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This Article Last Updated: Oct 14th, 2010 - 15:13:49 

2008 European Championship Report
By László Visy
Jun 14, 2008, 11:42

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Day Four
The OVB Star European Championship is over at Balatonföldvár.European Champions are Robert Stanjiek and Markus Koy

The two races today accomplished the program, it took only four days to finish the eight races. There were 39 boat in the races representing 14 nations.

The day started with postponement, and the first start was around noon in a breezy southwesterly. There were many wind shifts and to make it even more challenging it was fresher near the shore, those were more successful who compromising a lot could sail hard against the wind near the south shore to tack to the mark.

It was about the same in the second race of the day although a longer than normal southerly wind shift challenged the skill and flexibility of the race committee. The fleet started on the second black flag start.

The new European champions finished third in the first race and did not have to start in the afternoon, that was the race they dropped. The first race winner, the Miller-Voigt pair won the race with ease and hey did the same in the second, thus securing the silver medal.

The two young German pairs were exceptional in the fleet, used great tactics, were very disciplined and their spectacularly athletic racing introduced a new style of start sailing. This strengthens the opinion that the oldest Olympic class secures its place in the program of the future Games.

The bronze winner Norwegian Melleby-Morland pair used good tactics in the brand new southwesterly, their second and third place proved their excellence.

The best Hungarian Star boat, the Gereben brothers finished seventh in the championship They did not find their place well enough today, their 15th and 11th place did not improve their standing.

The Masters (skipper over 50) category was won by the Löfstedt-Carlsson pair, the Tenke-Bendicsek pair finished second and the Bánkúty-Mónus par ranked third.

The Grand Masters (spipper over 60) was won by the Brazilian Pascolato-Boening pair, second was the Ujhelyi-Visy pair and the Weiler-Mátray pair. ranked third.

The eight races during these four days produced all kinds of winds, from the stormy northwesterly through the weak easterly to the breezy southwesterly.

General race manager Béla Erdélyi brought excellent decisions. The foreign teams praised the organization both on the water and ashore.

Day Three
Melleby / Morland (NOR). Photo by HediTumbasz/SVE.
Two more races were held today at Balatonföldvár finishing six of the eight planned. Every Star boat now can drop their worst results already and this can change the leading positions. In the overall results the Norwegian Melleby-Morland pair rank third due to their excellent tactics today, they placed second and first place respectively in races five and six.

The German Stanjek-Koy pair strengthened their leading position, they won the first race of today and their fourth place in the afternoon was the result of brave competition. Robert Stanjek the leading German skipper said: “Although we both have started sailing on lakes we thought we were familiar with the wind shifts of lakes we still could not find the right side in the sixth race. We started the last beat in a very bad position. This was the moment when we discovered some cabin cruisers in the distance sailing in totally different wind. We tacked in that direction so we could finish fourth. It is a great surprise for us to see these excellent winds at Lake Balaton when everyone said that typically the winds are always very moderate. But this was the third day of considerable strong winds.

The best Hungarians, the Gereben brothers lost a position in the overall ranking now they are fifth.

Miller / Voight (GER). Photo by HediTumbasz/SVE.
The morning race was sailed in a fresh north-northwesterly. Later it shifted to the north east, the very well attuned race manager set a totally new course. It took two starts to get the race started; the second start needed the black flag. The wind shifted again, the course was modified to meet the new conditions. A good start and special attention to the wind shifts was most important today.

Weather permitting there will be two races tomorrow and awards following.

Day Two - Gereben brothers near medal position
The blistery strong north westerly wind of yesterday was much weakened, the morning brought fairly breezy conditions, by the afternoon it almost left the Lake but shifted, a northerly and a north westerly competed on the course.

There were three very difficult races needing excellent tactics at Balatonföldvár today. Most successful were the leading Germans Robert Stanjek and Markus Koy with a rhird, a first and a second place; they certainly increased their advantage in the overall results.

The young Hungarian pair, Márton Gereben and Péter Gereben sailed in front of the best Germans. In the end they finished a close second. They sailed very well all day and their overall result is a fourth place. “We did quite well at the starts, and then we only had to use the best sail tactics taking advantage of the shifting wind. There was some logic in the wind shifts. And when in the last race some short doldrum set in for about fifteen minutes we just picked a side by luck.” said the skipper, Márton Gereben.

Of the eight planned races we already have four.

Day One - Stormy beginnings

The competition of the OVB Star European Championship at Balatonfőldvár, Hungary took a very stormy start in an exceptionally strong northerly. Only twenty four boats finished the very tough race of the thirty nine boats of fourteen nations. Three masts broke, two crew fell overboard, there were many smaller and bigger technical problems. Fortunately no one was hurt.

The first race was won by the Germans Robert Stanjek and Markus Koy who finished 500 or 600 meters ahead of the fleet. The most promising Hungarian crew, the Tenke-Bendicsek crew dropped their jib on the first beat, after a quick repair they took up their speed finishing finally as eighth. There were two other Hungarians in the first ten, a good omen for the rest of the seven races. The northerly 14-15 m/sec wind blew steady without major wind shifts, it was mostly good sail trimming, good steering and the speed that decided the success of the ones among the first.

The wind blew relentlessly in the afternoon at Balatonföldvár, thus the general manager of the race, Béla Erdélyi decided not to hold another race on the first day. This was to give time to fix the damages, and get ready for the races tomorrow.

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