Monday, May 26, 2014

Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga Starts With Three-Way Tie!

J/70s sailing Deutsche Segel-BundesligaNorddeutscher RV Win The Tie-Breaker
(Starnberg, Germany)- After an intense qualification regatta a few weeks back, eighteen clubs participated in the Bundesliga season opener on Lake Starnberg at the Bayerischer Yacht Club. The thirteen sailing clubs that qualified from the first season in 2013 were joined by five “newcomers” that had qualified in early April- Bodensee Yacht Club Überlingen, Düsseldorf Yacht Club, Kieler Yacht Club, the S.C.”Wappen von Bremen" and the Seglervereinigung Itzehoe.

Prior to the start of the regatta, Ilya Wolf (BYC team manager) said, "Our team is perfectly prepared. We are looking forward to the coming weekend and are proud host of this event. We are very excited about participating with the Segel-Bundesliga. It is a very good opportunity for our young sailors and a great way to promote sailing to everyone."

J/70s sailing off Starnberger, GermanyRecognizing the importance of this season long series that culminates with the Finale in Hamburg, many clubs pulled out all the stops to get their top sailors to hop aboard the teams as either crew or skippers.  Among the most prominent sailors in Starnberg were four German Olympians. Sailing for Württemberg Yacht Club was Stefanie Rothweiler (two-time Olympic 470s); sailing for Wansee was Ulrike Schumann (Olympics in Ynglings); and Kristin Wagner (Olympic Yngling) and Patrick Follmann (Olympian 470) were both sailing for Deutscher Touring YC.

With so much talent and tactical horsepower aboard the various boats, the racing was going to be close.  In fact, far closer than anyone could have imagined!  After the first day of sailing, three teams were tied on points- Bayerischer YC, Deutsche Touring YC and Flensburg SC! Lots of sunshine and light 7 kt winds greeted the fleet, enough to get in seven races.  "The weather conditions were not optimal. In fact, it was often difficult.  But, we are extremely pleased and excited that we were able to get a good start in the new season on home turf," concluded Christian Schäfer, helmsman of the BYC boat.

J/70 youth sailors - Sailing in GermanyThe second day offered sailing at its best. Starting out with a bit of rainy weather, by afternoon, the weather had cleared and the good breezes enabled twenty-four races to be sailed! The defending champions, Norddeutscher RV, had an impressive day of sailing.   "The field is so close and tight that a single mistake is sufficient to be passed from the very front to the very back of the pack. With good starts and safe maneuvers, we were able to stay up front most of the time. Our goal is the top three," stated Florian Weser from the NRV team.  In fact, after Saturday’s racing, they did much better than that; Team NRV was leading after ten races.  Following them were Wannsee in second, Deutscher Touring YC in third and Konstanzer YC in fourth.

After Sunday’s sailing, only 39 of the 45 scheduled races were completed, 13 for each club.  In the end, the defending Segel-Bundesliga 2013 champions, Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, took first place overall by breaking the tie-breaker with seven race wins over their competitors.  The other two teams tied on 44 pts each were Verein am Wannsee and Deutscher Touring YC, taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.

"For us it was a roller-coaster of emotions. The quality of sailors and the competition were extremely high. All in all, we really sailed well and look forward to enjoying our first win," commented NRV teammate Carsten Kemmling.

Second-placed VSaW Team manager Ulrike Schumann said, "After the bad start, we pressed the reset button and then it all ran much smoother. We want to win this year, that's our goal!"

Next stop on the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga is July 19-21 as part of Travemünde Sailing Week on the Baltic Sea.  Remember, all races are broadcast via “live stream” on the Internet, so thousands of sailing enthusiasts in Germany and around the world can watch it “live” on the water.   Sailing photo credits- DSBL/ Lars Wehrmann    Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing video:   Day One    Day Two   Day Three   For more Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing information