Today's press conference gave a good taste of what is to come at the ISAF Grade 2 12th Berlin Match Race which starts tomorrow, 31 October through until 2 November 2003.
Many photographers, journalists and camera teams showed up at the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee which together with the Berliner Yacht-Club is hosting this year's event. Great media interest was focused on Jochen SCHUEMANN (GER), team member of Alinghi, winner of the America's Cup, who commented that this event was a good reason to return to his home town. He was especially happy to announce that he will be competing once again with his former olympic crew Bahr/Borkowski, as they have not sailed a single race together since winning the Silver Medal in the Soling Class at the 2000 Olympic Regatta in Sydney.
Schuemann's main challenger for the next three days will be Jesper RADICH (DEN), who currently sits in third in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings, and Karol JABLONSKI (POL) who leads the rankings. Raddich came straight across from the Bermuda Gold Cup where he showed great performance and defeated the America´s Cup finalists Russell COUTTS (SUI) and Dean BARKER (NZL)
Competitors will race on H-Boats, which is a similar class to the former olympic Soling. "It feels like a culture shock sailing the H-Boat after beeing used to race on IACC yachts for so long."
Replying to the question of a 2007 America´s Cup Campaign, Radich replied that he is hoping for a Danish-Nordic campaign headded by the skipper Jesper BANK (DEN). Karol JABLONSKI who was hoping to put together a Polish campaign, commented that this project would not now come to fruitition.
With many of the world's top match racers in Berlin, none of the sailors wanted to pick a favourite for the title.
Jochen Schümann (GER)
Karol Jablonski (POL)
Jesper Radich Johansen (DEN)
Björn Hansen (SWE)
Mathieu Richard (FRA)
Staffan Lindberg (FIN)
Mikael Lindqvist (SWE)
Ian Williams (GBR)
Stefan Meister (GER)
Markus Wieser (GER)
Sven Erik Horsch (GER)
Hans-Jürgen Swoboda (GER)