Photo: Ulf Torberger, (c) 2013
The boat is strictly monotype and built by wood and plywood – no exclusive materials are allowed – the sail cloth is Dacron. The use of ballast is allowed – upto 140-150 kgs of lead ballast are being used when wind speed increases 12 m/s (25 knots). Top speed is about 150 km/h going downwind and about 90 km/h upwind.
The Championships have been sailed between 1933 – 1938 with a break for international instability until 1993 when the racing exchange was taken up again mainly between Russia, Estonia, Sweden and Holland. In the recent years fleets have been established in Poland, Germany and Finland. Also USA is expected to join the International Monotype XV Association next year.
The European Championship title have been held by Russia or Estonia for the last 20 years. But this year Sweden has taken the title for the first time ever!
Bernhard Rost and his crew Tore Lewander have through genuine training and accurate preparations (material, sail wardrobe, high physical training level) won the title by beating their main competitors from Russia (sponsored by Gazprom) and Estonia with a demonstrative 7 point victory showing 4 first places out of 8 possible.
26 boats from 6 countries participated.
The competitions were planned for Saaremaa in Estonia but a snowstorm prohibited any ice sailing and the whole fleet had to move to northern Poland (Rydzewo) where ice conditions were suitable for racing ( ice thickness, surface, area and wind forecast).
The racing course consists of two marks with a distance between them of 2 km. The track is sailed three laps in an 8 configuration with a maximum time limit of 15 minutes. The starting procedure is at a line up stand still.
The first racing day wind speed was at abt. 4 m/s, temperature +2 C with soft ice making the friction quite high and caused big swings in the result list with 4 races completed. It was a big test being the fastest off the starting line which was very much rewarded when approaching the first upwind mark.
Rost/Lewander held third place after the first day after Russia and Estonia.
A 4 point difference for the gold had to be caught up on day 2.
The conditions on day 2 were quite different from the day before – minus 3 C with clouds and hard ice and 6-7 m/s wind speed. These conditions favored those boats that had perfect trim of their boats (high speed performance) and the best boat handling and good physics.
Rost/Lewander were at their best and took 3 victories out the 4 races completed and the gold was in their hands with margin.