“That was my best sailing for many years,” said a visibly moved Jens Christensen at the award ceremony in the renowned Compagnia della Vela di Venezia. After winning it in 2009, 2016 and 2021, he has now captured the Marblehead Trophy again in 2023 and with 4 wins lies third in the all-time list of winners. Only Tommy Müller (5) and Vincent Hösch (7) have won the trophy more often.
Klaus Diederichs was one point ahead after six of seven races, but with three pursuers only two points behind: Jens, Wolf Waschkuhn and Grant Gordon before the last day of racing could still hope for victory. That was the situation after two days of a wonderful southerly wind in front of the Lido beach, incredibly constant and slowly increasing from 10 to 20 knots over the afternoon, bringing this incomparable sailing experience that Jens had mentioned.
But on the third day, unfortunately only one race took place in a very shifting light wind. Jens was the best of the four leaders and secured the overall victory with a second place. This final race was won by Ivan Bradbury who finished fifth overall.
In the afternoon of the third racing day there was a show race within the lagoon directly in front of the backdrop of Venice, effectively a beautiful squadron sailing along the old dolphins that border the fairways, an unforgettable experience. Special thanks go to Klaus Diederichs for his private invitation of the entire fleet to the Palazzo Nani Bernardo, with which he continued a tradition founded by Frank Berg and continued by Tommy Müller, which makes the Marblehead Trophy a very special event. At the award ceremony, there was a standing ovation for Luigi Nonino, the club manager of the CdV, and of course his entire team, who so successfully managed this unique experience in the lagoon city with its really big logistical challenge.
Klaus Diederichs joked at the ceremony that he felt “responsible that we now have to sail in Copenhagen next year,” but as he lifted the trophy Jens Christensen flirted with the idea that we might be sailing in Greenland – according to the deed of gift, we will find out by January 1, 2024.
From a report by Gregor Berz
Photos courtesy of Michi Lipp