|ISCYRA Regatta Report|| |
Sun Jun 8th, 2014 through Wed Jun 11th, 2014
| Report by Mathe Marian:|
The first race of the Star European Championship started with an almost four hour "Marathon" of a race.
Since weather reports for this race projected that the different weather fronts will not reach Lake Balaton, the organizers started a race in the afternoon after a long wait. A mild wind blew from the Tihany straits, they set a course for this easterly wind and ordered the 31 Starboats of 12 nations to the water. The wind did not last very well to the first weather mark and ceased blowing at all for long periods.
According to the rules though if the first boat finishes within three hours the race is valid. Another hour is available for the rest of the fleet to finish. Only half of the fleet could finish within this one hour limit.
The race was won by the Austrian Albert Sturm and Tobias Haring, they cleverly discovered that the easterly blew longer near the shore. Second were Hubert Merkelbach with Markus Koy of Germany and third were Heimo Schlagauer with Hermine Schlagbauer from Austria.
Day Two report:
The races were more tricky than yesterday, the south side was not as obviously better. Some of the boats close to shore even drew some mud with their keel.
There was no lack of excitement during the races, many cross results were born, however steady good results came for the German Merkelbach-Koy pair. With two seconds, a fourth and a third place they lead the standings. Second are the Swedish Lofstedt-Sundman pair, and the third pleases the local Hungarians with their third place, the Gereben brothers, who are waiting for a hopeful continuation tomorrow.
A great burden was lifted off the organizers today, because the Championhip is valid after four races. If lucky and more races can be had tomorrow other cross results might happen because scoring would exclude the worst race, thus every Starboat could count on excluding their worst score.
Considering the weather report for tomorrow, Béla Erdelyi, the chief race officer can only hope for the easterly, result of warming air.
Day Three: No racing due to lack of wind.
Day Four: The wind was again the missing element on the last day of the European Championship. The fleet patiently waited ashore in the morning, and when little patches of breeze appeared on the horizon, PRO Bela Erdelyi decided to give it a try. It was another hour waiting on the water, but the wind would never build up enough for starting a race.
So the standings became final with 4 races which means Hubert Merkelbach and Markus Koy (GER) earned the gold medal and became Star European Champions in 2014. Second place went to the Swedish duo of Tom Lofstedt and Jasper Sundman, and the local Gereben Brothers, Marton and Peter finished third.
The Star European Championship of 31 boats from 12 nations is over at Balatonföldvár. Final results came after four valid races of very mild wind. The different weather fronts avoided the Balaton region during the world regatta. The organizers could only hope in the morning breeze coming from the Tihany straits. It did arrive the first and second day but in vain did the participants wait for any wind on the third and fourth day. Fortunately though four races make a European Championship valid, thus results after these races became the final results. First place was won by German Hubert Merkelbach with Markus Koy with exceptionally balanced and steady accomplishment, resulting in two second, one fourth and a third place. The followers all had one or two worse than tenth place. It is interesting to know that this was the skipper, Merkelbach’s first European Championship, whereas the crew, Koy, became fourth time Continental champion. They got together for this race the first time, with great result.
"I have been sailing starboats for the past thirty years, but this is my first European Championship, From now on I can wear a silver star on my sail," said the skipper, Hubert Merkelbach. "The worst nerve game was the waiting, and the most difficult was to stay ahead in these quickly changing circumstances. It is my fifth time racing on Lake Balaton, I am sure this helped a lot." "We were very fast, and we achieved the best form for the boat for these winds”," added the crew, Markus Koy.
Bela Erdélyi, the Principal Race Officer, summerizes with a relieved heart: "I had an easy task, the fleet was fair, only one start had to be repeated. It is very rare in an international regatta in this class. We only knew from the weather reports and projections that there would be not much wind. Preparing for this we took the course "w" to be able to accomplish three races the second day here we never set a course, very close to the Tihany Straits close to the south shore. It is here where the easterly stays longest. Due to this we were lucky to be able to have three races the second day. In retrospect it was wise to have a race on he first day in the diminshing wind. It was a Marathon of a race and half the fleet could not finish it within the four hour time limit. If we did not have this race we could not have had a valid European Championship of four races."
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