(Tutzing, Germany)- The newly founded German Sailing League (Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga) completed their inaugural regatta on the Starnberger See, hosted by the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club off Tutzing located on a spectacular lake in southern Germany- a lake that is up to 3 nm wide and 12 nm long oriented north and south. The Starnberger See is surrounded by the foothills of the Austrian and Bavarian Alps to the south, and just about an hour's drive from the famous ski resorts of Innsbruck, Austria.
The idea for the event is a simple one: gather together eighteen of the best sailing clubs in Germany sailed by their best sailors and provide them a nationwide competition for an entire sailing season in one-design J/70s at five fabulous sailing venues. The matched fleet of six J/70s would be used in a round-robin format so that all eighteen teams could sail an equal number of races over a three day regatta based right on the waterfront. After starting in Tutzing's Starnberger See, the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga next sails in Travemunde on the Baltic (July 19-21), then Hamburg's Alster Lake (August 30- September 1st), then Friedrichshafen's Bodensee (September 27-29) and concludes on Berlin's Wansee (November 8-10). The event was founded by sports marketing agency Concept Shipyard, led by Benjamin Jeuthe and Oliver Schwall-- their hope is "the Bundesliga is supposed to be the highest level of performance sailing on a national basis for those sailing at club level." Their colleague from the Württemberg YC and an Olympic Sailing Gold Medalist in 1976, Dr. Eckart Dietsch, adds: "The Bundesliga is a wonderful opportunity for our WYC members to participate in an event of national prominence with Germany's best sailors. I am convinced that the format has a future, because it is independent of age and generations. "
As it turns out, their vision for a national sailing league has hundreds of enthusiastic supporters throughout Germany. None other than one of Germany's most famous sailing stars, Jochen Schuman, appeared at the first showdown for the 18 sailing clubs and won with his team from Yacht Club Berlin-Grunau. But their victory was not secure until all the teams had completed their last set of races! In the end, the team of Jochen Schumann, Reinhard Hübner, Oliver Freiheit and Philipp Leo took the gold. "For the Bundesliga and the YCBG it's a perfect start. We have quickly come together as a team and we just try to avoid mistakes," said helmsman Schumann, who also celebrated his 59th birthday during the regatta!
In the second place after finishing the last of the 36 races (twelve each per team) was the Deutscher Touring Yacht-Club. Skipper Maximilian White sailed with crew Anna Seidel, Jonas Vogt and Michael Tarabochia. "It's a great experience to match one-on-one against Jochen Schumann. We are very pleased that we managed to get second place," said the Maximilian. They managed to win a tie-breaker to take second with 27 net pots after twelve races!
Finishing third, losing the tie-breaker, was the Württemberg Yacht Club with skipper Stefanie Rothweiler- a two-time German Olympic sailor. Her crew on the J/70 included Thomas Stemmer, Felix Dietsch and Klaus Dietsch. "It was a really cool race. Great to see how our team sailed better from race to race. In the end, it was great to sail against the other clubs - not just against other people," said Stefanie.
All sailors expressed tremendous enthusiasm for the regatta format and the short races in front of the audience along the shore. The regatta even had the famous Maike Christiansen- top German women racer, boardsailor and kiter sailing for her home team of Mühlenberger Segel.
About 200 spectators watched the spectacle of the racing hosted by the German Touring Yacht Club. Even the wind and weather were simply fabulous- a constant, slight to moderate wind and sun allowed the RC PRO Wolfgang Stückl to run the full program of 36 races! Sailing photo credits- Nils Bergmann Find more info and sailing friends on Facebook/ Deutsche Bundesliga For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information