|ISCYRA Regatta Report|| |
Tue Jul 12th, 2016 through Sun Jul 17th, 2016
| The European Championship is one of the most
traditional events of Star Class world. Its
first edition was in 1932, with the victory
of the Spanish E. De Amibilia and Alberto
Reports by Hubert Merkelbach:
Day One: 3 races were sailed on the first day because there was a wind warning for the next racing day. After a general recall the fleet made a clear start under black flag in a nice breeze with 10-15 knots from North west. Olympic Norwegian Star sailor Elvind Melleby with German crew Frithjof Kleen won the first race ahead of Thomas Allart from Netherlands with his young Bavarian crew Kilian Weise and Uli Vater/Karsten Morf.
For the second race the wind dropped to 6-8 knots. In shifty conditions the current World Champions Augie Diaz (USA) with crew Bruno Prada (Brazil) got the bullet. Second were the Croatian Team of Marin Misura and Tonko Barac in front of Urs Hunkeler and olympic crew Enrico de Maria from Switzerland.
After some waiting the wind increased again up to 15-18 knots so the third race could be started again under black flag. In short time the Baltic sea built up nice waves for some spectacular downwind surfing. The German Team Reinhard Schmidt/Paul Sradnick got a nice windshift from the right and could pass Melleby/Kleen on the second beat. Third place went again to the Croatian Team of Misura/Barac.
After a long racing day the fleet came back in the harbour at 6:30 p.m. and was happy to enjoy the barbeque, which was offered by the Warnemuender Segel Club.
Day Two: No racing because of storms.
Day Three: Another long racing day for the competitors of the European Championship: Because of storms there was no racing on day 2 so the fleet had to sail another 3 races today in choppy conditions.
There was a nice breeze of 12 to 16 knots all the day but it was shifty so it was important to make the correct tactical decisions.
During the day the wind increased steadily. After a general recall the fleet could start properly for the fourth race. Melleby /Kleen showed again good speed and tactics and won the race ahead of the Croatians Misura/Barac and current world champion Augie Diaz with Bruno Prada.
During the races the wind fronts changed again and again so it was hard to predict the correct side to go: in race five Reinhard Schmidt/Paul Sradnick played the shifts best and got the bullet in front of constant sailing Melleby/Kleen and Germans Michael Koch/Karsten Witt.
The sixth race was sailed in increasing winds and saw again the Norwegian/German duo of Melleby/Kleen in front, who could save already the title European Champions after six races with one more race to go. Second were Hubert Merkelbach/Markus Koy ahead of Koch/Witt.
In the evening the Warnemuender Segel Club organized a fine dinner for the competitors and after that there was more tactical discussions by most star sailors in a local bar called "Seehund" (seal).
Day Four: The Norwegian/German duo of Eivind Melleby and Frithjof Kleen are European Champions after 6 races and didnít had to sail the last race.
But there was still the fight for the silver and bronze medal between 3 teams, who had still the chance: Diaz/Prada, Vater/Morf and me with Markus Koy. The wind was lighter on the last day with 6-9 knots and after some postponement and a general recall the fleet had a start under black flag. We had to beat Augie by 2 points to get second but had a very bad start, but Augie's was even worse. So we had to struggle to get clean air and come in the race again. Due to the local knowledge of my crew Markus, who lived some time in Warnemuende , we managed to get the right shifts and be first at the weather mark, Augie was 6th. We could keep this position to get the bullet in that race, Augie did a very good job and came up to 2nd place to protect his silver medal , Markus and I won the last race and became third place overall. Uli Vater/Karsten Morf were OCS by black flag, which dropped them back to 7th place.
It was a great European Championship: 41 teams from 14 countries, all kind of wind conditions and some big waves to surf . Race officer Robert Niemczewski did a perfect job on the courses and starting lines. Thanks to Warnemuender Segel Club to host this great event.
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