Titles Earned at ORC World Championships
Published on July 23rd, 2016
Copenhagen, Denmark (July 23, 2016) – After an initial delay this morning due to no wind that threatened to keep everyone ashore like yesterday, a light southerly arose just in time to get one last race in for all three classes on the concluding day of the 2016 ORC World Championship, hosted by the Royal Danish YC and Egaa Sailing Club. Conditions remained at a light 6-8 knots, but this was enough to determine the new champions and podium finalists in all three classes.
Due to its course location further north away from the southerly, Class A was delayed in leaving the harbor a little longer than Classes B and C, which kept them to only one race for the day – if they were able to get in two, then a discard of an inshore race could have applied to the scores of the 14 boats in this class.
Yet even with a discard it would have been hard to affect the class leader since Vadim Yakimenko’s TP 52 Freccia Rossa had a substantial lead in points, so she and her team are crowned the new Class A ORC World Champions. Sailing with Yakimenko was the French-Russian team of Guillaume Berenger, Frederic Brousse, Benjamin Enon, Francois Doguet, Jean-Philippe Gallois, Sergei Mamotov, Mikael Mergui, Christian Ponthieu, Cedric Pouligny, Mikhail Semenov, Augustin Vendenhove, Francois Verdier and Amil Yudaev.
This is the third ORC World Championship won by this boat, who as Enfant Terrible in 2014 in Kiel and last year in Barcelona the Class A crown was won by previous owner Alberto Rossi. “We bought this boat just one month ago,” said Mikael Mergui of Freccia Rossa. “For the last few weeks we had to transport the boat here and commission her, and fortunately everything came together perfectly. We have been getting better and better every day, and this was a great week for the team.”
As for the identity of a boat with ITA sail numbers but crew members from throughout Europe, Yakimenko’s preference was “that our boat represent where we all truly are: Europe!”
Silver medals and the top Corinthian prize goes to the Danish team on Erik Berth’s Swan 45SD Tarok VII, whose 5th place today was good enough to overtake Frederik Alexandersson’s Swan 45 Stell, who with an 8th place today dropped his Swedish team back to the Bronze medal position. The racing was tight in this class today: 2nd through 8th places was determined within only 2:16 in corrected time.
The situation in Class B was similar to Class A: a leader who could not be caught without a catastrophe, but for the remaining podium positions there would be a hard fight. Claus Landmark and his mostly Norwegian team on his Mills-designed Landmark 43 Santa needed just to have a finish today that was no worse than her worse score to claim victory, and she did that and more with a solid first place today. Winning Gold medals with Claus are his crew of Calle Andersen, Geir Begby, Erik Brunborg, Henrik Dahl, Catharina Froste, Petter Hagelund, Morten Henrickson, Christoffer Jakobsen, Cecillia Jansson, Lars Landmark, and Stian Tonnesen.
“We are of course very happy – not only with the results but with the regatta overall,” said Landmark. “Sailing is a complicated sport comprised of many components but we won today because of our team and good boat handling. We didn’t make a single mistake despite being a team of old and new crewmembers, but we will sail together again going forward for sure.”
“It made a strategic difference having a local on board. The conditions out there were very tricky with shifting winds and a current coming from two directions – and Morten (Henriksen) is just a world-class tactician, who knows these waters very well. That made a difference today.”
Going into today Aaro Cantell’s X-41 Normet from Finland was comfortably in second, and Mati Sepp on his modified X-41 Premium in third, but only by 0.5 points. But a disastrous 26th for Premium forced her out off the podium position into fifth, while even with a 22nd today Peter Beck Mikkelsen’s First 40 Arxes-Tolina BM Yachting from Germany managed to squeeze up to earn Bronze by 2.5 points over Peter Buhl’s Swan 42 Sirena, who finished as the top Corinthian finisher in Class B.
The most exciting race of the day was the showdown between Jascha Bach’s Italia 9.98 Bachyachting Racing Team and Michael Mollmann’s X-37 Hansen. The two were separated by only 0.5 points in the standings, and third-placed boat in the class – Patrik Forsgrens’s modified Beneteau 36.7 Pro4U/Malin from Sweden – was 14.5 points back, so both teams knew this was going to be a fight. And in the light conditions, the larger Hansen rates about 15 sec/mi faster than the smaller Bachyachting…so, if Hansen were to finish ahead, they could still be defeated in corrected time if Bachyachting finished within about 1.2 minutes on the 4.8-mile course.
And sure enough, in the first pre-start the two were locked in combat, circling near the signal boat then breaking away towards the middle of the line with a minute to go, Bachyachting to windward and Hansen to leeward. Bachyachting then got in trouble with another boat rolling over her and forcing her to tack, but a General Recall saved them from what was looking to be a very mediocre start.
In the second Black Flag prestart the tactics changed, and with tactician Roberto Spata’s guidance Bachyachting now attacked Hansen in classic match race dial-ups near the pin end of the start line, well away from the crowd, and succeeded in getting a better start with speed at the line. Hansen took the left and Bachyachting took the right, which with clear air and a little more pressure paid off and gave them a healthy lead at the top mark, which extended slightly throughout the rest of the race.
“We carefully sketched a plan to attack the Danish boat in the start and not wait for him,” said Spata. “We knew it was a matter of a half point and hence the start was crucial. It was a victory of the group. Our boat-handling was superb today.
“It’s the first time I sail with this team and the collaboration has been fantastic. We’ve fine-tuned the boat throughout the regatta and the results have been fantastic. We didn’t know what to expect though, this fleet has been extremely competitive, so we are very proud to have won.”
Neither team knew this until the scores were revealed, but Hansen was actually pushed over the line at the second start, so earned a BFD on her scorecard. It turns out that both teams had sufficient leads that both could have had BFD’s and had the same results. And by steering clear of trouble, Pro4U/Malin earned both Bronze medals and the top Corinthian prize for Class C.
Joining Bach and Spata on the crew of the new Class C World Champion was Coen Bouhuijs, Douwe Broekens, Gerwin Jansen, Maurizio Loberto, Joan Navarro, Matteo Poli, and Wouter Sonnema. This is the second consecutive year a Polli-designed Italia 9.98 has won the ORC Class C crown after last year’s victory by Low Noise 2 in Barcelona.
“This event was the 18th World Championship for ORC,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC, “and very successful because we had a near-record turnout of 131 boats from 13 countries and three different countries on the podium for each of the three classes. The racing was also extremely close all week, with many races decided by only seconds in time. This shows that our rule is working very well across a large spectrum of boat types.
“We congratulate all the winners and podium finishers for their great sailing this week, and congratulate the Royal Danish YC on its 150th anniversary and the Egaa Sailing Club for hosting another great ORC World Championship event.”
The next ORC World Championship will be held in Trieste, Italy over June 30 – July 8, 2017. And the next ORC European Championship will be two weeks later in Gdansk, Poland over July 21-29, 2017.
Background: Since 1969, ORC has provided the most scientific and transparent VPP-based rating system in the world, used to create fair racing among a broad variety of boat types. Over 10,000 ORC certificates were issued by 39 rating offices around the world in 2015, and ORC organizes the annual ORC World Championship, an inshore and offshore event sanctioned by World Sailing, the international governing body of the sport of sailing
Source: ORC Class