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Three titles at ORC World Championship

Published on August 12th, 2023

The 2023 ORC World Championships attracted 111 teams for six days of inshore and offshore racing on August 4-12 with last year’s boats and/or teams defending their titles in Kiel, Germany.

Karl Kwok’s TP 52 BEAU GESTE (HKG) dominated the 15 entries in Class A, with wins earned in every race except for a 4th place in the non-discardable offshore race. The ORC Class A World Champion victory for this international team of 14 sailors from Australia, China, Great Britain, New Zealand, and the USA was not as easy as it looked: winning margins against their rivals were as close as 13 seconds in corrected time.

Silver medal winners in this class are the team led by Tilmar Hansen on his TP 52 OUTSIDER (GER), with Bronze medals going to Carl-Peter Forster’s TP 52 RED BANDIT (GER). The Class A Corinthian Division winning team was Kirsten Harmstorf-Schonwitz’s DK 46 TUTIMA, the 9th-placed all-women’s team competing for over a decade throughout northern Europe and making their final competition as a team in Kiel.

“This was not an easy week at all,” said BEAU GESTE tactician Gavin Brady (USA). “Our competition was always tough and we had to have the hammer down all the time. It came down to us maybe having just a slight edge in our teamwork since competed in two other ORC championship regattas this year. We really enjoyed the diversity of conditions and courses in this event, and all that Kiel had to offer.”

In Class B, the new Gold medalists similarly dominated their class of 29 entries, winning five of 10 races on a boat that also won the Class B title at last year’s ORC Worlds in Porto Cervo, Italy. Marcin Sutkowski’s Grand Soleil 44P WINDWHISPER 44 (POL) has won the title of Class B ORC World Champions this year with a team of nine sailors from Poland, Portugal, and Norway.

The racing was also close in this class, with even the last race tied for second and third place between the Poles and Peter Buhl’s Swan 42 SIRENA (DEN), so they were each scored 2.5 points each.

The team had been disqualified for a starting line incident in the first windward-leeward race on August 9 and needed to have good results to get rid of the 30 points this mistake cost them in a discard.

In the final standings of Class B, SIRENA won Silver medals and Aivar Tuulberg’s Swan 42 KATARIINA II (EST) won Bronze, and in 7th place overall, Tiit Vihul’s X-41 OLYMPIC (EST) won the Class B Corinthian Division.

The final results among the 67 entries in Class C were not determined until the end due to lead changes in the class throughout the event and discards applied after the first race on the final day.

A measurement protest on Juss Ojala’s J/112E MATILDA 4 (EST) caused them to be re-scored with a new and slightly faster rating, pushing them out of the lead as well and much closer in points to their nearest rivals.

Yet in the end, the reigning champions prevailed: Ott Kikkas’s Italia 11.98 SUGAR 3 (EST) racing with a team of eight sailors from Estonia and Italy are the 2023 Class C World Champions, a title they also earned in 2019 and finished as runners-up in 2021.

“There are actually no secrets to success,” said SUGAR 3 helmsman Sandro Montefusco (ITA). “We started well, had the right announcements for the wind shifts. And once we were in the lead, we defended it well.”

Silver medal winners in Class B is the team on MATILDA 4, with Raimondas Siugzdinis’s Italia 11.98 ARABELA (LTU) winning Bronze medals. This team was also the Class C Corinthian Division winner and ecstatic about their results.

“This is the best a team from Lithuania has ever done in an ORC championship,” said crewman Andrius Nikanorovas when interviewed, “and will be an inspiration to other teams from our country.” Siugzdinis also confirmed they are regularly trying new younger-aged crew to inspire a new generation in offshore sailing.

The next edition of the ORC World Championship will be at New York Yacht Club in Newport, USA on September 27-October 5, 2024. Details:

Event informationRace detailsResultsFacebook

Source: ORC

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