Sandhamn, Sweden -- After a long week that featured everything from near-drifting conditions on Thursday to the brisk breezes of yesterday and Tuesday night, three class winners have emerged from at the Avantime ORC European Championship, held at the Royal Swedish YC (KSSS). The fleet of 60 boats from 8 countries was the largest ORC European Championship fleet assembled in a decade.
The champion among the ten teams competing in Class 1 took the lead early and never let go, even amassing enough of a lead in points to not sail the last race and use the resulting 11 point DNS as their discard. This would seem like a remarkable result, given that this team only added their tactician to the crew on the morning of the first race, but Thomas Nilsson said the true value of their Norwegian TP52 Trucknor Wolfpack is their strong team work.
"We have been racing together as a team for many years, not only on this boat but on an X-41 as well," said Nilsson. When Eivind [Melleby] came on board he fit in very well, and I have to say it was the team that drove his decisions, not the other way around."
On the strength of double wins in the two offshore races, the Silver medalist in Class 1 was another Norwegian team, Ole Martin Vordahl's Cookson 50 Camilla, just 4.5 points back. And the Bronze medal went to Thomas Blixt's Swedish TP 52 Blixt Pro Sailing.
The Corinthian division winner for Class 1 was Toni Hellman's 7th-placed Finnish Farr 40 Mare Bos.
In Class 2 the fight was on throughout the event for the 20 teams entered in this class, and would likely have had a different result were it not for the eventual Silver medalist having had a disastrous DSQ penalty in yesterday's second race due to a rule infraction at a crowded mark rounding. This left the door open for Bengt Falkenberg's Swedish First 40 Teknova/Albatross Racing to take their Gold medal victory, but by only a 3-point margin due to being recalled in the start of the last race and getting back to only a discardable 15th place.
Priit Tammemägi's Estonian X-41 Premium won their Silver medals on the strength of excellent inshore race results, while only 1.5 points behind them was Ralf Lassig's XP-44 Xenia. This team from Germany won their Bronze medals based on strong showings in the windy conditions of both offshore races and similar breeze in yesterday's three inshore races.
The Corinthian Trophy winner for Class 2 was 4th-placed Silva Hispaniola from Germany, an Evento 42 skippered by Dennis Gehrlein, and winner of three of the nine races in this class.
The largest class in this event, the 30 boats in Class 3, provided some of the closest and most exciting racing, with multiple general recalls and black flag starts, close boat-on-boat action at the marks, and corrected time results decided within seconds to create final podium results within only 2.5 points.
Mihkel Kosk's Estonian team on his NM38 Sugar 2 won their Gold medals based on an impressive scorecard going into today, earning all single-digit results up until today's final race. Even with a discardable 22nd place in this race it was still enough to keep them ahead of the Silver medalists, fellow Estonian Aivar Tuulberg's Arcona 340 Katarina II, by only 2 points. Bronze went to Patrik Forsgren's Swedish First 36.7 Team Arken Zoo, winners of the two offshore races and two other races as well.
The Corinthian Trophy winner in Class 3 was also awarded to Team Arken Zoo.
For more information, daily photos from Malcolm Hanes, complete results, and videos will be available on the event website at www.ksss.se.
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