Germany. Rolex Baltic Week: No wind, no racing, championship decided after much controversy Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 August 2006
Andreas Kling:


Once again the weather failed to co-operate allowing no racing to be held on the final day of Rolex Baltic Week. While the two divisions competing in the IMS Offshore World Championship twice ventured out on to the water the wind never sustained and twice the boats were sent back to the marina at Neustadt. Fortunately the new IMS Offshore World Champion for Division 1 was already decided yesterday. Holding a lead of more than 30 points in the 26 strong fleet, even if two races were held today the title would still have gone to Russian Sergey Shevtsov and his team from Taganrog, on the Azov Sea and their Grand Soleil 42R Yugtranzit, who have sailed a superb regatta.

"The IMS Offshore World Championship was is very important for us," said a beaming Shevtsov. "It's a World Championship and we have been preparing this for a long period before. This is the most important result we've had in this boat."

However there was some controversy over the remainder of the results in the IMS Offshore World Championship. The Race Committee received several protests over the positioning of their boat to record the finish times at the end of the first part of the offshore race. While the offshore course was around 100 miles long, it was divided into two races, the first 30 miles long. At a protest it was deemed that the committee boat in situ at the end of the first offshore race had been wrongly positioned. So the first race was annulled, results from this race loped off competitors' scores. After a further hearing Saturday afternoon when it was decided the position of the committee boat was irrelevant, the first offshore race was reinstated.

While this had no effect on Yugtranzit it has caused Peer Moberg's Norwegian Grand Soleil 42R Al Cap One to drop back from second to fifth place and bumped Swede Ralk Aspholm's Data Communications team back up to second overall. Similarly Matthias Müller von Blumencron's IMX 40 Moonshine is now back on the third tier of the podium having previously dropped to a lowly eighth.

"We were very satisfied after the long distance race on the first day, we were in the third place," said Norwegian Sverre Valeur, skipper of the IMX 40 Ocean Warrior. "After the two races we fell down to 6th and we were very lucky on the first day and not so lucky after". Ocean Warrior was one of the few boats in the regatta not to feel the effects of the race reinstatement. "The conditions were frustrating. As long as the wind shifts are 20-40 degrees, it is hard to arrange for the race officers. They did a good job. Sometimes the conditions were a little on the edge. It is good they tried twice today - I am satisfied."

With no races sailed for yet another day, the Florida-based duo of Mark Mendelblatt and Mark Strube have won the Star European Championship with a score of just 10 points to the 25 of Brazilian three time Laser Olympic medallist Robert Scheidt and crewman Bruno Prada. Of the European entries it was Italian former Laser Olympic sailor Diego Negro and his crew Luigi Viale who came out on top and are the 2006 European Champions in this prestigious Olympic two man keel boat class.

"It feels great, excellent," said a jubilant Mendelblatt. "It has been a good European tour for us." "It was a long three days of waiting for the next race," added his towering crew, Strube. Thanks to the light and shifting or non-existent wind conditions on the Bay of Lübeck this week there has been no Star racing at Rolex Baltic Week for the last three days. With five races sailed there was some debate over whether this officially constituted an adequate number of races to be considered officially a European championship, however delving into the Star Class rule book, under rule 27.2 it states a championship of this calibre is considered invalid "if it not possible to complete four races". "We'll take it any way we can get it," summed up Mendelblatt.

The new Italian Star European Champion was elated by his win, having only moved into the class this year after a long tenure including two Olympic Games in the Laser. "It is my first time so high in the European results," he said. "Last year I was fourth at the Laser Europeans and many times I have been in the top five - but never on the podium. This time to not only get on the podium but to be in the highest place is very good." Negri and Viale are now off to Qingdao, China for the Olympic test event.

This year's event is the third ever Rolex Baltic Week. It is the only Rolex-sponsored sailing regatta in Germany and the Baltic Sea.

Preliminary results:
IMS Offshore World Championship
Rolex Baltic Week - IMS Offshore World Championship
Division 1

1. "Yugtransit" (Sergey Shevtsov/Russia) 19.13 points
2. "Data Communication" (Ralf Aspholm/Sweden) 54.50
3. "Moonshine" (Matthias Müller von Blumencron/Germany) 65.50
4. "Imagine" (Peter Rudbäck/Sweden) 66.50
5. "Al Cap One" (Peer Moberg/Norway) 67.50
6. "Ocean Warrior" (Sverre Valeur/Norway) 68.00
Division 2
1. "Froschkönig" (Detlef Amlong/Germany) 33.00 points
2. "No Limits" (Sven and Lars Christensen/Germany) 39.00
3. "Patent3" (Jürgen Klinghardt/Germany) 46.50
4. "Cala Ventinove" (Uwe Wenzel/Germany) 52.25
5. "Chinook" (Johann Friedrichsen/Germany) 55.75
6. "Static Electric" (Heiko Päsler/Germany) 59.00
Star European Championship - provisional results
1. Mark Mendelblatt/Mark Strube (USA) 10,00
2. Robert Scheidt/Bruno Prada (Germany) 25,00
3. Andrew Horton, Brad Nichol (USA) 27,00
4. Hamish Pepper/Carl Williams (New Zealand) 27,00
5. Diego Negri/Luigi Viale (Italy) 29,00
6. Xavier Rohart/Pascal Rambeau 31,00
Full results be published on the event website at www.Rolex-Baltic-Week.com
www.regattanews.com
Last Updated ( Saturday, 12 August 2006 )
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