District 9  Regatta Report

Mon Sep 7th, 2015 through Sun Sep 13th, 2015

George Szabo and Patrick Ducommun

George Szabo and Patrick Ducommun

2015 SSL Lake Grand Slam - Swiss Championship

 

Day 1, Kissed by La Bise:
Challenging racing conditions produced a tactical first day of racing at the Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam hosted by Cercle de la Voile de Grandson, Switzerland. Clouds rising above the Jura Mountains signified that the arrival of the chill northerly wind, known as La Bise, translated as 'the kiss' which funnels down the valley between the Jura Mountains and the Swiss Prealps. The first two races were held in a gusty 12-16 knots of breeze but it wasn't a lingering kiss, the last two races were fought out in a lighter flukier conditions, which tested the concentration and will power of the 68 teams from 22 different countries.

There were numerous general recalls disciplined by Black flag starts and notable offenders included Torben Grael & Guilherme De Almeida and Johannes Polgar & Markus Koy, both were adjudged to be on course side in Race 2. However the Brazilian duo scored two bullets today, and after counting a discard, are placed fourth after the first days racing.

Augie Diaz & Arnis Baltins from the USA top the leaderboard after four races having scored [8]-6-1-4. Augie & Arnie have been sailing together for about five years and consistent results in the top ten, boosted by a bullet in Race 3, has propelled the Americans to the top but only just. Gold Star, George Szabo racing with local expert, Patrick 'The Duke' Ducommun, is second by a single point. Reigning Star World Champions, Robert Stanjek & Frithjof Kleen, scored a 4-1 in the first two races to lead the championship but the lighter conditions did not seem to suit the German pair, scoring a 8-[30] in the final two races, to finish the day in third. There are 22 teams from Switzerland racing in the regatta, Henrik Dannesboe & Jan Bonhoeffer were top Swiss team today and had an epic duel with Torben Grael & Guilherme De Almeida in the last race. Dannesboe & Bonhoeffer nailed the start and held off the Brazilian team for three legs. However, Grael & De Almeida out foxed the Swiss pair at the very last mark to take the gun pushing the Swiss team into second.

The SSL Lake Grand Slam has a different format to other regattas with a knock-out stage. After the three days of racing, 11 teams will progress. There are few surprises after the first day, with Gold and Silver Stars peppering the top of the leader board. However, the Croatian pair, Marin Misura & Tonko Barac, recovered from a 24th in Race 1, to post 12-3-10 and take 10th place after 4 races. Croatian Ivan Gašpić racing with American Josh Revkin, had a blip in Race 3 but scored 9-5-[37]-6 to take 7th place after the first day.

Stellar Conditions on Neuchatel Lake
Mark Mendelblatt & Brian Fatih started the day well nailing the first downwind leg to extend a lead on the fleet that was never given up. Fatih has over 20 years experience in the Star Class combined with Mendelblatt’s prowess in the Laser, to literally rock the boat to victory (this regatta permits the use of ooching and pumping when the wind speed is above 6 knots and the ‘O’ flag is displayed). The all- American crew had the best results of the day, posting a 1-2-6, to top the leader board by eight points.

Brazilian pair, Torben Grael & Guilherme De Almeida scored a 6-12-1 today to take second place for the regatta. Grael & De Almeida won the last race by a landslide, showing excellent tactical acumen and super boat handling in the light. Americans, Augie Diaz & Arnis Baltins dropped to third after leading the regatta this morning. Today, the Star Grandmaster and his long term crew, posted a 12-3-[15], which leaves them a point off second place. Croatian helm, Ivan Gaspic & American crew, Josh Revkin had a consistent day on the water, scoring 3-10-7, moving up three places to fourth for the regatta. Gaspic & Revkin should be safe to make the last 11 for the knock-out stage on Saturday.

Gold Star American helm, George Szabo, racing with the local Patrick 'Duke' Ducommun, recovered from a [26]-20 to place second in Race 7, but the team has slipped from second over night, to fifth after seven races and could well be in the danger zone for the final cut tomorrow.

