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Germany, International German Championship 2001

Poster of Event

SCOe, Hamburg

June 28th - July 1st

Pictures are in the Pictures gallery.

First four races in very light to no winds, extremly shifty, Sunday more wind with hiking conditions

Day 1
by Nick Craig on 28 June 2001
The OK German Nationals started on the River Elbe in tricky conditions with many leading names putting in early discards in a strong international fleet of 42 boats. A very patchy force 1-2 and strong but swirlling current left the fleet tightly packed with many places to win but much more easily lost!

Triple National Champion Rudi Prinz (GER) showed his light wind speed once again with a healthy win after hitting the left corner up the 1st beat and coming out nicely in front in new breeze. Weighing in at a very light in OK terms 70kg, he will be hoping for more of the same. Runner-up last year, Jorn Wille (GER) also likes the light winds and put in a useful 2nd followed by Uwe Bohm (GER). This was a day when the 4 pre-event favourites put in scores ranging from average to disaster - reigning Champion Nick Craig (GBR) was 8th, leading Kiwi Greg Wilcox 18th, past Champion Martin von Zimmerman (GER) 25th and a confused looking World Champion Karsten Hitz back in 36th!

Forecast is for more of the same over the next 3 days so avoiding distaster will be the name of the game.

Day 2
by Nick Craig on 29 June 2001
Conditions for race 2 of the OK German Nationals were similar to the previous day -light and very shifty winds with fast moving current.

Jörn Wille (GER) from the home club on the River Elbe read the wind well to open up an early lead an extend throughout the race, despite the efforts of lightweight Ingo Ballerstein (GER) to chase him. A large shift up he penultimate beat allowed Thomas Glas (GER) through to 2nd followed by Ballerstein and Ralf Mackmann (GER). World Champion Karsten Hitz (GER) showed his disdain for light airs by staying in bed after drinking most of the free beer last night!

Race 2 opened in a force 3 giving competitors their first chance to stretch the legs and plane! Nick Craig (GBR) opened up an early lead but was quickly under pressure as the wind died and started shifting wildly, giving a very close race in the leading pack. On the last very broad reech, past Champion Martin Von Zimmerman (GER) went on the opposite gybe to everyone else, got downtide and popped out in the lead when the leaders got becalmed. However, he ran out of wind up the last beat allowing Wille who seemed to be in a gust all day to win again, followed by Craig, Mackmann and Von Zimmerman.

At the halfway stage, Wille holds a huge lead and is totally in tune with the very shifty winds - more of this is forecast for the next 2 days so he looks hard to beat.

Day 3
by Peter Scheuerl
The wind seemed to be even lighter that the days before. After a first beat wich saw both sides favoured from time to time, the right paid at the windward mark, when there was much more wind. Christian Hartmann (GER) and Ingo Ballerstein lead the fleet with a huge margin, nearly one leg in front. On the second beat already about 60 degree changed in course the wind died totally. While the rest of the fleet reached the leeward mark together with some wind filling in again, the two top boats went up to the windward mark again, where the course was shortened. Ingo Ballerstein won from Christian Hartmann. When the whole fleet where about half up the beat, a 90 degree shift with some wind changed all placings totally, with the ones top the right reaching towards the finish, close to planning, while the left and middle ones still had to beat against the very light wind.

The race committee tried to start another race, but as the wind dropped again, the fleet was pushed over the line by the current with no way to avoid it due to no wind. After two general recalls many sailors went to the starting vessel to tell the RC to abandon racing for the day, which the RC then did.

Final Day & Overall
by Nick Craig on 02 July 2001
The final day of the OK German Nationals bought excellent sailing conditions at last - force 4 & sunny after 3 days of light airs. This produced some major changes in the leader board after the lightweights who had been dominating the Championship struggled to hold on.

Despite the higher winds, it remained pretty shifty with a large shift left up the 1st beat of race 5 splitting the fleet. Long-time rivals Nick Craig (GBR) and Karsten Hitz (GER) engaged in an epic battle for the lead with never more than a length between them and 30+ tacks exchanged up the last beat with Craig just winning. Former Champion Martin Von Zimmerman (GER) led the chasing pack home from Frank Schonfeldt (GER). Overnight joint leaders Jorn Wille (GER) and Ingo Ballerstein (GER) were 14th and 19th respectively opening the event right up going into the final race.

Wille was still leading but only by a point from Ballestein and 4 points from Craig.

The wind picked up another notch for the final race with a gusty force 5 and steep chop causing a few casaulties on the run. Hitz showed why he is World Champion with some impressive speed to win by a comfy margin. A close race in the chasing pack saw Oliver Gronholz (GER) score his best race of the week in 2nd, followed by Peter Scheuerl (GER), Craig and Greg Wilcox (NZL) feeling more at home with sun & wind! With the lightweight Ballerstein back in 22nd and Wille upside down, this was enough to give Craig the championship.

1GBR 2094Nick Craig 882141423,0
2GER 721Jörn WilleSVAOe2111214DNF30,0
3GER 671Frank SchönfeldtENSFR65784830,0
4GER 607Ingo BallersteinSCOe7351192235,0
5GER 693Martin v.ZimmermannSCOe13164343743,0
6GER 624Thomas GlasSSC25264181949,0
7GER 599Uwe BöhmSCSt410OCS10161050,0
8GER 449Sönke BehrensSCOe101217136950,0
9GER 711Rüdiger PrinzSSeV178OCS221351,0
10GER 727Karsten HitzSSC35DNC1132152,0
11GER 27Tom GoschENSFR1291611101153,0
12GER 642Ralf MackmannSCH5432526DNF63,0
13GER 659Falk HagemannSWSV32095302865,0
14NZL 512Greg WilcoxWSC1814193512568,0
15GER 576Ralf TietjeWSVE926122291668,0
16GER 725Christian HartmannVSaW171515225DNF74,0
17GER 618Peter ScheuerlNRV193227205374,0
18SUI 66Michael BachmannSCOW212226920678,0
19GER 726Jörg SylvesterSSC11191028232083,0
20GER 705Peter HolzwarthSCBo2323181682186,0
21GER 688Dirk DameSVM29112133111486,0
22GER 686Kai WittMSC2229DNF6131787,0
23GER 662Gerd BreitbartSCOe2862321241589,0
24SUI 6Kirstin BrandENSFR1513OCS7322693,0
25GER 717Oliver GronholzSSCDNC17OCS3272101,0
26GER 697Jörg PosnySSeV2021OCS152824108,0
27GER 649Sven WurmdoblerSVWS273422291718113,0
28GER 670Hinnerk RiesSCOeDNC3633261512122,0
29GER 703S-O BaumgartnerSCOe301830243127129,0
30GER 724Marina DellasOYC322831312123134,0
31GER 605Rolf MünchSUGF24312023DNFDNF141,0
32GER 720Daniel GröschlYCS33252417DNFDNC142,0
33GER 635Jens BockSCSt343532192929143,0
34GER 664Thomas NevelingSCPs3133291834DNF145,0
35GER 630Norbert PetrauschTSVS373025383325150,0
36GER 606Harald KölschTSVS14DNF14DNCDNCDNC157,0
37GER 698Karsten KathSVNE3637352727DNF162,0
38GER 657Claus NehrigMSC1627DNF36DNCDNC165,0
39GER 674Birke TaufenbachDNF2413DNFDNFDNC166,0
40GER 651Heinz RidderSVP26382837DNCDNC172,0
41GER 696Jürgen DierisSCCR38393430DNCDNC184,0