Copenhagen – A day that started with light almost drifting conditions ended by finishing with a nice southerly breeze of about 10-knots to bring three more races to the scoreboards in the ORC World Championship 2016. Class A completed a 39-mile offshore race to thus fulfill the minimum requirements to qualify the event as a World Championship, and Classes B and C were able to complete two inshore races and thus qualify them for one discard of their worse inshore race.
These two classes were also racing for the first time in their new Gold and Silver fleets, where those in the Gold group will be competing for the final podium positions.
Class A started at 1000 local time in a very light 6-7 knot southeasterly breeze to race their mandatory offshore race, a 39-mile journey from the start outside Skovshoved Harbor to the light at Pinhattan on ths Swedish coast, then south towards the shoals at Sondre Flint, under the bridge to Malmo, around a shipping buoy at Drugden, then back north along a channel along the Danish coast back to the finish at Skovshoved.
The challenge for the fleet was not only the light airs but the strong north-flowing current encountered when crossing over to the Swedish coast. Axel Seehafer’s Soto 40 Sportsfreund did this well, using a masthead genoa to speed across the river of current. Once on the Swedish side, Christian von Trepka’s GP 42 Al Capone did this leg well, getting furthest left from the fleet and sailing a little extra distance to escape the current but then also being one of the first to get to the new filling southerly breeze that peaked at 14 knots in this region of the race. This allowed them to sail around their competitors and hold on to 3rd place in corrected time, their best result yet.
But in light airs there’s nothing like having a tall rig, so it was Vadim Yakimenko’s TP52 Freccia Rossa and Mattias Mer’s Brenta 55 Ember Sea that corrected out 1-2 in this race, the third bullet for the French team on the TP and the first 2nd place for the Germans.
In Class B action, the Gold and Silver fleet struggled in light air in their first race, which had its last lap shortened so that race managers could finish and move south towards where Class C was enjoying perfect 10-11 knot conditions. In this slow first race the class leader, Claus Landmark’s Landmark 43 Santa, won her third bullet of the series, a position familiar to her and all those who raced in Class A in the Worlds in Kiel in 2014.
But winner of the second race sailed in faster conditions was a local team from Denmark who are marching up the ranks as they iron out the wrinkles from previous races and enjoyed a discard to move them into fifth place in the rankings. Peter Buhl’s Swan 42 Sirena put the pieces together for a perfect Race 7 to just save their time by 22 seconds over runner-up Normet, Aaro Cantell’s X-41 who is lying also as the runner-up in the series, six points behind Santa.
In Class C the wind was a perfect 9-11 knots, perhaps too much so as the class got hungry at the starts, generating multiple General Recalls in both the Gold and Silver groups. By staying out of the fray and sailing their own race, Lukasz Trzcinski’s Dufour 34 GoodSpeed was the surprise winner of Race 6, and with another great result in Race 7 (fourth place) they shared the honors of being the Class C low-scoring boat of the day. The boat they shared with – on scores of 4-1 – was a team further up the leaderboard, second-placed Michael Mollman’s X-37 Hansen.
“If you want to beat us, you have to come to Gdansk!” said a jubilant Trzcinski, who is one of the organizers of next year’s ORC European Championship in this, his home port.
But with a lead of only 0.5 points Jascha Bach’s new Italia 9.98 Bachyachting Racing Team has retained their position at the head of the pack, discarding a fifth place in today’s second race. While its too early to predict who will be on the podium on Saturday night with still two more days of racing ahead, the gap between Hansen and Bachyachting to third-placed Pro4u/Malin, Patrik Forsgren’s modified Beneteau 36.7 is right now at a margin of 14 points.
Principal Race Officer Christian Lerche from the Royal Danish YC has announced tonight that inshore racing will resume for Class A with a Warning signal at 1000 local time, and that Classes B and C will have an offshore race Warning signal also at 1000 local time. If the offshore race is completed, then Classes A and B will also have the option of discarding their worse race, including an offshore race. Boats in Class A needs two more inshore races to earn an inshore race discard according to ORC rules.
For more information and results on the 2016 ORC World Championship, visit www.orcworlds2016.com.