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Folkboat fleet at Kieler Woche 2018

by Simon Osgood 21 Jun 11:38 BST 16-24 June 2018
Folkboat fleet at Kieler Woche 2018 © Jamie Lea

A grey and overcast day met the competitors for the first day of Kiel Week 2018. The Folkboat class had an hour sail to their race course 'foxtrot' located on the south-east headland at Kiel, some way away from the Olympic dinghy classes, but sharing the racing area with J24s and Albions.

Those who had attended the earlier weather briefing knew that the day was forecast for the wind to 'clap out' completely, and by 2:00pm the wind delivered the inevitable and the race committee abandoned the racing for the day, having started the race one for all competitors, in a mixed bag of 20-degree wind shifts and one massive squall with rain. This then all subsided to 3 knots and sunshine, a truly diverse weather pattern. All competitors trudged in with no races completed, and an uphill battle for the race committee to get in eleven races in three days.

Day two brought steady 12-14 knots of breeze, and sun. The fleet had a real depth of talent in it with the German's being the dominant force. Four of the competitors finishing in fourth, fifth, eighth and fifteenth in last year's centenary Gold Cup (75 years young) and a further competitor who had won the Gold Cup on two occasions previously, throw in a Dane who had beaten the Germans the weekend before at the KYC regatta and one Brit (ourselves) and there was a real International flavour too.

Courses were well laid and the race turn around superb. Day two saw the usual windward leeward courses, twice up and down and the final leg out to a wing mark before the finish. Beats were approximately three quarters of a mile. Being backed up behind the J24 start always left the fleet open to delays with general recalls but this only occurred twice in the three days, and didn't detract from great race management.

The opening days racing (day two) saw Sonke Durst, in GER 564 really open his account with a 1,2,2,4. An extremely consistent performance, which he was to continue into the second day. Jurgen Breitenbach, the German Folkboat class chairman GER 417 held overnight third place 4,1,6,3 and second was held by the top performing German boat from last year's Gold Cup, Walther Furthmann GER 466 with 2,6,1,6. The results didn't reflect how close the second to sixth place was, as there was literally one place between each boat in order. As for the Brits, we were showing improvement and getting to grips with the conditions finishing the day with 10,7,3,2.

Day three (but only our second day of racing), brought a couple of more knots of breeze to the race course. GER 564 picked up where they had left off the previous day locking in a 2,1,1,8. The noticeable other changes to the pecking order were Ulf Kipcke GER 739 who had by his standards had a slow start to the regatta, as billed the local favourite and numerous times Kiel week winner, with a 4,5,3,3 he was starting to build momentum for a charge into the top three leading into the final day. This left GER 466 in a solid second position having scored a 1,3,5,1 still breathing down the neck of GER 564. This left GER 417 squeezed out of the top three in a tussle with DEN 703 Carl Otto Hedegaard and GBR 673 Simon Osgood. All having a mixed bag for the day.

Feeling the pain from eight races in two days the fleet were greeted with 20-22 knots of breeze, and the final three races to be sailed. GER 739 came out with clear intent, scoring a bullet in the first race. GER 564 and GER 466 got into a tussle around the final turn mark in race one resulting in GER 564 having to do to turns as they infringed again in takin their penalty turns. GER 466 scored a 3rd with GER 564 down in sixth for the first race. GER 564 saw no repeat of any costly errors and went on to score a first and second for the final two races and effectively wrapped up the regatta win. For the remainder of the fleet there was a real mix of results, and GER 334 – Kristian Klein, built a useful finish and was revelling in the windier conditions, scoring a 2,4,6 to lift them to seventh overall.

In summary, a fantastically organised event, with great courses and race management. A big congratulation to Sonke Durst and his team of Marc Rokicki and Ulrich Schaefer for the win. We are all now looking ahead to the Gold Cup in Simrishamns in Sweden, July 4th.

Top Ten Results:

POSCountrySail No.HelmCrewCrewPoints
1GER564Sonke DurstMarc RokickiUlrich Schaefer22
2GER466Walther FurthmannHans MrowkaWolfgang Heck29
3GER739Ulf KipckeDieter KipckeHorst Dittrich35
4GER417Jurgen BreitenbachWolfgang RosteckUwe Grigull44
5DEN703Carl-Otto HedegaardHenrik HolkOle Hjaltelin50
6GBR673Simon OsgoodJamie LeaMagnus Strom54
7GER334Kristian KleinManuel WettelsMartin Jahmarkt64
8GER1001Rainer HasselmannJochen BobbertGernot Meyer71
9GER1096Nils HansenSven JohannsenCarsten Reuter99
10GER836Klaus ScholtenGitta RonnMax Bruckner100

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