ORC World Championship 2016 – The warm sunny weather today in Denmark generated just enough seabreeze to start an afternoon offshore race for all three classes, a necessary component to the format of the ORC World Championship 2016.
This race is especially important for Classes B and C, whose 59 entries each have been split into two groups, and the results from the four inshore and one offshore race will be used to determine which teams advance forward into the Gold and Silver fleets.
Race managers had four course options of varied lengths ready at the starts held just off the harbor venue at Skovshoved, and chose a 37-mile track for Class A and a shorter 27-mile track for Classes B and C, mindful that the setting sun would take with it the light seabreeze and leave nothing in its wake. The Class A course started with a short windward beat, followed by a long spinnaker run to the island of Ven, just east of Rungsted. From there the fleet was supposed to wind its way south towards the Pinhattan buoy west of Barsebackshamn, Sweden, across back to the Middelgrund Fort at the mouth of the harbor at Copenhagen, and then to the finish at Skovshoved.
But the lack of wind and strong opposing current kept the Class A fleet stuck for hours near Ven, and with no prospect of a filling breeze coming to save them, race managers decided to abandon their race. This race will be re-scheduled for tomorrow.
Classes B and C were sent on a similar course, but rounded a mark south of Ven off the Swedish town of Landskrona, and thus had enough breeze to complete their course. First to round the top mark and the leader of the pack around this course most of the way to the finish was Claus Landmark’s Landmark 43 Santa, the leader of Class B coming into today. The dying air on the last leg and some clever tactics, however, allowed Ralf Aspholm’s MAT 1180 Datacom to overtake and pass Santa to take line honors in the race.
‘It was a tough battle with Santa all around the course,’ said Aspholm, ‘but we had a few good moves at the end and got by them. This was a great way to end the race.’
Corrected time results for both classes will be available later tonight as more boats cross the finish line. This will determine who makes the cut for the Gold and Silver fleets.
One team hoping for a good result to make this cut is Morten Christiensen’s Bavaria 35 Match Betty Boop II, whose Greg Roods said ‘This was champagne sailing today: flat water, enough wind and space to have a lane, perfect warm sunny weather. We sail a lot at home in Norway, but the competition is amazing here: there was only something like four minutes in corrected time between first and last in the inshore races, so any mistake is really magnified here. Regardless of the results, we’re having a great time.’
Other news from today is that at midday while awaiting at the Skipper’s Briefing for Principal Race Officer Christian Larche to announce the course options, skippers and crews listened to a pitch from representatives from the next major ORC championship in the Baltic region, the 2017 ORC European Championship in Gdansk, Poland. Michal Korneszczuk of the Pomeranian Sailing Association gave a description of the strong support given by the city for the event, the superb downtown venue that will be used, and the high level of racing they will produce with the help of having entries come from throughout Europe and beyond. The event’s dates are set for almost exactly a year from now: 21-29 July 2017.
The forecast for tomorrow is for slightly more wind than today eight – twelve knots – so the plan is for inshore racing for Classes B and C to start at 12:00 and an offshore race for Class A to start at 10:00.
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