Reigning Star World Champions, Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen, started the second day well, but like many top contenders, got the wrong side of a shift in Race 7, ending the day with a 5-8-21, dropping two places to 6th. Reigning Star European Champion, Xavier Rohart, racing with Italian boat builder, Stefano Lillia, scored an 11-5-11 today, which was enough to move the team up two places to 9th. Two French Finn sailors had a great day on the water, Jean-Baptiste Bernaz & Pascal Rambeau, scored a 10-7-10 today to move up to 8th. Polish Gold Star duo, Mateusz Kusznierewicz & Dominik Zycki, slipped two places today, their second and a ninth was spoilt by a 24th in Race 7. German pair, Johannes Polgar & Markus Koy scored a 14-4-13 to move up five places to 10th. In 11th place, and currently making the cut, is Jorge Zarif & Bruno Prada but the Brazilian duo are hanging on to the final place by their finger nails; German team, Hubert Merkelbach & Gerrit Bartel are level on points and only behind the Brazilians by virtue of countback.

Tomorrow will be the final day of racing for all the teams before the cull and two races are scheduled.

Finalists Decided
Eleven Star Sailor teams will decide the Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam on Lake Neuchtel tomorrow. Principle Race Officer, Sharon Bourke, called off racing at 16:00 on September 11. A fickle southerly breeze failed to establish itself and it was decided to call the qualification rounds to a halt.

The Final of the SSL Lake Grand Slam will take place tomorrow, Saturday 12th September, with three knock-out stages before the four remaining teams progress to the final. All of the rounds tomorrow are one race knock outs.

Fairy Tale on the Lake
American helm, George Szabo with Swiss crew Patrick Ducommun have won the inaugural Star Sailors League Lake Grand Slam, winning the final to be crowned Swiss Open Champions and $25,000, a quarter of the $100,000 Prize Purse.

The win also earns the duo 3000 points towards their SSL ranking for the showcase event, the SSL Final in Nassau this December. During the four-boat final the lead changed hands three times and Szabo & Ducommun came from last place to take the lead on the final downwind leg. The win in the final was the first time the team had won any of the eleven races making up the SSL Lake Grand Slam event.

This morning, after a short delay waiting for the breeze to fill in, eleven teams sailed out onto Lake Neuchatel to contest the knock- out stages of the SSL Lake Grand Slam. Mark Mendelblatt & Brian Fatih were the winners of the 68-boat qualifying rounds and sat out the Quarter-final but were out gauging the conditions and sizing up the tactics of the opposition.

Quarter-Final
Ivan Gaspic & Josh Revkin hit the line with the pace for the first race and in free air chose to stay in the middle of the lake, whilst the majority of the fleet headed for the Grandson shore line. All but Torben Grael & Guilherme De Almeida, who banged hard right, which seemed to pay for the Brazilian duo. However there was no holding back, Gaspic & Revkin who extended at the first top mark, to eventually win the race by a hefty margin. Torben Grael & Guilherme De Almeida were second with Augie Diaz & Arnis Baltins, pulling off a phenomenal second top mark rounding, to place third. Reigning Star World Champions, Robert Stanjek & Frithjof Kleen, had a solid race to place fourth and Laser sailor Jean-Baptiste Bernaz racing with his coach, Pascal Rambeau took fifth. For the crucial sixth place, to make the cut, George Szabo & Patrick Ducommun just squeezed out Polish Gold Star Mateusz Kusznierewicz & Dominik Zycki. Also eliminated were: Xavier Rohart & Stefano Lillia, Jorge Zarif & Bruno Prada and Johannes Polgar & Markus Koy.

Semi-Final
With the breeze fading, the semi-final featured seven teams, with Mendelblatt & Fatih joining the six qualifiers. After a highly competitive start, four teams chose to take starboard tack to the Grandson shore and three on port towards the other side. Gaspic & Revkin read the conditions and played out some world class strategy in the light airs to win the race, the second in a row. Grael & De Almeida banged hard right again but it was a disastrous move, which they never recovered from. Szabo & Ducommun were fired up to take second place and Mendelblatt & Fatih took third in their opening race of the finals, after a terrific battle with Stanjek & Kleen. Diaz & Baltins, who had also chosen to go to the less favourable side were fifth but eliminated along with Bernaz & Rambeau and Grael & De Almeida.

