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German Open 2017
Like every year, the Pentecost weekend hosts the German Open for the Flying Junior class. This year, the club which hosted the event was the Duisburger Segel-Club E.V. (DSC) and races were held on the Sechs-Seen-Platte. On this lake, the yearly Friedel Heinen-cup is also sailed, so many teams have already experience sailing at this location. And as we all recall, it often is a lottery who will win in the end since the wind is never the same and goes into all directions except the perfect one when you lay in front.
Jori and I travelled on Saturday morning to Duisburg and were greeted very warmly by all German teams. In total 19 teams would participate. Having arrived at the club, it turned out there was not enough wind yet to sail a fair race so the races were delayed by roughly an hour. The weather forecast predicted chances of thunder in the afternoon and a changing wind from South to West. During the first race, we picked the wrong number in the lottery (we went left where we should have gone right to the island to pick up the windshift) and finished in 8th position. We were determined to improve ourselves, but sadly the thunder cloud did arrive so we had to go back to shore and wait the rest of the day for better wind conditions, which sadly did not come anymore.
On Sunday a new day, new chances and a different wind direction! The race-officer already predict in the morning that he would try to start at least three races to make sure there was a valid championship if the wind would not come back again on Monday. During this day, many teams had their ups and downs. Leading at the first mark did not mean you would still be leading at the second or at the finish. It was nice to see that many teams made the best from it and get over their frustration from the race before to grab new chances in the next. The mental game was just as hard as the physical having sailed four races this day! At the end of the day, Michael & Katharina were leading with Thorsten & Stephanie second, Jori and I third and Moritz & Robin fourth. In the evening, we all enjoyed a nice BBQ, yoga sessions with many spectators, some music and drinks. It was a wonderful sailing day.
Monday morning it looked like it would be a windless morning, however in the end the wind arrived just before the first start was scheduled. We managed to start another three races. The wind was again in the same direction as Saturday, during the first race we followed local heroes Moritz & Robin who went left, however they got a bit luckier than us and we had to fight our way back to the front of the field during this race. Having learned from our mistake the other races went a lot better. However, the lottery was unfavourable for us at the finish of race 7 where we lost two boats at the finish due to a windshift at the downwind mark which wasn’t there when we passed it. This meant we lost our podium place and had to be satisfied with the 4th place. Moritz jumped in the ranking from 4th to 1st and the others all went down one place; local knowledge certainly pays at this lake combined with a well-trained light weight crew in a light boat giving them accelerations nobody could follow. Congratulations for winning their first title in Flying Junior, and thanks to the organization and club for hosting the event. We hope many German teams will come to our Dutch Open which will be held on the Markermeer at Hoorn this year and otherwise we will see each other in Slovenia.