TOM KNUTSEN REPORTS FROM THE NORWEGIAN OPEN NATIONALS
Facing the relaitvely long way to travel to the Oil Capitol of Norway, Stavanger 28 boats had made the trip. Facing the fact that the Scandinavian Class has rapidly grown into 44 boats these days and that the Open Norwegians 2001 is a part of the European Melges Ranking, 28 boats had found their way to Stavanger including EST-509 (Tonu Töniste, Ants Havel, Toomas Töniste, Maiki Saaring) and USA-353 (Tom Freytag, Ben Cooke, Fred Kempt, Ben Cooper). For the first time in history the Rules of the Norwegian Sailing Association have been changed so that a foreign boat can be awarded the medals.
The first racing day presented beautiful warm weather and winds building from 8 up to 16 m/sek in the gusts from south-east . Media had their day with lots of exciting Photos and Videos. The Class saw the Estonians on top in all 3 races. That evening many teams had to have an extra drink or three facing the fact that the Championship seemed already to have been decided.
But the 2. day, again the nice weather, proved very tricky conditions in 4-8 m/sek. Lots of teams had a tough day on the water struggeling with various conditions in the beautiful and warm weather seing themselves up and down on the list by the end of the day. Day 3 presented little wind 2-4 m/sek, good weather and still tricky conditions.
All boats had lots of ups and downs on the list and it was noted that none of the 3 boats winning gold, silver and bronze in last years Open Norwegians were on top in 2001. NOR-249 that proved its stamina and skills the first days of the 2000 Worlds in La Rochelle made a popular win in the 2001 Open Norwegian Championship.
The Race Comittee of Stavanger Sailing Club did a splendid job being consulted by imortal Scandinavian Race Officer Marit Grundseth in an sailing area worth while having a look at for other Classes Championships. The Scandinavian Class that will count a new record of 24 boats (15 norwegian, 4 Swedish, 1 Danish and 4 Finnish teams) cannot wait to get to Torbole to give the other teams a tough Championship!
01. NOR-249 | Kristoffer Spone
02. EST-509 | Tonu Toniste
03. NOR-418 | Hermann Horn Johannessen
04. USA-353 | Tom Freytag
05. NOR-343 | Peer Moberg