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Estonians still leading after day two of 2018 ORC European Championship

by ORC Media 12 Sep 00:33 BST 8-15 September 2018
Light air, but tight racing: Tamumm crossing tacks with Katariina II in Class C - 2018 ORC European Championship © Nikos Pantis

With a leisure 13:00 afternoon start, Day Two of the 2018 ORC European Championship commenced the inshore phase of the competition with two close-fought windward-leeward races held today. The two Estonian teams who won yesterday's short offshore race in each of their respective classes continued to excel today with solid results.

Mati Sepp's modified X-41 Technonicol dominated both races today in Class AB, winning the first race by a whopping 4:13 over runner-up Maestro, Oleg Stashkevych's XP 44 all-amateur Corinthian team from Ukraine, and the second by a closer 1:49 margin over Mikhail Kdetov's Skif 42 St Anna from Russia. These second-place results were the best thusfar for both Maestro and St Anna, but the overall runner-up in the Class AB standings is Tomas Dolezal and Radim Parizek's Czech team on their Swan 42 Daring Sisters, who is actually tied in points with Easy Swisha's X-41 Next from Israel.

Sepp explained the reason for their strong results lies in years of one-design sailing in the X-41 Class in the Baltic region, followed by the competitive pressure felt in more recent years racing in the ORC Class B Class at numerous championship events, both in the Baltic and the Med.

"We raced last year at the ORC Worlds in Trieste, left the boat in Italy, and this year competed at Copa del Rey and at the Italian ORC National Championship in Capri," he said. "These were all light-air regattas, so we have gotten good at getting the most out of the boat in these conditions."

They have also been working hard on rating optimizations, with upgrades made that increase performance without much change in rating.

"We fitted a new keel that is shorter in draft but longer in chord length and in bulb length, and we have a deeper rudder too," explained Sepp. "The boat really tracks well now, which makes us better upwind. We have jibs that are 4 square meters larger than the class jibs for more power, and this helps too. We are thinking of getting a new high-modulus carbon mast with smaller rod rigging this winter to save 60 kg, which means we will be stiffer and can add more sail power in the main. We are also thinking of going to masthead spinnakers for more power downwind as well - we saw how effective this was with one of our X-41 competitors in Capri."

In Class C another Estonian team - Aivar Tuulberg's Cossutti-designed Katariina II - had a quite reasonable day with scores of 1-2 to maintain their lead, but the margins are tight: in today's second race they lost by a mere 22 seconds to Rudolf Vrestal's Italia 9.98 Giulia, and this team from the Czech Republic is only 3 points back in the overall standings.

"I think we can do well here," predicted Giulia helmsman Jan Johan Himsal yesterday in a team debrief after they finished the long race," so long as we focus as a team and not beat ourselves." Their win in the second race today for a scoreline of 2-4-1 shows their team work is coming together just fine.

Runner-up in the first race today was Tamumm-Marineshop, a modified Farr 30 from Greece skippered by Antonis Katigiannakis, who yesterday was first to finish in the long race but corrected to only 5th place. For inshore racing their speed and agility in these conditions makes them dangerous relative to their heavier competitors who will typically lose more in the maneuvers on a windward-leeward course. Like Maestro in Class AB, Tamumm is the currently the top all-amateur Corinthian team in the standings at third place overall.

Racing resumes again tomorrow at 13:00 local time with two more inshore windward-leeward races scheduled, and a sunny weather forecast similar to today.

For more information about the 2018 ORC European Championship in Limassol, visit the event website at european2018.orc.org.

More on the ORC rating system, ORC certificates and events can be found at www.orc.org.

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