Following yesterday’s opening ceremony in a relaxed atmosphere the European Soling Championship started today as a EC-premiere at the Müggelsee in Berlin. 27 teams from Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, the Netherlands, USA and the United Arab Emirates are competing.
Naturally, the team of defending champion Uwe Steingroß, Karsten Eller and Tim Gieseke from Berlin clubs TSG 1898, BTB and WSV 1921 are considered favourites. But on the occassion of the 50th anniversary of the soling class and the EC-premiere exceptional german sailor Jochen Schümann does not want to miss a chance to win another medal (it would be number sixteen) at his home sailing area. After fifteen years he returns to the soling class with a charter boat and a crew combining two former successful teams consisting of Thomas Flach (Schümann won the gold medal in Pusan in 1988 and in Savannah in 1996 with him) and Ingo Borkowski (they won silver in Sydney in 2000).
The charter boat meant a lot of tweaking for the professionals. Nonetheless the three were well-prepared and ready this morning. Winds from SW with 3-4 Bft. and sunny weather allowed the head of the race, Dr. Jan Prockat to start the first race on schedule at 11am.
It already revealed that the crew around Schümann could use the knowledge of the home sailing area very well. While they were second behind the defending champion at mark one the sailors who were trained by Bernd Dehmel who was celebrating his 74th birthday today demonstrated everything that used to distinguish the Schümann crews during the rest of the race.
At the end of the first race Schümann came in first and Steingroß came in second. But the runner-ups also clearly demonstrated that the Müggelsee used to be the home sailing area of their helm.
For the second race the wind did not change direction but lost a little force. Ukraine 1 came in first after leading since the start. They ended the first race somewhere in the middle of the fleet. Schümann and Steingroß came in third and fourth. With these results the ranking after day one looks as follows: 1st Schümann/ Flach/ Borkowski (YCBG/ BTB/ YCBG) 4 points, 2nd Steingroß/ Eller/ Gieseke 6 points, 3rd the hungarian world champions 2015 Likey/ Vezer/ Orozian