Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hamburgers Masters Of J/70 Segel-Bundesliga!

J/70 sailing Deutsche Segel-bundesliga- Tutzing, Germany (Berlin, Germany)- What began as a dream and passion to grow sailing across Germany became, for even the most diehard detractors, one of the most successful sailing projects ever launched in European sailing history.  Some may point to the Extreme 40 catamaran sailing series or RC-44 one-design series as examples of how to grow participation in sailing amongst the elite of the sailing world.  However, no one has demonstrated, until this year, how to grow sailing at a grass-roots level that was “all-inclusive” and fun!  Perhaps more importantly, make it a remarkable learning experience with many of Europe’s best sailors participating (e.g. Olympic Medallists and World Champions) and get everyone cheering enthusiastically for their respective sailing clubs to win!  That was the secret of the inaugural J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing series held in five locations across Germany this past summer.

The exciting conclusion of the series on Berlin’s Wansee saw a bunch of northern “Hamburgers” trounce their “southern” friends from Berlin and points south in Germany.  And in the end, the eighteen sailing clubs/ yacht clubs and hundreds of sailors that participated from across Germany were all the real winners; each club saw tremendous interest grow in the event all summer long with many wishing to participate the next time around!

The finale on the Wansee took place in about as picturesque and dramatic a city lake-front as anyone could imagine.  It served as tremendous theater for the finalists to battle for not just the Berliner regatta honors, but the overall series honors as well.

J/70 sailing downwind on German lakes- Deutsche Segel-bundesligaThe Berlin/ Wansee regatta saw tough competition, especially from the host club sailors that demonstrated excellent local knowledge of the tricky wind conditions.  Indeed, the first two places went to the locals, with the Schweriner YC team comprised of Ingo Koehn, Torsten Haverland, Lars Haverland and Uwe Thielemann winning an impressive series with seven finishes in the top three! They were followed by their colleagues at Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee with the team of Malte Kamrath, Ulrike Schumann, Frithjof Kleen and Nils Schröder.  Taking third was Lindauer Segler-Club, fourth was Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and fifth was Muhlenberger Segel-Club.

J/70 winning NRV sailing team- GermanyAs a result of their fourth place finish in the Berlin/Wansee Regatta, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) team from Hamburg were declared the overall winners of the inaugural Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga series!  The NRV team that consisted of Johannes Polgar, Florian Spalteholz, Klaas Höpcke and Niklas of Meyerinck sailed a remarkably consistent series over the course of the five regattas, consistently finishing in the top five—  (Tutzing- 5th, Travemunde- 2nd, Hamburg- 1st, Friedrichshafen- 4th, Berlin- 5th). Their skipper, Johannes Polgar, said “we could hardly believe our luck! It was a crazy season for us! Fantastic that we were able to bring the trophy to our friends and members in Hamburg!”

Behind NRV in the overall standings and taking second prize for the series were the Wurttembergischer YC team. While sailing fast and smart in Tutzing (4th), Travemunde (5th) and Friedrichshafen (1st), their team members didn’t quite hit the ground running in championship form in Hamburg (7th) and in the Berliner finale (9th).

J/70s sailing on Wansee in Berlin, GermanyThe biggest battle happened to be for the final position on the podium for the series with at least four teams  vying for the coveted bronze medal.  By sailing their hearts out in Berlin, the local favorites (Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee with skipper Malte Kamrath), rode their second place onto podium by a whisker!  The VSaW team started the series slowly in Tutzing, but closed with a flourish at Friedrichshafen (2nd) and Berlin (2nd) to claim the bronze for the overall series.

The balance of the top five were quite close, finishing just two and three points behind VSaW, respectively.  After starting the series quite strongly - Tutzing (1st), Travemunde (3rd), Hamburg (3rd)- the proverbial “wheels fell of the silverware shopping trolley” for YC Berlin-Grunau’s team.  The last two events for YC B-G were tough pills to swallow, having to count the Friedrichshafen (9th) and Berlin (12th) to finish fourth.  Just one point back was the very consistent team from Chiemsee YC, counting a Hamburg (2nd), a 5th and three 6th places to hang in for fifth overall.

After five months, it is quite clear the concept of the first Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga has been a great success. The acceptance of the first nation-wide club competition in Germany is very high amongst the sailing community. The five events that were held in the first year were dominated by local patriotism, passion, camaraderie and fairness between the sailors. So far, there are now more than 30 other clubs that are interested in participating for the 2014 sailing season!

Many happy memories were recorded for all of the sailors, the organizers, sponsors and the host clubs.  Below are the links to the photos and some nice sailing videos for each one of the events.

June 7-9- Tutzing/ Starnberger See

July 19-21- Travemunde
Day 2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfhhFYNsXTU
Day 3- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Wikkt8jGk

August 30— September 1- Hamburg
Day 1- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u974BNOD0H8
Day 2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyZKlCmAuqg
Day 3- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u974BNOD0H8

September 27-29- Friedrichshafen

November 8-10- Berlin finale

For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information