5-13 August 2022

Hankø, Norway — 9 August 2022 – With the results now available from the Mills Long Offshore Race that started yesterday and concluded today, we have three leaders in each class competing at this week’s 2022 ORCi European Championship. This event is hosted by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) and co-organized by the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC).

By: Dobbs Davis, Photos: Trond Teigen

The race was an appropriate challenge of navigation, strategy and tactics for all 58 teams in the event, featuring variations in wind strength and direction, current factors in some areas of the race course, and choices in sail selections not generally found in inshore windward/leeward race formats. This race was important for all teams because scores earned today cannot be discarded in the final results.

“We did not need to win this race,” said Per Ottar Skaaret, owner of the TP52 JOKERMAN (NOR – shown left), ”we just needed a good result to work with for the rest of the week.” They got this on their 190-mile race course, with JOKERMAN finishing this morning in third place, about 20 minutes behind their first-to-finish Class A rival IMAGINE (GER), Holger Streckenbach’s TP52, and defeating them in corrected time 1 min 22 sec.

Both, however, were defeated by the Class A winner: Jan Oplander’s Swan 45 KATIMA (GER – shown below), with HALBTROCKEN 4.5 (GER), Michael Berghorn’s Mills 45 Custom, in second place.

“This was an interesting race,” said Christian With, navigator for JOKERMAN. “We have sailed here a lot, and there is a usual choice to make on which side to go around Rouøy. We took what we thought was the safe choice, and it was wrong.”

The images from the TracTrac system tells the story in three frames: (1) IMAGINE, JOKERMAN and Ole Birger Glaever’s Soto 40 UNO SISS (NOR) are on the first downwind leg of the course, and opt for going outside Rauøy, an island just north and west of Hankø.

(2) HALBTROKEN, KATIMA, and Lars Hueckstaedt’s GP 42 X-DAY (GER) opt for the passage to the inside and maintain speed while their rivals on the other side of the island stop in a patch of no wind.

(3) X-DAY and HALBTROKEN punch out ahead to take a huge lead at this early stage in the race, while the others are still stuck.

«I was actually surprised we were able to chase them down after this,» said JOKERMAN tactician Thomas Nillson.

Bowman Arno Bohnert on IMAGINE said “We were really unhappy with this and the team was really frustrated. It took a while to get our spirits back up, but in the second half of the race we came together and sailed well.”

The racing in Class B was considerably tighter, with the class dominated by X-41’s – there are eight racing this week – and like many ORC regattas in the Baltic region the many years of one-design competition among this group has honed their skills to a sharp edge, and we expect to see this all week. Emerging on top for this race was Martin Estlander’s XINI FREEDOM (FIN – shown above), 9.5 minutes ahead of Sten Haeger’s KWANZA (SWE) in second and 14 minutes ahead of Tiit Vihul’s OLYMPIC (EST) in third.

This class raced a slightly shorter course than Class A at 165.6 miles, finishing only slightly behind the Class A entries.

In Class C the winner had a similar large margin over the runner-up as KATIMA did in Class A: Patrik Forsgren’s modified First 36.7 TEAM PRO4U (SWE – shown right) defeated runner-up Aivar Tuulberg’s Arcona 340 KATARIINA II (EST) by 38 minutes in corrected time after 24.5 hours of racing on the 143.9-mile course. Henrik Tangen’s Arcona 385 IBB (NOR) in third place was 55 minutes behind the leader.

What’s interesting, however, is how close the corrected time results were in the 4th and 5th places behind IBB after over 24 hours of racing.

Steen Tofteberg’s Italia 9.98 STONY VII (DEN – shown left) missed tying for third place by only 1 second, and Juss Ojala’s J-112E MATILDA 4 (EST) was only another 5 seconds behind STONY.

«We lost to MATILDA in Italy last year, so it was nice to win over them today and get revenge,” Toftebjerg said with a big smile. “You could probably say it’s 1-1 between us now.”

No doubt these close margins will be debated this evening around the dinner tables here in Hankø.

Summary top-three results August 9 – MILLS LONG OFFSHORE RACE

Class A

  1. KATIMA GER 6593 Swan 45 Jan Oplander
  2. HALBTROCKEN 4.5 GER 8045 Mills 45 Custom Michael Berghorn
  3. .JOKERMAN NOR 12000 TP52 Per Ottar Skaaret

Class B

  1. XINI-FREEDOM FIN-68 X-41 Martin Estlander
  2. KWANZA SWE 49 X-41 Sten Haeger (Corinthian)
  3. OLYMPIC EST 463 X-41 mod Tiit Vihul (Corinthian)

Class C

  1. TEAM PRO4U SWE-88 First 36.7 mod Patrik Forsgren (Corinthian)
  2. KATARIINA II EST 646 Arcona 340 Aivar Tuulberg
  3. IBB NOR 16080 Arcona 385 Henrik Tangen
Photos are available in the event’s Flikr gallery: https://flickr.com/photos/196152898@N04/albums
The ORCi European Championship is certificated a green regatta by the FEE. The Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) works continuously to ensure that all parts of the organization are as sustainable and climate friendly as possible.

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