Flensburg, Germany – With just one month to go, preparations are accelerating towards the start of the 2010 ORC International World Championship, to be held from 5-12 September in Flensburg, Germany. To date 54 teams from 7 countries are entered for the event, which is being organized by the Flensburger Segel-Club and is the only Offshore World Championship sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). In all, over 450 sailors will be descending on the picturesque Baltic town, with even a few more expected by the organizers.
“The Flensburg Segel-Club is very happy that the Offshore Racing Congress has engaged us to host this important event,” says event chairman Claus Otto Hanson. “We’re also happy that our early expectations of entries have been exceeded, and we look forward over the next few weeks to welcome the participants of this high-profile international event here to our marvelous sailing area at the Danish border."
“The great density of yachts participating from competitive fleets in Denmark, Sweden, Croatia, Netherlands, Finland, Estonia and Germany will make this an exciting and highly-competitive event,” said Dr. Wolfgang Schäfer, Deputy Chairman of the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and Chairman of the Deutschen Segler Verband (DSV) Offshore Committee. Schäfer, a member of the winning German team at the 2010 ISAF Offshore Teams Championship, also sees this event as being an important finale to a long series of other inshore and offshore ORC events being held in the region this season.
“ORC racing has been very active this year in Germany, with eight events in the season from April to September,” says Schäfer. “Besides these, the teams entered for the Worlds also have the “Go for speed” seminars sponsored by DSV and Elvstrom Sails to get trained and ready for the main event.”
The fleet will be divided into two large classes, with 21 of the largest entries thusfar being assigned to Class A and the remaining 33 assigned to Class B. But among these groups the rating bands are fairly narrow, so that Boris Hepp, Chief Measurer with DSV, expects that “The front places to be hotly-contested, particularly in the upper size range. It will be important for the bigger boats, like Gorm Gondesen’s local-based Rogers 46 Shakti, to have excellent starts to get away well from the starting line and extend to save her time. But everyone else will have had an intensive start training from previous racing, which will pay off here at the World Championship.”
Who does Hepp see as favorites for the event? “I think Christian Plump's Rodman 42 Beluga Sailing Team is in a favorite position, being last year’s winner of the ORC European Championship in Ystad, Sweden. But also I think the Stichting Havoc Sailing Team from the Netherlands sailing their Ker 11.3 Daikin Airco could be quite strong as well.”
Another strong contender, fresh off a refit by designer/builder John Corby in the UK and from being on the Hong Kong team at the Rolex Commodore’s Cup in the UK, would have to be Chris (“Opie”) Opielok’s Corby 36 Rockall III. Opie has been described as a “sailing legend” in Hong Kong for having won two previous Admiral’s Cups for his native Germany.
In Class B Hepp sees two Danish entries, Michael Møllmann’s X-37 Hansen and Peter Beck Mikkelsen’s First 35 BM-Yachting, as the top contenders in this class.
Schleswig-Holsteinische prime minister Peter-Harry Carstensen will begin his patronage of the 2010 ORCi World Championship starting with Registration and measurements taken on Sunday and Monday, 5-6 September. The Opening Ceremony will be held on Monday, 6 September and on Tuesday, 7 September the first windward-leeward races will start. Wednesday and the Thursday, 8-9 September are reserved for the long distance races before windward-leeward course racing resumes on Friday and Saturday, 10-11 September, with an Awards Ceremony to follow racing. If the conditions should require it, Sunday, 12 September is provided as a spare day.
The Flensburger Segel-Club thanks its sponsors Pantaenius Yacht Insurance, Maschinenfabrik Anthon and Flensburg Pilsner, who have helped make the ORCi Worlds 2010 possible.
Further information and documents for the 2010 ORCi World Championship can be found on the Flensburg Segel-Club website: http://www.fsc.de/regatten/orci-worlds-2010.
Further information about the Offshore Racing Congress, ORC events and the ORCi Rating Rules can be found at www.orc.org.