SSL Lake Grand Slam Final
With a highly competitive start, Mendelblatt & Fatih were gassed out to the right and Stanjek & Kleen decided to go the same way. Szabo & Ducommun and Gaspic & Revkin chose the Grandson shore. Stanjek & Kleen looked to be the first to the top mark but a classic match race tactic by Mendelblatt & Fatih on starboard, forced Stanjek & Kleen about on final approach. Mendelblatt & Fatih led the final for the first downwind leg with Stanjek & Kleen looking to take their breeze. Gaspic & Revkin were some distance behind engaged with Szabo & Ducommun. Strategy on the last upwind leg proved to be decisive. The three leading yachts went for the right hand side but Szabo & Ducommun headed straight for the Cercle du Grandson Yacht Club, Patrick Ducommun home club. By the end of the final beat Szabo & Ducommun just made the top mark ahead of Mendelblatt & Fatih, the USA/Swiss team had gone from last to first. Stanjek & Kleen & Mendelblatt & Fatih battled behind as Szabo & Ducommun extended their lead. Gaspic & Revkin gybed at the spreader mark, throwing the dice but a winning move failed to materialise for the No.1 Finn sailor and the young Star sailor from Connecticut, USA. World Champions, Stanjek & Kleen won the battle for second place with reigning SSL Final winners, Mendelblatt & Fatih. Szabo & Ducommun took the gun, right outside the yacht club to a huge cheer from hundreds of spectators.


