Monday, April 14, 2014

Kiel YC Wins Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga I

J/70s sailing Deutsche Segel-bundesliga23 Teams Qualify for DSBL I & II
(Glucksburg, Germany)-  The second annual Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga (DSBL), hosted by Flensburg Sailing Club in Glucksburg, Germany from April 4th to 6th was a resounding success.  Sixty-one of the best sailing clubs in Germany sailed in fleets of J/70s and J/80s on an arm of the Baltic Sea directly across from Denmark (see  In the end, the team from Kieler YC skippered by Martin Menzner were crowned winners and, therefore, the early leaders in the season-long series.  Twenty-three teams in total qualified for the next round of sailing in the DSBL.  The weather conditions were challenging for all, with a storm on Friday and medium winds on Saturday and Sunday testing everyone’s skills to their physical and tactical limits.

J/70 bundesliga winnersThe event has taken on a massive scale like never before seen in the history of sailing in Germany.  The cooperation of the German Sailing Association, the German Offshore Sailing Association HANSA (DHH) and the local host clubs like Flensburg S.C. are providing a fantastic sailing experience for all sailors; young and old alike, women, children and experienced sailors (both professional and amateur).  Tellingly, one would not be able to say after this unique weekend, “that there was a better place and a more perfect organization that would have all parties onshore and on the water that they would want to go to," said Joachim Hellmich, a manager of Project DSBL GmbH.

Florian Weser, Vice-Chairman of the DSBL, summarized the numbers for the qualifying regatta, “with 61 sailing clubs participating, there were 244 sailors from all over Germany, over 85 volunteer helpers at the FSC and DHH, and 86 races were conducted over three days with 600 exchanges (team switches per boat) between the races. Astounding!”

The format has proven itself over the 2013 season.  The suspense and “roller coaster” emotions for the teams continues this year as everyone watches “live” results on “Jumbotrons” from race-to-race, seeing their team members climb or drop in the standings as they cross the finish line.

The five clubs who qualify for the “Premiere League” in the Bundesliga this year, are the Kieler YC, the Bodensee YC Überlingen, the Seglervereinigung Itzehoe, the Segelkameradschaft "Wappen von Bremen" and the Düsseldorf YC.

The KYC commented on their victory in the qualification series, "We are obviously delighted that we are now in the Premiere League here. Our goal was to qualify for the DSBL II Series and, hopefully, make it into the Championship. From now on we need to practice even more to stay atop the standings," said a relieved KYC helmsman Martin Menzner.

J/70 sailing in Germany"The start of the season was perfect: great organization by the Flensburg Sailing Club and the German Offshore Association HANSA, enthusiastic participants and sailing at the highest level that the league format has provided for the sailors. We look forward to the upcoming season and the start of the first Premier League from 16 to 18 May at the Bavarian Yacht Club on Lake Starnberg," said Oliver Schwall, founder and CEO of the German DSBL Gmbh. Qualifying in the top three for Bundesliga II series were the Segel-Club Bayer Uerdingen, the Hamburg Sailing Club and Munich YC.

The first day of qualifying was spectacular. The organizers had to contend with a stormy wind forecast and some boat damage. After the first fourteen races in the Segel-Club Bayer Uerdingen from Krefeld was leading with Lennart Luttkus, Hendrik Coers, Holger Blumenkamp and Thomas Schubert as crew.

After the first grueling day of racing with a lot of crew and boat errors, the second day had very pleasant sailing conditions with moderate winds; good enough in fact to get in 39 races!  At this point, it was becoming evident the Kiel YC crew were both sailing confidently and with few mistakes, leading at the end of the day.  From that position, the third day of benign sailing conditions enabled the KYC crew to sail away from the series on Sunday.  Their crew of Martin Menzner, Mikael Rolfs, Frank Lichte and Julian Ramm are now the “team to beat” in the upcoming series on Lake Starnberg.   Sailing photos and commentary on Facebook  For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information