Monday, September 1, 2014

YCBG Team Triumphs @ J/70 Bundesliga

J/70s sailing Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga in Berlin, Germany (Berlin, Germany)- This past week, the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailed its third Act on the beautiful Wansee Lakes of Berlin, Germany.  The YC Berlin-Grünau with Jochen Schümann was the winner, just two points ahead of the Norddeutsche Regatta Verein (NRV) from Hamburg with Johannes Polgar as skipper.  The Deutsche Touring YC of Lake Starnberg with Julian Stückl as team leader finished third.

The very close total scores of the Berlin event reflects the “high voltage” competition that was palpable until the last race on the Wannsee. As a result of Schumann’s YCBG taking to top score, it prevented the first “hat trick” by any club in the series.  Nevertheless, Hamburg’s NRV team second place put them firmly in the lead on the overall series leader table with a five pts lead.

J/70 sailing German sailing leagueThe Wansee provided many exciting races in ultra-difficult sailing conditions. The wind shifted a lot, in fact providing “tornado-like” swirling puffs and driving many of the top sailors wild with Mother Nature’s “mind games”— everyone trying to out-guess one another how it would shift or fill in next (perhaps a bit like the famous “Mystical Lake” at Tufts University in Boston, MA!).

Before the last of the 45 races - 15 for each club - it was really dramatic. The situation came to a head in a three-way battle between the YC Berlin-Grunau, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and the Deutsche Touring YC (Tutzing). In the end, the most experienced team led by YCBG skipper Jochen Schumann and their team of Ingo Borkowski, Gunnar Bahr and Erik Powilleit prevailed against their competition by scoring a 2nd in the last race to win by two pts overall!

Jochen Schumann sailing for YC Berlin-Grunau"We wanted a small yacht club to go out and beat the big clubs, and we did that. Despite fewer training opportunities, you can sail with a good team and get consistent performances in the front of the fleet. I hope it remains so exciting,” said Jochen Schumann at the awards ceremony. With the victory, the club from Germany’s capital city Berlin improved by two places to sixth in the overall series standings.

The Deutsche Touring YC took third for the third time in a row in Berlin and, as a result, remain in second overall in the League standings. "We want to consolidate our position in the series and see if it finally goes forward at the next regatta in Kiel," said helmsman Julian Stückl- his team included Patrick Follmann, Phillip Blinn and Luis Tarabochia in Berlin.

The win for Schumann and crew at YCBG did not come easy.  In fact, after the first four races on the first day they were lying in 8th place!  In the twelve races sailed on day one, there were eight winners. The leading trio was Württemberg YC, the Deutsche Touring YC and Kieler YC and the overall series leader NRV was nowhere close to the podium!

J/70 family sailing German sailing leagueAll teams completed the day with four races and for the two clubs from the south it ran very smoothly.  The 2nd place team in the 2013 Lake Constance event, the Württemberg YC (WYC), took two 1sts and two 2nds to lead the fleet- the team of Stefanie Rothweiler, Felix Diesch, Marvin Frisch and Christian Severens simply did not miss a beat, nor a windshift! Close behind in second place with three 2nds and a 1st was the DTYC team of Julian Stückl, Patrick Follmann, Phillip Blinn and Luis Tarabochia. Third at the time with two 1sts a 3rd and 4th was the Kieler Yacht-Club with the crew of Sönke Boy, Oliver Studnitz, Sinje Haasler and Thorben Nowak.

At the end of the first day, a clear favorite could not be determined, especially with eight different teams winning races out of twelve total!  The big surprise was the crew struggling aboard YCBG— Jochen Schumann’s team of Ingo Borkowski, Gunnar Bahr and Erik Powilleit could not win a single race for the Yacht Club Berlin-Grunau. The triple Olympic champion and his crew found themselves in eighth place, in fact, finishing last in their first race!  A humble opening gambit for what many thought were going to be the top team all weekend long!

J/70 sailors celebrate with Willy KuhweideThat evening, the German sailors celebrated the 50th anniversary of Willy Kuhweide’s victory at the 1964 Olympic games in Tokyo. The guest of honor traveled all the way from the USA and was enthusiastic about the J/70 Segel-Bundesliga format: "German Sailing has experienced a real boom in recent years, which is also due to the fantastic development of the J/70 Segel-Bundesliga. This is great!”

The second day of racing marked the brilliant comeback of YCBG’s team led by Jochen Schumann.  After sailing 29 of 45 total races, Schumann’s team rapidly ascended the leaderboard after compiling three 1sts and three 2nds to take the regatta lead.  They were followed by defending regatta champions DTYC in second and Kieler YC in third.  While YCBG staged an epic comeback, so did DTYC, by pulling themselves up by their collective “bootstraps” and keeping themselves in contention with a 1-1-2-4-4. "The DTYC has sailed from a hopeless situation again and again to the front and to maintain consistent scores,” commented Andreas Buchert.

J/70 video interviewOn Saturday evening, there was the premiere of “Sailor Talk" from leading sailors involved in the German Bundesliga sailing with presenter Matthias Bohn. Included were Janika Puls from Lubecker YC, Andreas Buchert from Bodensee Yachtclub Überlingen and Heiko Winkler from Schwerin Yacht Club.  Here is the discussion (in German)-

The fourth regatta in the J/70 Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga series will be sailed from 5-7 September, on the inner fjord in Kiel, Germany in just two weeks!
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