The Gold Cup Fleet had another stunning sailing day here in Kuhlungsborn yesterday with a wonderful consistent breeze despite an overcast sky. The IRO Christian Haake set up the 2.5 mile first beat on a bearing of 200 degrees, from the superb “Ebb Tide” Committee Boat, 4 miles off the Baltic Coastline.
After a couple of General Recalls and one postponed Black Flag start, the 66 boats got away cleanly at around 12.40. The fleet immediately split to both sides of the course as the wind increased to around 18kts and moved slightly to the right. This gave the sailors who had chosen the right side an advantage so at the top mark it was the “Corinthian” team of GER 1103 “Rosie” helmed by Benjamin Morgan, crewed by his Father Karl and Nicolaus Raedecke who have certainly benefited from their winter sailing in Cascais, Portugal. Right behind them was the Dubai based team in UAE 20 “Desert Eagle” and 3rd was RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” who yet again is showing superb consistency.
I spoke to Benjamin after the race, he told me “We did not have a brilliant start at the Committee Boat end of the line, so we tacked immediately and went out to the right. Although we were below UAE 20 we continued a little further out to the right after Hendrik and his team tacked. As the wind shifted right a little this gave us the edge and so we were very pleased to be first to the top mark” ! Great stuff Benjamin and a fantastic result to finish in 2nd place.
The other boat to be fighting it out all the way around the 12 mile course with the two leaders was RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” helmed by Dmitry Samokhin, crewed by Aleksey Bushuev and Andrey Kirilyuk. After two wins already under their belt this top Russian Team finished a clear 3rd which puts them in 2nd place overall and still very much in the hunt to win the Gold Cup.
However, all eyes were on the “overall” leaders yesterday as GBR 801 helmed by Lawrie Smith, crewed by Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling who had to really dig deep into their “inner beliefs” to get themselves out of the chasing pack. I counted at least 20 boats ahead of them at the first leeward gate as the main group of front runners elected to take the left-hand (looking down the course) mark to continue out to the right of the course. But the wind had moved back to 200 degrees again so in fact both sides of the second beat were equal, it was only on the final beat of the day that the experienced Race Management Team signalled for a change of course to 220 degrees.
With all to do and everything to loose, this well drilled GBR team fought back little by little to amazingly recover to 6th place ! Quite unbelievable really, but boat by boat they slowly moved up the fleet and I am sure they appreciated the excellent long course that the Gold Cup offers….
There was no doubt who were the Top Corinthian Team as of course GER 1103 finished in a fantastic 2nd place, in fact it was GER 1096 “Spass” helmed by Uwe Latzsch, crewed by Torsten Inbeck and Lars Kerschies who finished 2nd Corinthian and now move up to 2nd place overall in the Corinthian Division. Just managing to stay ahead and remain on course to lift the Corinthian Cup is GER 1151 “Puck IV” who were the 3rd Corinthian boat yesterday….
So now we enter into the final day of this exciting and well organised Gold Cup, with around 5 boats that can still “Mathematically” win !! However, destiny has still yet to play her part as I was reminded by my good friend “Noddy” from Burnham that in Kinsale in 2012 after 5 races it was…
Lawrie Smith on 31pts, Dmitry Samokhin 43pts and Tommy Muller on 51pts.
Tommy won the final race and took the Cup beating the GBR team by just a single point! Such is the danger of a non discard series… Such is the drama of the final day. Such is the excitement of this amazing competition ……
This time we have Lawrie Smith 20pts, Dmitry Samokhin 31pts, Pieter Heerema 43pts, Marcus Wieser 52pts and Tommy Muller also 52pts !!
So I wish all the top teams the best of luck, a fair wind to them all and may the best team win……
Higher, Faster, Longer…………….. Stavros. (aboard the “Ebb Tide”).