Star
Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 - Quarter Final 9 - Semi Final 10 - Final Total
1 USA 8320   George Szabo   Patrick Ducommun   USA 8320   SDB   7.0 10.0 2.0 3.0 26.0 20.0 2.0 6 2 1 44
2 GER 8340   Robert Stanjek   Frithjof Kleen   GER 8340   HF   4.0 1.0 8.0 30.0 5.0 8.0 21.0 4 4 2 47
3 USA 8481   Mark Mendelblatt   Brian Fatih   USA 8481   TaB   3.0 4.0 9.0 19.0 1.0 2.0 6.0 - 3 3 25
4 CRO 7852   Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic   Josh Revkin   CRO 7852     9.0 5.0 37.0 6.0 3.0 10.0 7.0 1 1 4 40
5 USA 8465   Augie Diaz   Arnis Baltins   USA 8465   BisB   8.0 6.0 1.0 4.0 12.0 3.0 15.0 3 5 - 34
6 FRA 8270   Jean-Baptiste Bernaz   Pascal Rambeau   FRA 8270   FdeM   11.0 2.0 13.0 17.0 10.0 7.0 10.0 5 5 - 53
7 BRA 8210   Torben Grael   Guilherme De Almeida   BRA 8210   Gua   1.0 69.0 [BFD] 12.0 1.0 6.0 12.0 1.0 2 7 - 33
8 POL 8404   Mateusz Kusznierewicz   Dominik Zycki   POL 8404   ISOL   2.0 14.0 4.0 23.0 2.0 9.0 24.0 7 - - 54
9 FRA 8237   Xavier Rohart   Stefano Lillia   FRA 8237   NI   23.0 3.0 11.0 9.0 11.0 5.0 11.0 8 - - 50
10 BRA 8391   Jorge Zarif   Bruno Prada   BRA 8391   Cop   6.0 9.0 21.0 16.0 4.0 18.0 43.0 9 - - 74
11 GER 8442   Johannes Polgar   Markus Koy   GER 8442   Ess   5.0 69.0 [BFD] 23.0 14.0 14.0 4.0 13.0 10 - - 73
12 GER 8450   Hubert Merkelbach   Gerrit Bartel   GER 8450   UB   22.0 11.0 6.0 5.0 13.0 25.0 17.0 - - - 74.0001
13 CRO 8360   Marin Misura   Tonko Barac   CRO 8360   Dal   24.0 12.0 3.0 10.0 17.0 14.0 32.0 - - - 80
14 USA 8316   Caleb Paine   Ian Colemann   USA 8316     14.0 8.0 25.0 46.0 16.0 15.0 5.0 - - - 83
15 CRO 8339   Marin Lovrovic   Dan Lovrovic   CRO 8339   ISOL   25.0 17.0 45.0 8.0 8.0 11.0 25.0 - - - 94
16 CYP 8376   Pavlos Kontides   Mark Strube   CYP 8376     17.0 13.0 15.0 21.0 20.0 16.0 14.0 - - - 95
17 SWE 8331   Max Salminen   Steve Milne   SWE 8331   Bk   18.0 26.0 32.0 7.0 19.0 23.0 12.0 - - - 105
18 UKR 8205   Denis Khashina   Dmitrio Mechetin   UKR 8205   EUkr   15.0 18.0 5.0 20.0 15.0 35.0 34.0 - - - 107
19 ITA 7488   Roberto Benamati   Sergio Lambertenghi   ITA 7488   Gar   29.0 7.0 22.0 54.0 7.0 34.0 9.0 - - - 108
20 GER 7860   Stefan Schneider   Uli Seeberger   GER 7860   UB   55.0 19.0 7.0 24.0 18.0 17.0 23.0 - - - 108
21 SUI 8351   Henrik Dannesboe   Jan Bonhoeffer   SUI 8351   Sem   21.0 16.0 10.0 2.0 41.0 26.0 36.0 - - - 111
22 SUI 8413   Christoph Burger   Renato Marazzi   SUI 8413   TB   27.0 27.0 41.0 22.0 9.0 1.0 26.0 - - - 112
23 NED 8334   Thomas Allart   Ben Kloos   NED 8334   Hol   33.0 25.0 24.0 12.0 25.0 22.0 4.0 - - - 112
24 SUI 7925   Urs Hunkeler   Michael Mutti   SUI 7925   LUV   16.0 30.0 16.0 13.0 34.0 13.0 27.0 - - - 115
25 FRA 8274   Jonathan Lobert   Mike Maier   FRA 8274     69.0 [DNS] 22.0 18.0 27.0 29.0 32.0 3.0 - - - 131
26 SWE 8352   Lars Edwall   Stefan Fagerlund   SWE 8352   Kat   40.0 21.0 14.0 25.0 23.0 19.0 30.0 - - - 132
27 GER 7929   Heiko Winkler   Uwe Thielemann   GER 7929   HF   45.0 32.0 36.0 11.0 27.0 6.0 22.0 - - - 134
28 CRO 7829   Tonci Stipanovic   Ante Kujundzic   CRO 7829   Dal   36.0 15.0 27.0 15.0 24.0 69.0 [BFD] 20.0 - - - 137
29 SUI 8499   Christoph Gautschi   Dominik Schenk   SUI 8499   Bod   37.0 28.0 26.0 48.0 22.0 21.0 8.0 - - - 142
30 SUI 8457   Hans Stockli   Urs Spahr   SUI 8457     26.0 31.0 20.0 35.0 43.0 38.0 18.0 - - - 168
31 USA 8129   Mark Reynolds   Hal Haenel   USA 8129   SDB   13.0 23.0 33.0 49.0 21.0 47.0 33.0 - - - 170
32 SUI 8476   Juerg Ryffel   Alex Gouda   SUI 8476   Rap   10.0 24.0 54.0 28.0 30.0 29.0 69.0 [BFD] - - - 175
33 GER 8491   Ulrich Vater   Karsten Morf   GER 8491   BF   28.0 20.0 28.0 33.0 36.0 40.0 37.0 - - - 182
34 ITA 8202   Paolo Nazzaro   Kilian Weise   ITA 8202     19.0 69.0 [BFD] 38.0 38.0 28.0 30.0 46.0 - - - 199
35 SUI 8482   Lorenz Zimmermann   Matthias Miller   SUI 8482   Luv   20.0 34.0 19.0 39.0 44.0 69.0 [BFD] 44.0 - - - 200
