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European Championship 2006
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After eight testing races in a variety of condition, Martin von Zimmermann (GER) is the new OK Dinghy European Champion, with Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) in second place and Jorgen Lindhardtsen (DEN) in third. Sailed in Loctudy in north-western France, the regatta was plagued by light and quite shifty winds and became a quite high scoring regatta as many sailors struggled to find any consistency.
The championship opened on Monday 24th July with three races being sailed. Martin von Zimmerman tells the story of race one, “Light wind conditions dominated the first race and a rising tide made the right hand side favoured. Various obstacles such as bread rock (a small island) and several boats anchored in front of the shoreline put an additional challenge on the first beat. Tomacsz Gal (POL) got the right side first and no one could pass him. It was a surprise to me that course was shortened to only one triangle. Greg Wilcox (NZL) finished second and I was third ahead of Oliver Gronhotz (GER) and Thomas Hansson Mild (SWE).”
World Champion Nick Craig finished in 7th, but in the next race he made sure of a win followed by Wilcox again and Hansson Mild. Hannson Mild described the race. "I started at the committee boat and tacked directly over onto port and went towards the right side of the course. It paid to go towards land and I rounded about 5th at the top mark. Christian Hartmann (GER) was the first boat to round and shortly after Nick Craig. Craig took the lead from Hartmann on the reaches and on second beat we were a bunch of 6 boats who had taken a jump from the rest of the fleet. The run did not see any major changes and on the last beat up I gained some distance by going for the right side of the course again to finish third in this very light and tricky race."
The race committee then decided to go for a third race. Oliver Gronholtz takes up the story, “After the second race we all thought we could go ashore and drink beer but no, we had to race again. The tide had turned and the sea breeze was dying. The pin end favoured Jorgen Lindhartdsten (DEN) and I and we went left up the first beat. Jule Hoffmann, however started in the middle and was a fraction faster. The wind filled in from the left and Jule was first at the top mark followed by myself and Jorgen. Up the second beat Jule got confused thinking the course was again to be shortened so I was first at the top but the lightweight Jule flew down the run to have a big lead at the bottom. On the last beat the left was again favoured but I tried the right. Jule won easily from Andreas Pich (GER) then myself and Jorgen. Happily we all managed to get to shore time for the champagne and pate party at the club.”
The light winds continued on day two, but one race was eventually started in very light conditions after a postponement ashore. The right hand side was favoured and Wilcox and Tomacsz Gal were the first two at the top mark. The wind died on the reaches but filled in again enough to keep the race going. The top mark was moved and the length of the beat was shortened to enable the fleet to make the time limit. Wilcox led the whole way around and won by a comfortable margin from Gal then Lindhardtsen and Hartmann . There was not enough steady wind for another race so the fleet was sent in early.
Thomas Hansson-Mild describes the race, “This day was the day everybody said it was going to be windy. Well if windy is a fairly steady 3 m/s well then it is. The start went off in shifty conditions of 25 degrees or so. The line was very much favoured at the pin side and basically the whole fleet tacked over for port right after the starting gun. Greg Wilcox rounded as leader at the top mark and headed for the wing mark. Almost at the wing mark he realised that it was not the wing but instead the bottom mark! He suddenly starts to beat and the rest of the fleet who also were asleep and apparently just following the leader also start to go for the right mark. All of a sudden the order in the race was reversed and the new leaders were Darek Kras (POL) and Arne Lindemann (GER). I found myself in the middle of the pack and had a good second beat and run and last beat to make it back up to a fifth place overall. But unfortunately for Arne and Darek, they got confused by the massive amount of flags and boats in the finish area so they did not pass the right finish line. Martin von Zimmermann won the race ahead of Sönke Behrens (GER) and me.
Race 6 was sailed in a shifty and patchy breeze. The fleet split into two groups up the first beat with Wilcox and Hansson-Mild dominating the right hand side. Wilcox said, “A big shift with pressure came in from the left so Martin who was about as far into the corner as possible led around the first mark. Sönke Behrens was a close second. I was just in front of Thomas but ended up fourth at the bottom. The breeze filled in up the second beat and Martin and Sönke sailed away. I passed Kuba down the run and finished third. Amazingly the fleet was sent home for the day with the best wind of the regatta still on the race course.”
Races 7 and 8
At last the wind arrived at about 7 m/s. Thomas Hansson-Mild scored two first places. He said,”I thought I should rest my legs for more than 3,000 km driving back to Sweden, so I was just HIKING!” Martin came second in the seventh race followed by myself and Sönke. Six boats were taken out by the black flag.
The last race in the same conditions with good wind and sun, combined with a few waves. Terry Curtis got second followed by four Danes (Jorgen, Morgens Johansen, Jesper Petersen and Bo Teglers).
