who took fourth place at the Europeans and at the World Championship in 2001, considers Peder Ronhold, who used to race Laser, and Soren Schmidt Jo (DEN) to be tough competition here at the Travemünder Woche.
Again today in an A Cat David McKenzie (AUS) showed his stuff on the "Alpha" course, with four firsts! Jörg Horn (GER) currently has a total of 17 points.
The Melges 24 Championship starts on July 29, and of the eighty crews participating, already 23 have tested the waters in the first three runs of their tune-up races, which will be held for two days. Silvio Santoni (ITA) and crew crossed the finish line third today (Race 1), and second (Race 2). This earned him five points. Skipper Olivier Ponthieu (FRA) and crew are second with eight points, and in third place are currently Mario Zilliani (ITA) and crew. Harry Melges' team - which includes Tony Kolb (GER) who won this year's Volvo Ocean Race as a part of the illbruck crew - only sailed one race today. During Race 1, they came in fourth, but then didn't finish the second race and passed on sailing the third. Tony Kolb thinks Great Britain has the best chances of winning the title: "The waters are fairly difficult to sail, and today, due to the rain, the wind was constantly changing. Racing was good, though." Tomorrow, the tune-up races will head into day two, and on Monday July 29 at 11:00, the start gun will be fired off the coast of Brodten. On Saturday July 27 2002 from 18:00 - 18:15 Tony Kolb will be a guest commentator on the main stage, where the Norddeutsche Rundfunk and the Lübecker Nachrichten have been reporting live every day.
The very last Match Races will be held right off the shore of Travemünde on Friday. Philipp Kadelbach and Kristina Klein (GER), as well as Jan Hamester and Frank Sothmann (GER) have made it to the semi-finals, and will be competing against each other. These two teams are equally strong, and it will be exciting to watch the outcome.
To see the results of all classes, and the lists of the participants that have not yet begun racing, please visit out homepage. There you will find plenty of additional info as well. Please go to www.travemuender-woche.de.