Monday, August 03, 2015

Marinepool J/22 World Championship 2015

Chris Doyle (USA 1384) with his crew Christopher Stressing and Phillip Wehrheim take’s it all; congratulation to the Marinepool J/22 2015 word championship!
Jean-Michael Lautier (NED 1273) finished second.  Fighting until the last race pays off for Reiner Brockerhoff (FRA 1444) taking over third place in the very last race.

45 Teams from 6 nations (Caymans, USA, Canada, France, Netherlands and Germany) and wind conditions from light wind to strong made the “Travemünder-Woche” (Travemünde Racing Week) - one of the largest sailing events in Germany – to a perfect sailing event! The 2015-J/22 world champion has hosted by the German J22 Class Association in the frame of the “Travemünder Racing Week” July 19th to 25th.

But the “Travemünde Racing Week” is more, it’s a large festival with hundreds of shore events and live music on 6 main stages all day/night long - the perfect scenery for the especially in Germany fast growing and popular J-Boats – it’s a big party attracting hundreds of sailor in a wide range of boat types/classes and around 900.000 visitors ashore!

The US team of Chris Doyle odds-on favourite with more of 20 years of experience in the J22 class but the level was very high and it was not an easy task at all. Jean-Michel Lautier a French sailor sailing for the Netherlands and the German helmsman  Reiner Brockerhoff, with his French crew Christophe Declercq und Charles Michaux sailed the J22 very successful during the last 4 years.

Not to forget the crew around Mike Farrington, the International J22-Class chairman from the Cayman Islands, being third at 2014 J/22 WM  in South Africa and the German J80 specialist from Kiel, Martin Menzner have proven being a worlds candidate in previous national races or other J-Class boats.

The measurement was finished ahead of Time thanks to the measurement Team around Werner Thome and the voluntary shore crew allowing almost all boats participating in the practice race on Monday evening, followed by a nice opening ceremony the famous sailors beach club sponsored by NautiCare. Dancing into the night with high temperatures until midnight was a perfect start for the event…  


The first racing day on Tuesday confirmed that beside the above mentioned more highly motivated top-class sailor have been participating; black flag was required cooling down the crowd. Increasing wind and waves during second race with wind up to 30knots  leading to perfect conditions and pure thrill surfing down the waves but as well endurance testing for the material. Therefore, the third race was cancelled during starting – however, a perfect sailing day with lots of wind and sunshine and as well a perfect day for spectacular pictures taken by our official photographer Sven Jürgensen. By the way, pictures are available, please contact if you are interested.

Martin Menzner with his crew Christian Drews and Frank Lichte confirmed being one of the favourites leading the first day with 1. and 2. placement ahead Chris Doyle on second and the team of Jean-Michel Lautier with Peter Jensen and Guiseppe D’Aquino on third.

The day ended with a perfect sunset BBQ dinner at the fife star Columbia Hotel.

The second racing day was showing a completely different side of the Baltic Sea; no wind and the first start had to be delayed for 2 hours. Once again the black flag had to be pulled to get the boats on the course. We managed having 4 races in “tricky conditions” with heavy wind shifts – wind between 5 to 10 knots. More than once the leading teams have seen the whole spinnaker field from a new angle – from behind J

Leading after 6 races was the US team with helmsman  Chris Doyle ahead Jean-Michel Lautier from the Netherlands. Martin Menzner from Germany slipped to third.

Another perfect sailing day with lots of sunshine was finished with a jetty bear sponsored by the Lübecker Yacht Club and the Dutch class association.

The third racing day - Thursday morning - started once again with a two hour delayed but at 11:30 10 to 12 knots wind appeared and the J’s left the harbour going immediately to race course.

Almost stable wind from 320 leading to very good race conditions for the first race and the crews of Mike Farrington und Reiner Brockerhoff managed to catch up with the leading boats. However, during second race wind shifts and decreasing wind leading once again to “tricky conditions”, Chris Doyle (USA), leading the worlds at the second racing day slipped to second overall and  Jean-Michel Lautier (NED) has taken over the lead. Martin Menzner (GER) maintained third overall.

Bad luck for Menzner who was blocked by a day sailor at the pin end side of the starting line; his protest for redress was rejected.