36 SUI 8085   Michel Vaucher   MASSIMO CANALI   SUI 8085   G   12.0 69.0 [BFD] 39.0 26.0 38.0 24.0 69.0 [BFD] - - - 208
37 SUI 8409   Lorenz Muller   Emanuel Muller   SUI 8409     38.0 37.0 40.0 32.0 47.0 42.0 28.0 - - - 217
38 SWE 8433   Calle Schroder   Danis Carlsson   SWE 8433   Kat   32.0 69.0 [BFD] 34.0 40.0 37.0 39.0 38.0 - - - 220
39 GER 8407   Xaver Sollner   Bernhard Schaefer   GER 8407   CBM   39.0 33.0 48.0 18.0 33.0 69.0 [DNS] 51.0 - - - 222
40 SWE 7978   Ingvar Krook   Christoffer Lundgren   SWE 7978   AR   41.0 44.0 29.0 37.0 46.0 45.0 29.0 - - - 225
41 SUI 7969   Kurt Scheidegger   Markus Scheidegger   SUI 7969   TB   34.0 29.0 53.0 53.0 32.0 50.0 35.0 - - - 233
42 SUI 7242   Bernhard Seger   Walter Oess   SUI 7242   Bod   49.0 40.0 31.0 34.0 53.0 27.0 53.0 - - - 234
43 GER 8130   Henning Voigt   Dirk Struve   GER 8130   Aac   31.0 43.0 63.0 42.0 35.0 28.0 57.0 - - - 236
44 RUS 8281   Alexey Zhivotovskiy   Lev Shnyr   RUS 8281   Mosc   69.0 [RAF] 42.0 35.0 36.0 31.0 53.0 39.0 - - - 236
45 GER 8055   Jochen Diercks   Herbert Braasch   GER 8055   Lub   48.0 48.0 30.0 56.0 39.0 69.0 [BFD] 16.0 - - - 237
46 SUI 7252   Vincent Guidoux   Yann Dorset   SUI 7252   G   35.0 54.0 42.0 41.0 60.0 46.0 19.0 - - - 237
47 FRA 823   Jean-Nicolas Bondaletoff   Olivier Terrol   FRA 823   MO   44.0 38.0 51.0 31.0 48.0 36.0 41.0 - - - 238
48 SUI 8329   Daniel Wyss   Urs Joss   SUI 8329   ZU   47.0 50.0 17.0 43.0 52.0 33.0 62.0 - - - 242
49 GER 8419   Florian Von Linde   Matthias Von Linde   GER 8419   ZuW   51.0 41.0 56.0 44.0 49.0 31.0 40.0 - - - 256
50 SUI 7983   Beat Hunziker   Vincent Nagelisen   SUI 7983   Sem   62.0 47.0 46.0 29.0 50.0 37.0 50.0 - - - 259
51 NED 8350   Hein Dijksterhuis   Jim Dijksterhuis   NED 8350   LO   46.0 36.0 50.0 47.0 40.0 43.0 56.0 - - - 262
52 GER 8483   John H Helmsing   Marko A Hasche   GER 8483   HF   56.0 51.0 44.0 60.0 45.0 41.0 31.0 - - - 268
53 SUI 7854   Roman Juchli   Philipp Juchli   SUI 7854   Bod   30.0 35.0 61.0 69.0 [BFD] 51.0 51.0 49.0 - - - 277
54 GER 8122   Klaus Kappes   Steffen Rutz   GER 8122   UB   42.0 45.0 64.0 51.0 54.0 44.0 42.0 - - - 278
55 GER 7686   Robin Nolte   Andree Nolte   GER 7686   KF   43.0 53.0 47.0 45.0 55.0 48.0 48.0 - - - 284
56 SUI 8232   Wil Wargnier   Laurent Hayoz   SUI 8232   G   53.0 39.0 49.0 59.0 56.0 69.0 [BFD] 47.0 - - - 303
57 GER 7948   Alexander Tennigkeit   Alar Volmer   GER 7948   UB   59.0 55.0 55.0 55.0 42.0 54.0 45.0 - - - 306
58 FRA 8116   Francis Mercier   Jean-Luc Chaboud   FRA 8116   FdeSA   54.0 56.0 43.0 52.0 57.0 49.0 52.0 - - - 306
59 SUI 8075   Francois Eggenberger   Yann Bonjour   SUI 8075   FdeP   50.0 69.0 [DNS] 52.0 57.0 63.0 58.0 58.0 - - - 338
60 POL 8417   Ireneusz Stawiany   Jakub Stawiany   POL 8417   ISOL   58.0 46.0 69.0 [DNS] 61.0 61.0 52.0 61.0 - - - 339
61 SUI 8257   Marc Trinquart   Christian Meylan   SUI 8257   G   60.0 49.0 62.0 64.0 59.0 55.0 59.0 - - - 344
62 GER 8147   Bernd Stoll   Barbara Stoll   GER 8147   Teg   52.0 52.0 57.0 50.0 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] - - - 349
63 SUI 8160   Stephan Unger   Regina Graf   SUI 8160   ZU   61.0 58.0 58.0 58.0 58.0 59.0 63.0 - - - 352
64 SUI 7167   Ueli Ammann   Christian Hehl   SUI 7167   Sem   57.0 57.0 65.0 65.0 69.0 [DNS] 57.0 60.0 - - - 361
65 SUI 8022   Chiara Waser   Urs Waser   SUI 8022   Sem   65.0 60.0 59.0 63.0 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 54.0 - - - 370
66 SUI 8098   Rudolf Wasser   Roland Liniger   SUI 8098   Sem   63.0 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 62.0 56.0 55.0 - - - 374
67 SUI 7840   Jean-Paul Hirt   Francois Mermod   SUI 7840   G   64.0 59.0 60.0 62.0 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] - - - 383
68 GRE 8434   Emilios Papathanasiou   Antonis Tsotras   GRE 8434   GR   69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] 69.0 [DNS] - - - 414

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