Sunday, October 18, 2015

Why Blankenese Sailing Club Participates in Sailing Leagues

(Hamburg, Germany)- German J/70 sailing teams are loving the sailing league format and the amazing competition in top European J/70 events.  Here is another perspectives on how some of the leading Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga teams have evolved in Germany.

J/70 Deutsche Segel-bundesliga- The Markeller teamBlankenese Sailing Club- Claas Lehmann:
“Our crew came together in early 2014. A pub night in Blankenese brought up the idea of gathering some old friends to putting up a team for competing in the German Sailing League and also for one design sailing. The four of us knew each other for quite a while but had never sailed all together. Meanwhile some crew members where living in southern Germany or had at least left Hamburg for a couple of years. We had all done different kinds of sailing: bringing together experienced dinghy sailors, people who had spent years on tall ships and a good mates that did very well in the J/24 class or ORC racing. During the quest for a suitable boat the J/70 class came straight into our minds; it seemed that this class could supply a modern boat that would be fair to handle and that could offer a decent amount of international racing events throughout Europe!

Kiel Week turned out to be the first opportunity of taking a boat and the newly arranged crew for some sailing.  With the awesome help from Mittelmann’s Werft in Flensburg, we got a chartered boat just in time for the first day of racing. We had our first opportunity to learn about the J/70 on our way to the start line in Kieler Woche. Struggling to handle the 25 knots+ conditions with our lightweight crew, we quickly got acquainted with the boat’s behavior and did well scoring an overall win!  What a perfect start!  The J70 did a great job: it's a well-designed and fast boat which is good fun to sail!!  We were very excited about upcoming possibilities to race in an intense racing environment all over Europe.

Our club, "Blankeneser Segel-Club" in Hamburg, was seriously interested in setting up a team; even buying a brand new J/70was a possibility.  With the support of local sponsors, everything got underway very quickly after we won the regattas qualifying the team for Germany's Sailing League in October 2014. A happy crowd of supporters and sailors gave a warm welcome to the new boat GER 717, named TRE MAKRELLER, that was delivered to Hamburg in January 2015. It is used for training for the league and to compete in class regattas.

During the cold season we took the boat down to Monaco for the winter series. We kept rotating crew positions on board and put some effort into improving trim and handling skills. In February, we managed to win the Primo Cup, sailing against more than 30 international teams. Back in Germany, we continued to train for the League and straight after the second event in July we headed for France. There were more than 80 entries for the Worlds in La Rochelle! A huge number came from the States and many professional crews showed up. We experienced a wonderful week with perfect conditions, but the table got shuffled a lot for us during the week. In the end, we unfortunately missed the top 20, but we did well in the corinthian results. Pretty sure we can do even better- there will be another chance!

Looking back on to our first season with the J/70 class we are very happy about this prosperous development. We had lots of fun and feel highly positive about all achievements we made!  Many thanks go to our Club from Hamburg-Blankenese, it's Commodore Dieter Tetzen and all our sponsors! Looking forward to all upcoming events with our crew and the boat TRE MAKRELLER! Our crew- Claas Lehmann, Marc-Daniel Maehlmann, Bjoern Athmer and Valentin Zeller.”