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31 / 10 / 2013

21. Berlin Match Race: the teams get to know the boats and their competitor’s – today they train by themselves, tomorrow is going to be the first match.

Berlin, the 31th of October 2013: the excitement rises on the Wannsee. Tomorrow starts the 21th Berlin Match Race, organized by the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee (VSaW). Today the ten teams got to know the boats of the B/One class and went straight into training their maneuvers. Until tomorrow they need to be perfect – because then it gets serious for the 30 sailors.

The Berlin Match Race is the oldest Match Race Event in Germany. For the next two days, visitors are welcome to see the races live, on the heated spectator vessel called “Spreediamant”, provided by the passenger boat company “Riegel”, free of charge.

Many of the top sailors of the 21th Berlin Match Race, such as Mathieu Richard, have never sailed the B/one class yachts, designed by Bavaria, before. However they need to learn racing these boats quickly so they can perform perfectly tomorrow. In Match racing it’s common, that the organizing authority provides the boats. The sailors arrive, mount the boats and need to prove their talent and knowledge straight away, since every race counts. They will compete in probably the hardest system: boat versus boat.

So today they used every minute of the free training to get it perfect. However not everyone is happy with their practice results. Eric Monnin from Switzerland explains: “The boat is complicated to sail, a real challenge. We would have liked to have a bit more time to practice”. On the contrary the Danish teams are excited: “We had a lot of fun and look forward to tomorrows racing”.
This year’s event line up of the ISAF grade two event features the following top teams: Keith Swinton from Australia, currently defending champion of the 2011 Berlin Match Race, taking the fourth place of the newly released world ranking list.  Next in line is the Danish team of Nicolai Sehested (6th WR) who overtook Mathieu Richard (7th WR) in the world rankings list, after the Geneva match race a couple of days ago. The former world ranking list leader (2007-2009, Mathieu Richard) is looking forward to add a Berlin Match Race title to his sailing vitae. Challenged will these two team by the Geneva Match Race winner, Staffan Lindberg from Finland, who now entered the Top10 of the world ranking list, in 9th place. Since it’s his sixth time entering the match he knows what he’s doing. The match is serving world champion standards, as the Polish sailor Przemek Tarnacki (11th WR), Joachim Aschenbrenner from Denmark (13th WR) and the Swiss Eric Monnin (15th WR) are starring in them. But the young British sailor Phillip Lees (26th WR) is also hungry for another title, after he just got the vice title in the Junior Europe championship. The German sailor from Hamburg, Felix Öhme (50th WR) who’s in the NRV Match Race team, is considered the most active racer in his field. He is training weekly with his team on the Alster.

Phillip Bendon, from Ireland, is quite unknown in the Match racing circuit. However after climbing the world ranking from place 101 to 57, he’s considered by the ISAF as “the Rookie of the month”.
Competing at the Berlin Match Race the sailors earn needed points for the world ranking list.

This evening all teams get introduced in the great hall of the VSaW. “It’s a bit like boxing, when the competitors show up for the weighing - it’s considered a special moment”, says Frank Butzmann, the general manager of the VSaW.
At 10 o’clock tomorrow morning a signal will start the “Round Robin”. The ten teams will compete in two teams against each other- similar to other sports, like soccer.

Followed the the Quarter-, Semi- and Grand finals.
Nils Kaben and Alexander Ruda, the ZDF-moderators and sailing experts, will be commenting the race for the visitors on the “Spreediamant“. Also it will be hear able on the main land and harbour.

The visitor’s boat will be starting off, to its viewing place close to the race, at 10 am. Every two hours it’ll come back into the harbour, so the new guests will be able to go and have a look as well. It’ll be free of charge. The race starts daily at 10 am and will end depending on the weather, at 5 pm. On Sunday at 4 pm the prize giving ceremony will take place.

The 21th Berlin Match Race will be sponsored and supported by Audi AG and Audi Berlin GmbH, the Berlin Volksbank, the jeweler Wempe Berlin at the Kurfürstendamm, the clothing partner Marinepool and Bacardi.
Boats for the press will be provided and will document the race.