Thursday, June 23, 2016

Faaborg YC Wins J/70 Sejlsportsligaen Act II

J/70s sailing Denmark Sailing League (Juelsminde, Denmark)- In an epic finale on the last day, the Faaborg Sejklub sailed with great uncertainty against the top six teams, posting a 3-6-3, losing their massive lead over Aarhus Sejklub to win by just one point!  The FSK team was simply jumping for joy and relieved from all the pressure of the grand finale, while their comrades at ASK were a bit disappointed that their closing 1-2-1 record was not good enough for the win.  Also having to overcome adversity on the last day and grabbing the last spot on the podium, also by a single point, was Hellerup Sejklub.  The balance of the top five included Frederikshavn Sejklub in fourth and Kerteminde Sejklub in fifth.

Faaborg Sejklub win Denmark J/70 sailing leagueThe three-day weekend in Juelsminde produced great racing all three days in the matched fleet of one-design J/70s.  The sailing clubs were blessed with mostly sunny days, winds in the 6 to 14 kt range, and a total of thirteen races before the grand finale for the top six teams- a three race anxiety-ridden, nail-biter!  It was the Sejlsportsligaen’s second league event and also the most number of races held for all twelve teams (26 races total!).

On the first day of racing on Friday in Juelsminde, Faaborg SK started off fast, posting two bullets in the first two races.  The party had started for them, and the good times continued on Saturday and even more on Sunday up to the 13th lucky race, collecting six more 1sts and two 2nds along the way.  The pre-regatta favorites- Hellerup and Frederikshavn- both had a rough time with the high-speed, flat-water conditions, everyone seemed to be going fast.  Nevertheless, despite riding roller-coaster scorelines, they both qualified for the Final 6 showdown.  At that point, Faaborg had an overwhelming lead of 10 points over Aarhus SK and 12 pts in front of Frederikshavn and KDY.

However, then uncertainty and anxiety suddenly hit the confident Faaborg SK crew ... something like “the wheels fell off the shopping trolley!”

“We took a beating in the finale. We made bad starts, which was unusual for us since we had started well throughout the regatta. We also had a couple of boat-handling errors in places where we were well into the top three," explained skipper Max Rohde.  He continued to describe that, ”it was a bit exciting at the end, but it was great to be victorious.”

J/70 Denmark Sailing League video“We had not expected to get FINAL 6, but suddenly we were there- and with an OK lead. It was so great," commented Rohde’s teammate, Jakob Sorensen. The other two Faaborg crew- Søren Thomsen and Michael Rohde conceded there were a lot of nervousness in the final races. All four are experienced J/70 sailing league competitors.

In the FINAL 6 grouping, it was Aarhus SK that was clearly the best with a superb 1-2-1 series. Behind them, Faaborg SK had to fight to the last meter to keep a narrow 4th place in the last race - just enough for overall victory. The Aarhus SK team was skipper Peter Warrer and a young team with Christian Tang, Carl Nielsen and Søren Kristensen.

As a result of the outcome in this last event, the Hellerup SK is still leading the overall series.  The Hellerup SK team has skipper Trine Abrahamsen and includes four-time Olympic sailor Susanne Ward.  They have a two-point lead over Frederikshavn SK, with KDY in third, Kerteminde YC in fourth and Roskilde SK in fifth.   Here is a great sailing video summary of the Grand Finale (FINAL 6) last race.   For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information