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06 / 11 / 2010

Risky Sailing at Lake Wannsee

The initial round robin races of the 19th Berlin Match Race were sailed at lake Wannsee. The portugese crew around skipper Alvaro Marinho sailed into a leading position by winning 5 of their 5 races. Currently, Marinho holds a 18th position in the world ranking. The only german paticipant, Markus Wieser, won 3 of his 5 match races.

During the opening training yesterday, Wieser considered the Danish Crew around their Skip Jesper Radich as the closest competition to watch. Only hours later, Radich withdrew related to health issues. The boat is now driven by crew member Nicolai Sehested. He currently holds a 51st position in the world ranking. Nevertheless all bets are open: Tomorrow after the first round robin the first crews get qualified for the quarterfinals.

Markus Wieser and Mads Ebler from Denmark opened racing with tight neck and neck racing this morning. The 22 following races showed risky manoeuvring and close by passing in best sailing conditions. Winds between 15 and 30 knots put pressure into the sails and lead to exciting actions. Some rain did not prevent the teams from precise sailing and fighting for the lead meter by meter.

Closely watched by the umpires, two of the competing boats approach the starting line. Here the course starts that is limited by two marks. The boats are beating against the wind up to the windward mark. After rounding, the boats sail downwind towards the leeward mark. On this broad reach course the gennacker, a large and deep sail is hoisted that further accelerates the yachts.

In Match Racing not only the wind needs to be utilized optimally, but also the tactics and moves of the competing crew are to be anticipated and matched, explains Frank Butzmann organizing chair of the Berlin Match race and a passionate sailor himself.

By: Ohle, Cedric