And so, this year’s European Championship ended with a new winner, Martin von Zimmermann from Germany, the first German winner of the event since 1977. After the prize giving took part in the small clubhouse, Martin got chucked into the Atlantic without making any trouble.
|1||GER 693||Martin v. Zimmermann||SCOe||3||8||11||6||1||1||2||9||41||30|
|2||SWE 2767||Thomas Hansson-Mild||UMEA SSC||17||3||12||16||3||5||1||1||58||41|
|3||DEN 1348||Jørgen Lindhardtsen||Hvidovre SK||15||19||4||3||10||7||3||3||64||45|
|4||GER 717||Oliver Gronholz||Segeberger SC||4||5||3||14||16||6||5||DNS||95||53|
|5||GER 731||Thomas Glas||Segeberger SC||6||4||27||11||4||14||6||10||82||55|
|6||GER 690||Sönke Behrens||SCOe||14||16||10||20||2||2||4||8||76||56|
|7||POL 1||Thomasz Gaj||Pogoria 3||1||27||9||2||21||24||7||13||104||77|
|8||GBR 2116||Nick Craig||Frensham Pond||7||1||7||8||5||8||DNS||DNS||120||78|
|9||GER 656||Andreas Pich||Lübecker YC||9||11||2||12||14||20||18||DNS||128||86|
|10||DEN 1335||Morgens Johansen||Salrad Strand SK||22||17||6||10||17||17||16||4||109||87|
|11||GBR 2118||Terry Curtis||Upper Thames SC||12||12||13||30||31||9||12||2||121||90|
|12||SWE 99||Hans Elkjær||Varbergs SS||8||7||14||21||24||16||11||14||115||91|
|13||NZL 522||Greg Wilcox||Worser Bay BC||2||2||18||1||26||3||DNS||DNS||136||94|
|14||DEN 1347||Rene Johansen||Ebeltoft SK||30||20||19||5||22||10||9||11||126||96|
|15||POL 61||Piotr Stobinsky||AZS Poznan||13||24||16||9||6||13||22||17||120||96|
|16||SWE 2763||Jan-Eric Engholm||Getskats SS||11||9||22||23||35||11||17||12||140||105|
|17||GER 699||Juliane Hofmann||SWS||26||13||1||17||8||23||26||29||143||114|
|18||POL 27||Jakub Kania||ElkS||24||21||DNF||25||7||4||15||18||156||114|
|19||GER 688||Dirk Dame||Sv Mannheim||20||22||20||7||28||22||13||16||148||120|
|20||GBR 2107||Mike Edwards||SSSC||10||34||17||22||27||15||14||15||154||120|
|21||DEN 1340||Jesper Petersen||Solrod||31||10||5||24||36||26||20||5||157||121|
|22||GER 725||Christian Hartmann||VSa Wannsee||33||6||26||4||19||27||BFD||19||176||134|
|23||DEN 1330||Troels Lykke||Hvidove SK||16||28||15||19||32||29||8||21||168||136|
|24||SWE 2739||Jan-Eric Nystedt||Vikingavnas SS||21||15||29||27||30||12||BFD||7||183||141|
|25||GER 539||Carsten Sass||Lübecker YC||19||29||25||18||23||31||10||20||175||144|
|26||GER 666||Jan Hartmann||BSV||27||31||8||31||15||28||19||22||181||150|
|27||GER 645||Arne Lindemann||Postdamer SC||23||23||DNF||13||9||19||BFD||25||196||154|
|28||DEN 1324||Bo Teglers||Oresunds SKF||28||18||32||34||11||33||DNS||6||204||162|
|29||BEL 214||Paul Verrijdt||KLYC Antwerpen||5||30||21||15||25||25||BFD||DNS||205||163|
|30||POL 424||Piotr Przewozny||JKW Poznan||36||35||24||32||20||18||21||23||209||173|
|31||FRA 29||Noel Masseron||C N Loctudy||18||32||23||33||12||32||BFD||26||218||176|
|32||POL 24||Darek Kras||Mos-Z Warszava||25||36||28||35||13||21||DNS||DNS||242||200|
|33||FRA 1764||Frederic Lamarque||C V Bordeaux||29||26||30||28||37||37||24||27||238||201|
|34||GBR 2007||Anthony Rich||Oxford SC||32||25||33||39||18||35||23||DNS||247||205|
|35||GBR 2104||Derick Lovegrove||Kingsmead||34||14||31||29||34||30||DNS||DNS||256||214|
|36||GER 695||Dirk Gericke||SGE Brandenburg RV||39||37||34||38||29||36||27||24||264||225|
|37||POL 46||Adrian Gorka||WkZ||37||33||36||36||33||34||25||28||262||225|
|38||GBR 2060||Paul-Stephen Pike||Covenham SC||35||40||35||37||39||38||28||30||282||242|
|39||GBR 2083||Andy Turner||Ardleigh||38||41||DNF||26||38||BFD||DNS||DNS||311||269|
|40||FRA 1769||Olivier Ronsiaux||C V St Quentin||41||38||37||DNF||40||39||DNS||DNS||321||279|
|41||GER 728||Karsten Kath||SV Neptun Ende||40||39||DNF||40||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||329||287|