Musto Skiff

MUSTO Skiff Germany EuroCup Leg - Kieler Woche 2014 :: Event Report Bookmark and Share

Report by Ben Schooling
GBR 487 www.sailingfast.co.uk

Kiele Wocher Report – 26-29th June 2014

36 boats from 7 Nations entered the German leg of the Eurocup series which was incorporated as part of the World renowned Kieler Woche. This is an amazing event with over 800 dinghies competing and a similar number of Sportsboats and Yachts over 3 weeks. The event organisation was superb with one of the title sponsors Audi running a shuttle service to the trailer park - just one example of German efficiency at its best!

The Olympic classes had all enjoyed some top end conditions in the days prior to the event even losing a day with too much wind. The MUSTOs were to suffer a similar fate but for the opposite reason with no racing possible on Thursday with barely a zephyr filling the bay. A few boats ventured at for some early evening sailing as a light breeze filled in to make the most of the day and justify several rounds of Bratwurst and beers back ashore in the tented village.

For Friday’s racing the fleet were invited to race on the TV course. All competitors had to collect their 2.5kgs of lead to strap to the boom with Richard Stenhouse, Iver Ahlmann and Nicholas Duchoud fitted with the equivalent weight in cameras and transmitters for on board shots. All boats were also fitted with trackers to enable the SAP analytics to record every move each competitor made over the course of the day.

On the race course our fleet had a shifty 5-6kts to work with. With so many boats (180+ 29ers and a similar number of 420’s coupled with their support ribs) passing by (or through) our course there was a lot of chop to contend with. I made a clean start off the committee boat end in Race 1 and tacked off onto a lifting shift on port. By the windward I had a narrow lead over Alastair Conn with Sten close behind in 3rd. Ahlmann worked it well up the 2nd beat to round 2nd but touched the mark and had to spin, bunching the fleet and handing me the win. Sten consolidated 2nd and European Champion Frithjof Schwerdt showed great pace downwind to pull through to 3rd.

The next 3 races were sailed in similar conditions, Schwerdt sailed consistently well in the tricky conditions playing the shifts up the middle and not committing to a side too early to win the day with an impressive 3,1,1,3 scoreline. Ron Barnes sailed a blinder of a beat in the final race of the day taking full advantage of increased pressure on the right to round the windward mark clear ahead. Ahlmann found his form and went on to take the victory from Conn in the final race of the day with Sten putting in a steady performance to be sitting in 2nd overall.

All of the races can be seen at http://www.kieler-woche.de/english/sailing/tv.php
There's an embedded video at the top, but if you scroll below there should be an 'Archive' section. There you can find: 'Live Programm English - June 27th 2014'

It’s well worth watching - even if you only see the first race ;-) – with expert commentary by our own Andy Rice.

After racing the fleet were hosted in the SAP lounge and fed and watered whilst the expert commentary team led by German Olympic 49er ace Tobi Schadewaldt dissected the days’ racing and showed us where we went wrong.

All the data from the SAP tracking is on the website at: http://livecenter.kieler-woche.de/en/results-analytics/ Again this is well worth a look through, even if you weren’t competing to get an idea of how much ground is lost in tacks and gybes and how much distance each boat sails.

On Saturday the fleet headed out in a more promising 6-9kts towards our own course at the Southern end of the bay under the cliff. Although there was less chop the wind was more shifty than the previous day. Schwerdt read them well again and sailed off into a convincing lead which he held to the finish to notch his 3rd win. I cashed in my lucky cards and pulled through to 2nd after capsizing up the first beat with Ahlmann rounding out the top 3 from Dave Poston and Junis Rindermann.

A second race was started but a huge thunderstorm stopped play and with the race abandoned most of the fleet got back ashore before it turned nasty. With the rain killing the wind there was no more racing for the day. Luckily it was our host Ivers’ Birthday BBQ and Catharina made a superb spread which all of the fleet enjoyed, washed down of course with the local Pilsner.

Sunday dawned with a 6-7kt breeze more out the North and a small swell running down the bay. With a 10am start the race officer made the most of the time available and squeezed in 3 races before the 1pm cut off despite a couple of general recalls. Line honours in race 1 went to Conn but after some confusion he was BFD’d with a couple of the other Derwent boys. I was happy to take the win from Ahlmann in second and Jahn Bernd in 3rd. The second race saw the same scoreline but with Alexander Greil this time in 3rd. Australia’s Arthur Brett had a good morning with 2 4th’s and by contrast Schwerdt was struggling with 2 6th’s meaning myself and Iver had closed the gap with Sten and Conn still in the running for a podium.

The dice were rolled in the last race and a 30 degree wind shift came in which Ahlmann, Sten and Dan Trotter were on the correct side of to finish in that order. Schwerdt had a poor day by his standards but did enough to secure a narrow victory from Ahlmann with myself just edging home ahead of Richard Stenhouse and Alastair Conn in 4th and 5th. With 5 different nations in the top 10 the MUSTO Skiff continuous to demonstrate its appeal as the ultimate single handed performance skiff dinghy in the world.

After a quick prize giving on the beach the fleet departed. Dave and I had a mad dash through northern Europe to make the last tunnel before dawn - 540 miles in 9.5 hours with a triple stacker is pretty good going!

A huge thanks must go to Iver and Catharina who, as well as putting in a great deal of effort before and throughout the event, also provided accommodation for most of the fleet in ACO-land with a fantastic breakfast each morning.

Ben Schooling
GBR 487 www.sailingfast.co.uk


Photo by Tania Samus photoskiff.com

2014 Kieler Woche Highlights Day 6

 

Full results >>>

The English language event website can be found here -
http://www.kieler-woche.de/english/index.php

The German language event website can be found here -
http://www.kieler-woche.de

 

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