505 Worlds title to be decided in final race thriller

Published on August 21st, 2014

Kiel, Germany (August 21, 2014) – The penultimate day at the SAP 505 World Championship narrowed the rank at top, but Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel (USA) remain on top after posting a 4-22 in the 153-boat fleet. With only one final race to be held on Friday, their lead is only two points ahead of their training partners, the British duo of Andy Smith and Tim Needham, with Australians Peter Nicholas/ Luke Payne just 3 points further back. Event websiteResults

Additional report by event media…
After a day of whacky races at the SAP 505 World Championship somehow Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel have managed to cling on to a slender 2-point lead in Kiel, Germany. In the first, medium-airs race it was the up and coming Aussies, Pete Nicholas and Luke Payne, who once again demonstrated an uncanny knack of sniffing out the tricky breeze and ploughed a lonely furrow out on the left-hand side of the track.

“We’re going fast in the 12-18 knot wind range, and we backed ourselves to find something good on the left,” said Payne. The Australians, professional sailors who compete on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, did indeed hook into some good breeze to round the first mark in the lead. Even with the five-time World Champion Wolfgang Hunger and Julien Kleiner in hot pursuit, the Australians held their nerve and their lead to the finish, with the Germans in 2nd place.

Perhaps this would be the moment when Dr Hunger would start to turn the momentum of this regatta on home waters in his favour. However, the wind had other ideas. The first start of the second race had to be abandoned after a massive windshift led to a British boat crashing into the pathfinder, ruining the starting procedure. When the race got underway again, the wind was light ­ around 7 to 9 knots ­ and the 2013 World Champions Claas Lehmann and Leon Oehme were only too keen to get racing in their favourite wind strength. They started early out of the gate and took the early lead, with another light-airs team and fellow Germans, Meike Schomaker and Holger Jess, not far behind.

Hunger was ruing some missed opportunities today. “We started late on the right and missed the windshift on the left. Now we have to hope to sail well tomorrow, but it is looking good for the Americans and British.” Fellow Germans and last year’s runners up, Stefan Bohm and Gerald Roos are still in the mix, along with the Aussies who lie in 3rd place overall, 5 points off the lead. The forecast is saying it will be medium winds of 12 to 15 knots from the north-west, which is just what the Australians will be hoping for in their bid to topple the Americans and Brits ahead of them.

The final race is scheduled to start at 12pm on Friday, with a live broadcast of all the action starting at 11.45!

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