Wind remains stable later on but due to the special event planned for the evening, the so called “Trave-Race” we had to return to the harbour. The Trave-Race doesn’t count for the worlds but is a perfect event presenting the J22 to the sponsors and visitors. Life moderation and the location are perfect to promote sailing and the J22 class.

 The Trave-Race takes place on the river Trave directly in front of hundreds of visitors. 12 boats have been nominated, the best from each nation participating at the worlds, the best of last year ranking of each nation participating at the worlds and the remaining places have been filled up with the best of each nation according to the worlds ranking until second race and a wild card for the oldest and youngest team.

Three short distance races of six boats each are sailed - the best thee out of the semi-final make it to the final. 

The Trave is a narrow channel of app. 200 to 300 meters width  at the entrance where the race takes place so that the visitors are almost able to grab the boats. Light wind blowing down the channel allows three perfect races – Reiner Brockerhoff the German helmsman with his French Crew Christophe Declercq und Charles Michaux (FRA 1444) finished first just before GER 1513 the crew of Ernst Tschentscher who is with an age the 81 (!) the oldest participant of the worlds.

The day ends with a sunset BBQ at the Lübecker Yacht Club and of course lots of the crews went to the stages at the Travemünde mole and beach being part of the big party!

The forth racing day was a perfect day as well; we have been very luck with the weather so far. Lautier was still leading the worlds with a small buffer of three points before Chris Doyle on second. Martin Menzner und Reiner Brockerhoff ended up with the same level of points on third and fourth position taking the fight for bonze into the last racing day.

Once again a special evening event was planned. The J22 sailor have been invited by the Major of the city of Lübeck to a dinner on the for-mast-barque “Passat”

Day 5:
The fifth and last racing day was linked to a special event as well; we had the opportunity sailing on the SAP Media Course. The course is close to the beach, allowing live video transmission from a roof of a hotel ashore, on board camera systems and video boats.  Life moderation and as well taking into account GPS tracking data of each boat was bringing sailing ashore to hundreds of visitors, having the videos displayed on a huge screen at the beach. Once again a perfect way presenting the sailing sport and of course the J22-Class to visitor and interested sailors.

Additionally, the pictures and GPS data allowing to have a detailed tactical analysis for each crew; all videos and GPS files are still available via internet – thanks to SAP; we really enjoyed this special service!

Coming back the final two races …
The first race started directly using black flag, so far so good but having several boats over the line the start was repeated; still good so far but then the jury decided to disqualify only two boats for black flag violation – this was leading to heavy discussions and was possibly the one and only at least doubtful jury decision during the whole worlds. However, Doyle and Lautier have been fighting very hard and Doyle managed with a brilliant tactical move pushing Lautier to the wrong side of the starting line. Doyles  plan worked well, Lautier finished 31st , Doyle 11th.

Menzner sailed a perfect race and finished 1st being in front of Broeckerhoff once again. What a thriller …

For the last race it looks like everything could be save for the leading crews but the thriller was going on, Doyle was putting more and more pressure “match-racing” Lautier in pre start phase leading to a bad starting position for both but Doyle managed to finish 10th, Lautier far behind, so Doyle takes it all!

But the thriller was not over, Brockerhoff took the right decision changing to the pin end of the starting line and sailed a perfect race benefiting from the wind shift, winning the last race and once again taking over bronze from Menzner who added another 11 points to his account!

The race comity requested getting all boats out of the water very quickly after the last race due to the storm front “Zeljko” taking course to Travemünde. For the first 10 to 15 boats hoisting was not problem but then the first flaws and rain shower hitting the crews and hoisting hat to be stopped until the wind decreased; we really have been lucky finishing the Wolds in perfect conditions!

Price giving was postponed to 7pm allowing all boats getting ready for transport prior to the ceremony. The price giving ended with and unintended shower for the winning teams, started by the Broeckerhoff them using the Champagne Bottle - part of the price giving – in a slightly different way  …

Many thanks to the whole organization team of the Travemünder-Woche and the German J22 Class Association and all the sponsors Marinepool, NautiCare und Tacking Master for the perfect support and nice prices. The event was closed with a tombola, so all participants hat the chance taking home some of the very nice products of our main sponsors.

Last but not least, there is a rumour that the team of Chris Doyle should have tried as well getting the trophy for the best WM dancer at the last night in Travemünde …J
We are looking forward to seeing you in Toronto Canada for the Worlds 2016!

Thomas Hanf
GER 1562 (bowman)