Team Sonnenkonig Wins German Austrian Open

From Günter Tzeschlock of the German Class - Melges24 German-Austrian-Open 2007
SCK – Segel Club Kammersee / Attersee, Austria - 25. – 28. May 2007

For the first time a German-Austrian-Open was sailed on Lake Attersee in Austria (near lovely Salzburg) – the second Melges24 event in Austria ever.
The Swiss/German/Austrian Class Association was invited last year by SCK to host their IMCA-event and confirmed immediately – and this has been a good decision

Friday, 25th May, 2007
20 teams have sent their entry-forms and finally 19 boats signed in, representing 3 nationalities within the German Class. A good result but again a little disappointing as no teams from foreign class associations signed in….. – we really hoped to welcome teams from Italy or Czech Republic.
Registration and skippers meeting was handled smoothly by the race committee lead by Wilfried Holler (race officer) and Bernhard Brunner (sport’s director) of SCK.
Unfortunately the long-term high pressure was not stable enough to guarantee the famous “Rosenwind”, a thermical breeze. On Friday we had to stay at the docks due to missing wind - therefore no races.

Saturday, 26th May, 2007
What the sailors missed on Friday was delivered in time on Saturday. When arriving at the lovely marina of SCK the “Rosenwind” already blew with a steady breeze up to 10 knots which picked up to 15 knots during the day.
No time to loose and the race committee left the harbour 09:45 to set up the race course and the first race was started around 10:30. By end of the day 6 (six!!!) races were sailed each around 50-60 minutes long and with only little time to relax between the races.
Racing was close and the leaders changed steadily. After 6 races SUI 684 “Team Sonnenkönig” owned by Armin Schmid and helmed by Hendrik Witzman, a successful starboat-sailor, took the lead in front of AUT 531 Michael Schineis and again a new team GER 627 lead by Olli Schwall former Olympic sailor in Tornado class who just swapped from Beneteau25 into Melges24 class.
In the evening SCK invited all teams for Austrian Beer and Austrian “Gulasch” – a perfect day ended in many lively discussions on the days actions.

Sunday, 27th May, 2007
It took a little longer until the breeze filled in, so the start for race 7 was postponed until 15:00. But a 10 knots breeze enabled race 7, 8 and 9 and again close racing was showed by the 19 teams. SUI 682 kept her lead and AUT 531 and GER 627 still were in fight for second and third position.
Around 19:30 crews were back in the harbour and enjoyed a pleasant evening at SCK enjoying temperatures up to 25° Celsius.

Monday, 27th May, 2007
Just 1 race had to be sailed to finish the series for the German-Austrian-Open 2007 and as the days before the race committee did an excellent job and all boats were ready to be craned on 13:00 o’clock.
“Sonnenkönig” – SUI 684 did a good job again and finished in 4th place which was enough to win the title “German-Austrian-Champion 2007” – Michael Schineis in second place on AUT 531 “Edelweiss” could defend the attacks by GER 627 helmed by Olli Schwall and his former B25 crew which took third place.

Price Giving was handled in the same way as the races the days before – easy going and perfect organised. Germany’s class president Günter Tzeschlock warmly thanked SCK for their perfect organisation and hospitality. Race officer Wilfried Holler was happy to host a Melges24 event and confirmed very competitive and fair sailing within the class. No protests were handed in and the OCS-disqualifications weren’t discussed.

Due to the big success and efforts SCK did we already started planning for 2008 and will have an event in early September – this will enable crews from Northern Germany / Europe to participate in the famous “Oktoberfest-Race” at Lake Starnberg the following week.


Günter Tzeschlock