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Kieler Woche 2020 - Day 3: Exciting showdown of the ORC season

by Hermann Hell 8 Sep 08:38 BST 5-13 September 2020
The defending champion `Intermezzo` in third place is still in the title fight in class ORC I/II. © Sascha Klahn / Kieler Woche

The battle for the titles is now entering the decisive phase: the offshore sailors have two races to go on Tuesday, before the International German Champions are determined.

It is the absolute highlight in a shortened season for these yachts. In the three starting groups, very different pictures emerge: While in the ORC I+II four teams still have a chance to win the big trophy, in the ORC III it is a championship duel. And undisputed at the top of ORC IV is the "Bostik Bad Boys" by Jan Schmidt.

A dead heat at the top of the big boats (ORC I+II) was delivered on Monday by the two dominant teams of last year. In the first day's race, the European Champions 2019 from the "Sportsfreund" with helmsman Gordon Nickel (Stade) and the German Champions 2019 from the "Intermezzo" (Jens Kuphal, Berlin) were equal to the second after calculated time and shared the day's victory. Afterwards, the "Intermezzo" failed with fifth place, while the "Sportsfreund" won. And in the third race the positions were exactly the other way round. As a result, the "Sportsfreund" defended first place, while the "Intermezzo" came in third, very close to the second-placed "Halbtrocken 4.5" (Michael Berghorn, Kiel). Finally, the "Xen" of Torsten Bastiansen (Flensburg), who is getting better and better, can still interfere in this match.

In the ORC III the "Immac Fram" of Kai Mares (Dänischenhagen) had a perfect day with three victories. Nevertheless, the "Halbtrocken" of Knut Freudenberg (Flensburg) remains close to the front runner.

"We have to start pretty strong in order to win. We have succeeded in doing so today. But we also learned yesterday in the final race that you can quickly finish third if you're not right at the front of the pack at the start. And the 'Halbtrocken' is a very experienced crew," says Kai Mares. Mares likes to hear the weather forecast for the final day with increasing wind, because the crew likes these conditions: "Our goal is of course to defend the title, especially since the class is a bit weaker this year than last year. The ORC III had a small loss, while the class ORC I+II became stronger".

In the class ORC IV, Jan Schmidt (Flensburg) and his crew on the "Bostik Bad Boys" have the competition firmly under control - including the "Nemo" of Uwe Kleinvogel (Rostock), which won the German "Bestenermittlung" last year. With seven victories in seven races, Schmidt's class victory is unstoppable. He cannot celebrate a title win, however, because the class of small yachts is too small in the number of starters and is evaluated together with the class ORC III. And in the combination the calculation is not enough for achieving a top ranking.

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