ORCi European Championship
After a brief delay this morning due to fog and light air, race managers were able to get racing started shortly before midday in the Mills Short Offshore Race of the 2022 ORCi European Championship, hosted by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS). Clearing skies and bright sun started the usual southerly thermal breeze to produce yet another day of “champagne sailing.”
The top two in the results in Class A were the TP 52’s: after 5.5 hours of racing on the 49.1-mile course Per Ottar Skaaret’s JOKERMAN (NOR) claimed victory with only a 13-second margin over Holger Streckenbach’s IMAGINE (GER). In third was the Mills Offshore Race Winner KATIMA (GER), Jan Oplander’s Swan 45.
Lars Huekstaedt is skipper of the Fast 40+ X-DAY (GER – shown above), and described today’s race course as being a “Beautiful tour of the area, but one that kept our navigator busy” trying to avoid the numerous rocks and small islands on the course they sailed today around the Oslofjord.
X-DAY is the sole all-amateur Corinthian entry in Class A and new to this team. They have been learning to race this Farr-designed carbon fiber rocket ship that started life in the Med-based GP 42 fleet over a decade ago, migrated to the UK to race in the Fast 40 fleet, and is now returned to the continent.
And while X-DAY has yet to be within podium results yet at this event, Huekstaedt knows this is part of a longer process to build his team’s skill set to be more competitive in the next season which will peak closer to home in Kiel this time next year at the 2023 ORC Worlds.
“We had a great time this week, the racing and the event was perfect, well-managed, and of course the weather has been amazing.”
Class B raced the same course as Class A, and the class leaders crowded the top of the results. After over 7 hours of racing, Tiit Vihul’s modified X-41 OLYMPIC (EST) was able to defeat the two Landmark 43’s – Jens Kuphal’s INTERMEZZO (GER) and Torkjel Valland’s WHITE SHADOW (NOR) – with the Germans in second and Norwegians in third.
Class C raced a slightly shorter course of 43.3 miles, and this class also had the same teams seen in the top ranks of the last three days turning in good results. They were led by Patrik Forsgren’s modified First 36.7 TEAM PRO4U (SWE – shown left in the fog), with Aivar Tuulberg’s Arcona 340 KATARIINA II (EST) in second and Harles Liiv’s J-112E SHADOW (EST) earning third place.
While victory was not predictable per se, TEAM PRO4U’s better result in this long race was anticipated by Forsgren last night when he said “In the buoy racing it’s harder for us to break free of the faster boats ahead of us to sail to our rating,” he explained. “But on the long races we have more room to sail our own race.”
For tomorrow, the ORCi European Champion podium positions will be determined only after a fight in each class in the final inshore race because today’s race could not be discarded from the scores.
In Class A JOKERMAN and IMAGINE are separated by only a point for the battle for Silver, same for INTERMEZZO and WHITE SHADOW (NOR) in Class B for Gold. KATARIINA II has a more comfortable 5-point margin in Class C for Gold, but there is only two points between TEAM PRO4U and Juss Ojala’s J-112E MATILDA 4 in a battle for Silver.
Racing starts at 11:00 CET.
Summary of top-three results after 7 races:
Class A: 1. HALBTROCKEN (GER), 2. JOKERMAN (NOR) 3. IMAGINE (NOR)
Class B: 1. INTERMEZZO (GER), 2. WHITE SHADOW (NOR), 3. OLYMPIC (EST)
Class C: 1. KATARIINA II (EST), 2. TEAM PRO4U (SWE) 3. MATILDA 4 (EST)