Jochen SCHÜMANN will celebrate his comeback in German waters after an absence of about two and a half years. Alinghi´s Director of Sports is regarded as one of the pre-race favourites of this year´s Match Race Germany.
This regatta is Germany´s one and only ISAF Grade 1 Matchrace event and part of the international Swedish Match Tour.
Says Schümann, "I am really looking forward to some exciting action on Lake Constance. It will be some kind of double home game for me, as Lake Constance does not only represent Germany but also my second home Switzerland. That is one reason why we felt that we simply have to compete in Match Race Germany."
It is three years ago that Schümann last competed in Match Race Germany and made it to the final where he was beaten by local hero Markus WIESER. It´s time for revenge as Wieser, a former number three in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, will also be back on Lake Constance.
Schümann´s crew includes Swiss sailors Nils FREI and Yves DETREY. Says Schümann, "obviously we want to hold up the Swiss flagg. Also we know that this event is very well organised by the Magg family and their partners."
Still, Schümann does not consider himself to be one of the top favorites after his long-term absence from the circuit, "we think it is a perfect training for us and will enter the races as relaxed as always. I havn´t been sailing on small boats like these for a few years."
And how about his memory regarding the conditions on Lake Constance? Schümann smiles, "can you ever know all about Lake Constance? We hope to have good wheather and we look forward to some spectacular racing."
Maybe Schümann´s presence also does allow some of the Tour´s top sailors to present themselves from their best side. Alinghi right now is in a process of sifting through some new talents for their high profile team. Rumour has it that the Swiss are also looking for a young and extraordinary talented helmsmen to build up their team for the future.
How about the young and extremely succesful Danes? Jes GRAM-HANSEN (third in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings) and Jesper RADICH (DEN) have worked themselves through the rankings right up to the top. A victory against Schümann would probably make a very good impression.
In total there will be twelve teams from eight nations to fight for prestige, prize money and important points for both the Swedish Match Tour Rankings and the ISAF World Match Race Rankings.
The complete list of competitors: Jochen SCHÜMANN (Switzerland), Jesper RADICH (Denmark), Jes GRAM-HANSEN (Denmark), Ed BAIRD (USA), Chris LAW (GBR), Luc PILLOT (France), Henrik JENSEN (Denmark), Staffan LINDBERG (Finland), Mattias RAHM (Sweden), Mikael LINDQUIST (Sweden), Markus WIESER (Germany), Andreas WILLIM (Germany).
Match Race Germany will be sailed on small keelboats named Diamant 2000. The organising team of Eberhard Magg (Speedwave Rudi Magg) do not only offer spectacular sailing maneuvres to watch on the water but also all sorts of action off the water.
In the middle of the famous triangle where the three countries of Germany, Switzerland an Austria meet, the organisers expect around 20.000 spectators over the long weekend of Whitsun holidays. Match Race Germany represents the only German tour stop of the highly porfessional Swedish Match Tour, that offers a total purse of around 200.000 Euros to it´s very best competitors.