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01 / 11 / 2013

21th Berlin Match Race: Team versus Team, everyone sails and fights for themselves. The German sailor Felix Oehme, from Hamburg, is doing well with his three victories in six races

Berlin, the first of November 2013: Today all ten teams entered the 21th Berlin Match Race, which is organized by the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee (VSaW). All together 27 matches are sailed. The 30 Top-sailors will challenge each other till Sunday in the Grade 2 event. In hope to earn needed points for the world ranking list. Currently the Danish team with Nicolai Sehested is sitting in first place, with 5 victories in six races. The Berlin Match Race is the oldest Match Race Event in Germany. Visitors will be able to go and see the races live, on the heated spectator vessel “Spreediamant”. Free of charge.

“The starting phase is the most important part - it’s the most dramatic and most intense moment in the Match Race”, said the German sailor Felix Oehme, from Hamburg. He is the only German Skipper in the circuit of the Berlin Match Race teams.

Today the visitors were able to watch that intense moment 27 times! Oehme, who usually sails on oceans, won in 2009 the Portimao Global Ocean Race: a race around the world. “Match Race and the offshore sailing are completely different. But the starting phase is in both systems important. While sailing in the Match Race, half of the race is decided after starting. However in the matches we count in minutes and seconds. Whereas sailing offshore it’s more likely counted in days and month”, laughed Oehme. Either way he’ll be sailing in the very front. With his team Felix Meyerinck und Florian Weser he won half of his races. A real eye catcher is the Danish team with Nicolai Sehested. They won five of the six matches! “With this result we had a great start for this regatta, but it’s still a long way to go. We dominated the starting phase and then overtook control of our competitors. Tomorrow there is supposed to be heavier wind- on this lake everything is possible. So the only thing left to say is: Every game a chance to win”, Sehested said.

The currently defending champion Swinton, from Australia, won four of the six races. A really bad day experienced the British team with Mark Lees. Of the six sailed races, he lost every single one. Tomorrow there’ll be nine races in the “Round Robin” (kind of an opening round). And nine more races will be deciding who’ll take the places five to ten. The battling boats are B/one yachts. The Semi-finals will be on Sunday, followed by the small and grand finals later on.
 “We are happy with the first day; we managed to get through all of the planned races. The wind was constantly between ten and twelve knots and luckily got a few wind screwdrivers - that’s good for Wannsee-conditions”, reported Race officer Mark Bayer.

Tomorrow visitors will be able to see the races live on the spectator vessel “Spreediamant”, provided by the passenger boat company “Riedel”.  The ZDF-moderator and sailing expert Nils Kaben, will be placed on the spectator vessel as well and will be commenting the races. The “Spreediamant” will be leaving the harbour, on Saturday and Sunday, at 10 am.  Every two hours it’ll come back, so new visitors will be able to have a look. This all will be free of charge. The races begin daily at 10 am and will be expected to end at 5 pm, but that might change, depending on the weather. The prize giving is planned for Sunday at 4 pm.

The 21th Berlin Match Race is 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.