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Netherlands, Spring Cup 1996
KZ & RV Hollandia, Medemblik, 27.4.-29.4.
Report by Peter Scheuerl
40 OK-Dinghies from seven countries competed in the fifth Spring Cup in Medemblik. The wind was mainly light, gusty and shifty, with a breeze in only one of the six races. The course was a Triangle-Run with finish downwind. Many competitors would have liked to have more than two beats, especially in this light wind.
Light south-easterly winds.
The only way to be in front was in the corners of the beat with most boats on the left side. There was some trouble in the fleet because the windward mark of the second beat wasn't the same as on the first beat in this course format but some hundred metres to the left, which wasn't recognised by all competitors.
Antoni Pawlowski (POL 31) won from Ruediger Prinz (GER 634) and Karsten Hitz (GER 672). Three-time winner ('92, '94 and '95) Hedley Fletcher (GBR 2073) was fifth.
Light south-easterly winds, shifting to north-east.
Joern Richter (GER 666), in Germany well known as a light wind winner, was well in front at the first mark after sailing in the left corner. On the second reach the wind dropped totally. After a few minutes it came back from 100 degrees more to the left (north), while most of the fleet tried to sail a higher, more westerly course to the leeward mark. The places changed a lot on this reach and many sailors wanted the race to be abandoned, but the race comittee laid a new windward mark. Joern Richter reached the leeward mark first and found some wind to sail half way to the windward mark as the rest of the fleet stayed at, or around, the leeward mark. On this last beat again some boats won or lost a lot of places as they got private breezes or wind holes.
Joern won, with Hedley Fletcher second, David Carroll third and Antoni Pawlowski fourth.
The race committee postponed the third scheduled race until the next day.
The wind was a little more steady, coming from the north and increased during the day.
Again the left side of the beat was favoured.
In still light winds Antoni Pawlowski won from Karsen Hitz and Ruediger Prinz. Jan Dissel (GER) was fourth and Hedley Fletcher finished 6th.
The wind started to increase to 3-4 Beaufort during this race.
Joern Richter, coming from the left corner again, was first at the windward mark, with Karsten Hitz, Hinnerk Ries (GER), Antoni Pawlowski and Ingo Ballerstein following closely.
Karsten took the lead in the buiding breeze and didn't give it up on the run to the finish. Joern defended his second and Hinnerk his third position. Antoni was fourth with Giles Hudson just behind. Ingo, Hedley and Martin von Zimmermann fought hard for the places 6 to 8 surfing down the increasing waves with Peter Scheuerl (GER 618) closing the gap from behind.
The wind was now blowing 4 Beaufort and still increasing, coming from about 0 degrees.
Karsten showed his upwind speed to the rest of the fleet with Hedley Fletcher second and Ken Carrol (GBR 2054) third at the first mark. Antoni was just behind, followed by Thorsten Schmidt (GER 707), Peter Scheuerl and Martin von Zimmermann at some distance. On the reach Martin and Peter overtook Thorsten ("I'm playing cork on the reaches") and closed the gap with Ken and Antoni.
On the next beat Karsten widened his lead on Hedley so that even his problems finding the finish, sailing about 30 degrees in the wrong direction, didn't affect his place. Peter managed to overtake Martin on the beat again and rounded the windward mark as fifth just behind Ken with Hedley and Antoni well in front.
On the last run the first places didn't change except Peter catching Ken, finishing 4th and 5th with Martin 6th and Thorsten, who showed very good upwind speed, 7th.
Unfortunately, the race committee considered it too cold to let the OKs sail another race and postponed again. The racing conditions started to be perfect with up to 5 Beaufort, waves and sun. As far as the water temperature is concerned, you'll have to ask David Carroll.
The breeze had died during the night and didn't come back in the morning.
The race comittee started the J24s for a race but postponed for the J22s and OKs because of windshifts of about 60 degrees and big differences in wind speed over the course. After 2:30 hours of postponement Race 6 was started with the OKs first. The wind wasn't any more stable. 5 minutes before the start the wind shifted 40 degrees to the left. At the start another shift to the left prevented most of the fleet getting over the line on starboard.
The fleet split up, with most boats going left and some going right, but only in the middle there was enough wind to sail. It was more important to find wind (mostly by luck) than to play the shifts. At the first mark Dirk Dame (GER) was well in front followed by Karsten and Hedley, after a small gap Peter rounded the mark with Bart Bomans just behind. The middle of the fleet was caught by the J22s, which had started 10 minutes behind, at the windward mark. Only the first 3 managed to reach the leeward mark before most of Js, which sailed a up-and-down course. Peter had trouble with just one J, while the others got a lot of trouble at this mark.
By some very clever moves to find wind, Karsten not only overtook Dirk, but was also faster than the Js. Hedley managed to get second at the windward mark with Dirk 3th. Peter, 4th, was still in front of the main J22 fleet with Bart and Antoni following at some distance. With a big left-shift and some wind the first six managed to stay out of most problems with the J22s and oncoming J24s, while the rest of the OK fleet was stopped by the back-wind of the keelboats and total lack of wind in the middle and right side of the course.
Karsten won from Hedley and Dirk, Peter 4th, Bart 5th and Antoni 6th. Behind them there was a gap of several hundred metres to the rest of the fleet.
Due to lack of steady wind the race committee abandoned all further races.
Over all Karsten won this fifth edition of the Spring Cup, his second one after winning the 1993 edition, with Antoni Pawlowski second and three-time winner Hedley Fletcher third.
|12||GER693||Martin von Zimmerman||21||15||10||8||6||DNC||102.00||60.00|
|17||GBR2010||Alistair John Deaves||18||9||7||24||20||22||100.00||76.00|
|26||NED661||Erik M. Vliegenthart||27||30||30||16||17||26||146.00||116.00|