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An impressive program on the first sailing weekend

07/25/2016 08:05:00

Max Billerbeck from Kollmar in his Contender is still having the victory in sight. Credit

The sun is a reliable partner of the Travemuender Woche on the first regatta weekend. It supported the light Easterly winds also on the second day and a full program with two to three races for seven boat classes on three triangular courses could be sailed.  So the Travemuender Woche in its 127. year is right on target and did manage to sail already 61 of the planned 300 races.  And the crowd of visitors is also going well.  Taking the number of expected guests in the evening into account, around 300,000 guests will have visited the festival on the first weekend.

The newcomers in the regatta program of the 127. Travemuender Woche took their time in the morning to get onto the race course far out. Leaving the dock late and having a long way to reach the course, the start of the two-man keel boats was postponed. But the Dyas then came well on track, did finish two races and then also went onto the course of the Trave Races in the evening.  The great atmosphere in Travemuende is attracting the Swiss Peter Brandt/Regula Baerlocher to come to the Trave since 15 years. This year they again travelled around 1000 kilometres from the Zurich lake - being the only Swiss team in Travemuende.  "We are the team in the small Dyas fleet, who likes to travel the most", said Peter Brandt. His female crew added: "Normally we cannot sail on the ocean.  And everything is just perfect here: The food, sun, wind, and waves." The duo does not have very high ambitions, but nevertheless some objectives: "To be the best mixed team would be nice. And we would like to win a prize filled with Luebeck Marzipan." After the first day, the Swiss team is on rank five. Michael Schmohl/Ralph Ostertag (Tutzing/Germany) are leading the fleet.

The "Kielzugvogel" class did also start on Sunday with their three days in Travemuende. Manfred Braendle/Frank Lieflaender from Duisburg (Germany) are clearly dominating the class. The finished all three races in the first position. For Braendle, the bay of Luebeck is a sailing territory of success. Four years ago, he did become German Champion in the "Kielzugvogel" here.

The three-crew keel boats Trias did already sail the second day on the offshore race course and now have done already five races. Thus they already have the possibility of one discard on the ranking, which is not really needed by the leading trio Mathias Strang/Lukas Bruening/Nina Strang. After their "mishap" with place two in the first race, they continued with victories only and are thus leading the fleet in front of the Swiss team with Ricardo Fattorini.

The Contenders are already moving on to their finals tomorrow, after having sailed already six races. And with the slightly stronger breeze, the lead of the dominant sailor of the first day, Max Billerbeck (Kollmar/Germany), was significantly reduced. With ranks 3, 4 and one discard (7), he could defend the leading position, but the old master Jan von der Bank (Eutin/Germany) is close behind him. Von der Bank did come back in the Contender after a one year time-out and could find his way back on track - of course for the Travemuneder Woche, where he became World Champion in 2005. "It was clear, that he would be a strong sailor again.  He has made a break like this several times before. And I had to ease the pressure today, Jan can sail with more pressure", explained Billerbeck, who set the tactics for the last race day: „Sail fast! “

Finn Dinghy
Uli Breuer is having a clean series until now. The Finn sailor from Simmerath (Germany) is controlling the competitors in all conditions at any time and did bring home four victories in four races. Martin Hofmann (Hemer/Germany) and Dirk Meid (Mayen/Germany) are following with some distance.

Laser 4.7
The lead is changing among the youngest sailors of the Travemuender Woche: Julian Hoffmann (Blaichach/Germany) turned the tables on the second day of the International German Youth Championship and was in front of the fleet's favourite for the title Julia Buesselberg (Berlin/Germany).  The duo is now clearly leading the fleet - with the same point score. 69 youth sailors are sailing in the Laser class with the small sail.

Laser Radial
In the second Laser junior class with the slightly bigger sail, the favourite sailor did demonstrate her ability to aim for the gold medal at the International German Youth Championship. After her hand was injured, Hannah Anderssohn (Kiel/Germany) had to take a break for several weeks. On the first day of the Travemuender Woche, the young girl from the boarding school in Schilksee was holding back a bit, but is now back on the way to success. Two victories did move her up to the top of the fleet. The British sailor Benno Marshaller, the previous year's winner in the 4.7 class, is following on rank two.  Tim Conradi (Duesseldorf/Germany) is currently on rank three.

Overall race director Brian Schweder is satisfied after the first weekend on the water: "We did manage to sail the whole program, we had planned. That is very good. Of course there are always some small issues at the start of the week.  But there was nothing really interfering with the program." He is a bit more worried when looking at the weather forecast of the next days.  With the wind shifting to Westerly directions, the thermal winds might be crushed, and there might be even some thunderstorms in the afternoon.
On land, the first weekend went also really well. A calculated number of 300,000 guests have been visiting the festival between Friday and Sunday. "Our exhibitors are also happy - some even very satisfied. We did not get any complaints from that direction", said Uwe Bergmann, managing director of the marketing agency UBA (Hamburg/Germany). For the start of the festival, there have been some guests running a bit wild, but the security concept of police and security service is mature and did work well.

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