Dicey day at ORC World Champs
Published on August 11th, 2021
Tallinn, Estonia (August 11, 2021) – After another interesting weather day of sun, rain, and elusive light to moderate wind conditions, three new class leaders have emerged at the Alexela ORC World Championship 2021.
Only Classes A and B managed to complete the planned agenda of two inshore races on Alter Marine Race Day, with Class C abandoning their second race of the day due to a dying breeze. So, the standings for Classes A and B are based on three races completed, while in Class C results are based on only two races.
Based on their two race wins today, Tillmar Hansen’s TP 52 OUTSIDER skippered by Bo Teichmann from Germany is leading Class A by one point over yesterday’s race winner, Michael Berghorn’s Mills 45 HALBTROCKEN 4.5, also from Germany.
While the windward/leeward races are only about an hour long, the results are tight: had OUTSIDER finished only 6 seconds slower – less than two boat lengths – then they would have lost the race to HALBTROCKEN and be trailing in the tie-break.
“Six seconds, this is incredibly close racing,” Hansen said, “and one of the positive things about ORC competition: every second counts. It’s great to have this level, it pushes everyone to be very good and there are no gifts, you have to fight all the way.”
In Class B, the racing was also close, and with three race wins spread among three different teams in the top six, there is no clear dominance in the results.
The first inshore race was won by Mati Sepp’s Estonian team racing the brand new E-44 CLEAN ENERGY, but only by 20 seconds over Gordon Nickel’s X-41 SPORTSFREUND from Germany, the 2019 ORC Class B European Champion. The top five teams in this race were within a minute in corrected time on the one hour race course.
The second race was abandoned by race managers after their first attempt due to a dying breeze and huge 60-degree wind shift. After a delay awaiting more settled conditions, racing resumed in the late afternoon, and was won by another Estonian team, ORC Class B Bronze medalists from The Hague Worlds in 2018 – Tiit Vihul’s X-41 OLYMPIC – by an even closer margin: 10 seconds ahead of Jens Kauphal’s modified Landmark 43 INTERMEZZO from Germany. As in Race 1, the top five teams were again within a minute of corrected time.
After three races, the first long offshore and two inshore races, Class B is now led by OLYMPIC on scores of 4-5-1, with Catalin Trandafir’s Grand Soleil 44 P ESSENTIA44 from Romania trailing by only two points.
The situation in Class C is more complex since they completed only one race today due to a late start in the northeasterly breeze along with the influence of a passing storm over their course area situated just offshore the venue at Pirita Harbor.
The 62 teams in this class competed in their respective Blue and Yellow heats, with both groups able to complete a 4.82-mile windward/leeward course. After a long delay due to the influence of the storm, racing resumed but had to be abandoned due to a dying breeze and massive wind shift on the course.
“This was too bad, we were doing really well,” said Peter Thorwid, tactician on Patrik Forsgren’s modified First 36.7 Pro4U from Sweden. “We were only about 0.3 miles from the finish and catching up to [Ott Kikkas’s Italia 11.98] SUGAR 3 when the race was called.”
There’s clearly a rivalry setting up between these two, since the Swedes defeated the mixed Estonian/Italian team on SUGAR 3 by only 7 seconds in the first race of the day for the Yellow group.
In the Blue group, the first inshore race was won by a locally-built Cossutti design called ANGEL-ROSE II, skippered by Sven Nuutmann, whose margin of victory at 52 seconds over Willem Ellemeet’s Dufour 40X 2.10 FLYING DOLPHIN from the Netherlands was the largest of any race in any fleet today.
This group also had one of the closest margins between top-ten places: Juss Ojala’s J-112E MATILDA from Estonia – the ORC Class C European Champion in 2019 – missed second place by only 3 seconds in corrected time in this race.
Since not everyone has yet to race against everyone else in this class due to the qualifying heat system, the standings at this stage are not final and based only on points accumulated so far. On this basis, PRO4U has 3 points and MATILDA has 4 points, with SUGAR 3 having 6 points.
Asked for the secret to their near-dynastic success on the all-Corinthian Stockholm-based team of Pro4U – the team has been winning or on the podium at ORC Class C championships for several years – Thorwid gave credit to their skipper Forsgren.
“He has a complete dedication to this sport, and with this inspires others,” Thorwid explained. “We have been training as a team twice a week for several months, even overnight to know the boat in the dark. We also have young guys on our team in a program Patrik has to invite new people to the team to help refresh our talent. We enjoy it and it has been working well.”
A total of 104 entries from 12 nations are registered for competing in three classes, each with its own World Champion titles and awards, on August 9-14 in Tallinn, Estonia.
The format calls for a long offshore race in the Baltic to start August 9, finishing the following day. Then on August 11-12, short inshore racing will be held on four course areas near Tallinn. On August 13 there will be a short offshore race finishing the same day, conclude on August 14 with more inshore racing.