Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Report: Travemünder-Woche 2014

Martin Menzner the German J/22-Master!

The J/22 Worlds 2015 are coming to town!

(Travemunde, Germany) According to Thomas Hanf, “The Travemünde Week was again a great success. The great social program, 3 days of sun, wind and wave and the exciting races on the water made for a perfect sailing weekend; and also making for an excellent celebration of the 125th anniversary of Travemunde Week. Next? The J/22 Worlds 2015 are coming to town!”

Thomas continues to say that, “we were looking forward especially to use this event as a small rehearsal for next year’s Worlds. 17 teams, including three from the Netherlands and one from France, arrived to the shipyard on Wednesday. The cranes proceeded as usual, quickly and smoothly on launching all the boats.

After that, we moored JOLLY JUMPER in front of the Regatta Centre.  Right at the centre, there is the breathtaking scent of countless stalls and booths with their wonderful food delights down the mile long waterfront promenade. Whether roasted almonds, roasted in garlic scampi, baked cheese, fish sandwiches, pizza ... the land of plenty cannot be different! Gourmet eaters as we are, we treated ourselves once together with Hardy and his crew a Currywurst with french mayo and a cold beer!
Then we moved into our apartment, which was only a 5-minute walk from the boat.
Everything unpacked and forced into the dress uniform, we met with the rest of the sailors at the festival stage in Brügmanngarten, where the honorable Julia Neigel handed in a first-class appearance. After the concert there was a laser and fireworks show from the Passat. What a great welcome for all us sailors!

Thursday morning we went to register at the race office. Well, what can I say ... a few weeks ago we easily weighed in under the 275kg crew weight limit.  Now, we were 2Kg too much! How could that be? After a few reproachful looks at the bellies of the others, we simply undressed and got rid of all the heavy cloths ... thanks goodness that worked!

For the first day of racing, we sailed along with the 505 class to Course Bravo, which was very far out. There was a constant wind with 10-14 kts from the Northeast, splendid summer weather and 1-1.5 m waves. Three races were sailed with virtually no wind shifts, but the right side was generally better. So, after starting, go out right until you could see the first outlines of the sunbathers at the nudist beach, then tack on the layline to the windward mark and repeat again.

We had no problems with the waves, our height and the necessary boat speed.  But, whoever got the jump at the starting line and led the fleet right often won, it was difficult to pass on a tactical basis since every leg was almost always the same strategy, no surprises there.  After an exhausting first day of sailing Martin Menzner and his crew led by a single point ahead of local hero Svend Hartog.
Back at the dock, there was a reward- "Pierbier" for all (delicious German beer) - sponsored by the J/22 Class Association. In the evening is was more of what sailors do well when back in port best: eating, drinking and partying in the Sailor's Bar, until the host shut-off the beer-tap!  Oh well.  Back to sleep.

Sailing on the second day was actually like the day before, except that we enjoyed instead of the predicted rain lots of bright sunshine and a perhaps slightly higher waves. After three more races (we got a 5-6-5), we were quite happy with our sailing performance at the end of the day, but still hung on to 7th place, while Svend Hartog and his crew had three faultless races (2-1-1) and were now leading the J/22 fleet.

In the evening, the Hanseatic city of Lübeck invited all the sailors on the four-masted barque "Passat". In glorious sunshine, there was a great buffet on deck. Shortly after we left the Passat at 22h, it was also once again the center of the nightly fireworks and laser show.  Always a unique experience!

On Saturday, the wind-god ‘Rasmus’ ran out of steam. In the morning, the Bay of Lübeck lay flat and unmoved. But the weakening gradient wind was unexpected, so the thermals could develop.  Ultimately, the sun broke through the clouds and we got reasonable sailing conditions. The weak wind filled in nicely and we got two more races off for the final day.  Our second race was exciting, only Menzner was faster and ahead.  We were in second place, but with just meters to go to the finish, lost our place to the Dutch team led by Jean-Michel Lautier.

After the two races, the clear winner of the J/22 German Masters was the Kieler crew of Martin Menzner.  Second was local hero from Lubeck, Svend Hartog.  Third was the Netherlands team led by Jean-Michel Lautier.  By the last day of racing, the fabulous JOLLY JUMPER jumped again, somewhat skillfully, up into fourth place, so we could ride off into the sunset happy!”

Thomas Hanf
Jolly Jumper

For further informations regarding the J/22 Worlds 2015 in Travemünde, please contact me (pr@j22kv.de) or visit http://www.J22Worlds2015.de