Jorgen Schönherr from Denmark and Bernd Zeiger from Germany were the final winners at the second Rolex Baltic Week

Jorgen Schönherr from Denmark and Bernd Zeiger from Germany were the final winners at the second Rolex Baltic Week organised by the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) Hamburg in Neustadt/Holstein, Germany last week.

The 48-year-old Dane won the Dragon World Championship title on Sunday (28 August) by a 10-point margin over his German fellow sailor Harm Müller-Spreer from Hamburg.

Kiel-based Bernd Zeiger was victorious at the X-79 German Open. Already on Thursday the Italian-Spanish Rodman 42 movistar owned by Lorenzo Bressani and skippered by Pedro Campos had won the IMS 600 worlds. All in all the Rolex Baltic Week saw nine days of high-class sailing sport with winds ranging from calm to strong gusts.
In a dramatic photo finish at the Hanseatic Lloyd Dragon World Championship, the German Ocasione helmed by Harm Müller-Spreer and crewed by Markus Wieser/Thomas Auracher beat Schönherr’s African Queen just by centimetres. But this was not enough for earning the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date time-piece. Eleven single places would have been required to beat the three-time Gold Cup winners Schönherr, Anders Kaempe and Axel Walderdorph.
“We are satisfied, no doubt”, said German mid-man Wieser, “we have had not much training this season yet.” After scoring a bullet on the opening day, they had been in the top ranking for five days. But they lost the overall lead on Saturday, when the Danish crew proved very strong. The winner of the last race day was Thomas Müller from Hamburg, Germany. But he had not been consistent enough over the week, so his team finished only seventh, 30 points ahead of his former helmsman Dieter Schön from Elsbethen (4th) with whom he won the worlds two years ago, Vincent Hoesch from Germany took bronze.

The roles were clear when the X-79 class started their last two races on the final day of the Rolex Baltic Week 2005. Morten Reinhold from Denmark with his Cirkeline was the only one who could beat Bernd Zeigers Sextanten. So the German owner and helmsman strictly covered his opponent. “Speed-wise we had no problem to hold him off,” said Zeiger.

Right behind Olaf Egger’s Classix (Germany) Zeiger came second ahead of Reinhold. This success helped Bernd Zeiger’s crew to the luxury of going back home without sailing the final race. After Danish sailors had been dominating the X-79 German Open in the past, this was the first victory for the locals in years.

But then again the Germans had nothing to do with the title at the IMS 600 world championship held as part of the Rolex Baltic Week. After a challenging long-distance race it took not too long to crystallize movistar and the Norwegian Al Cap One III from Einar Sissener as the hottest candidates for gold. At the end of the day the Scandinavians lost it in the jury room when they were disqualified due to a violation of the right of way – also against movistar. Earlier on, Flensburg-based Bobby Luchte had won the Swan Race presented by Deutsche Bank with his Swan 44 MKII Moriju against the 2004 winner Claus Bressler and his Swan 56 Chrila.

The Fun Cup presented by Mercedes-Benz Hamburg was won by Walter Suhr’s Bavaria 42 Cassiopeia.
“We have seen high-class sailing sport, pushed up the number of entries by more than 50 percent and had many parties with lots of fun,” said NRV chairman Gunter Persiehl to sum up. In total 153 crews had filed their entries, 147 came to the starting lines. The NRV is planning the debut of a European Championship in the Olympic Star class to be carried out as part of next year’s Rolex Baltic Week (5-13 August 2006).


Hanseatic Lloyd Dragon World Championship

1. Schönherr/Kaempe/Waldersdorph (Denmark) 24 points, 2. Müller-Spreer/Wieser/Auracher (Germany) 34, 3. Hoesch/Kniffka/Scheibmair (Germany) 41, 4. Schön/Westergaard/Huber (Germany) 71, 5. Hoj-Jensen/Neergard/Guhle (Denmark) 72, 6. Ocker/Grosser/Sachs (Germany) 82

X-79 German Open

1. Sextanten, Bernd Zeiger (Germany) 12 points, 2. Cirkeline, Morten Reinhold (Denmark) 16, 3. Job DK, Bo Andersen (Denmark) 24, 4. www. elvstroem-sobstad, Thomas Taato (Denmark) 29, 5. Keep Smiling, Ingo Bergmann (Germany) 36, 6. Missis X, Thomas Olsson (Sweden) 44