Yesterday's strong easterly breeze built up to be even stronger today in the 44-mile middle distance offshore race of the ORCi World Championship, hosted by the Flensburger Segler Club (FSC), as the fleet withstood winds of 25-30 knots, gusting to near 40 knots.
Race managers kept the 55-boat fleet away from even stronger wind out in the Baltic by choosing a course that included a lap within the inner Flensburger Forde for shoreside observers to see first hand the spectacle of high-speed sailing as boat speeds reached and even exceeded 20 knots.
Benefiting from the high percentage of jib reaches and runs in this course, Dr. Friedrich Hausmann's lightweight Danish-built Rainbow 42 Uijuijui 4 (GER) won the 21-boat Alpha division by 14 seconds in corrected time over the series leader, Bohemia Express (CZE). UijUijui team members reported their highest boats speed at 20.5 knots
"We have an unusual boat which was designed and built in Denmark in 1988 for sailing around the islands there," said an exhausted but happy Hausmann. "We thought a few times about setting the spinnaker on the downwind legs, but every time we watched others try this and blow up their sails, we held off. The boat is so light and the mainsail so big, we couldn't even gybe properly in the strong breeze, so we had to tack every time. But it didn't seem to hurt us and we had a lot of fun going very fast."
At the last downwind turning mark near the town of Flensburg, UijUijui even caught and briefly passed the all-girls team who held the lead on the largest boat in the fleet, the DK46 Tutima, but got passed again on the final 3-mile beat to the finish off the shoreline at FSC. This race was weighted by 1.25 points in the series results.
A team who did outstandingly well for their size was the Ker 11.3 Daikin Airco (NED), who yesterday suffered a halyard lock failure in Race 1 but came back today to finish second in elapsed time and third in corrected time. The team reported downwind speeds in excess of 18 knots, with good rig set-up and sail trim credited for helping them keep fast and breakage-free in the fresh conditions.
In Beta division, Heiko Pasler's X-362 Sport Static Electric (GER) was fourth to finish but corrected to first place by the comparatively huge margin of 3:15 over Erik van Vuuren's Salona 37 Salona (NED) (who finished under storm trysail!), while Jurgen Klinghardt's X-332 Sport patent 3 in third was good enough to keep them in the lead in the series standings by 3.50 points.
Few boats escaped untouched by some level of damage today, ranging from two broken sails on Aasmund Drolsum's King 40 Magic (NOR) to a broken boom on Christian Plump's Rodman 42 Beluga Sailing Team (GER), but some managed to overcome adversity better than others and stay competitive. Among these was the 5-nationality team on Bohemia Express, who despite ripping the top of their mainsail coming into the final lap in the Flensburger Forde managed to get the sail down, repair the tear quickly, and re-hoist it and race the final 8 miles of the course and still correct to second place.
Impressive seamanship like this is why this team leads the Alpha division by 4 points over the Beluga Sailing Team, who also did remarkably well despite their broken boom, and who will be working into the night to repair it for tomorrow.
Further information, photos, results and documents for the 2010 ORCi World Championship can be found on the Flensburg Segel-Club website: http://www.fsc.de/regatten/orci-worlds-2010
Further information and documents for the 2010 ORCi World Championship can be found on the Flensburg Segel-Club website: www.fsc.de/regatten/orci-worlds-2010 .