Our new “World Champions” are Klaus Diederichs, Diego Negri & Jamie Lea!

The 2021 International Dragon World Championships postponed to June 2022, were held last week on the Baltic Sea in Kuhlungsborn with 51 participants from 13 nations. 10 races were completed over the 6 days with just one day lost to lack of wind, to test the cream of the Dragon fleet in a full range of conditions.  The main sponsors of TNG Watches, Yanmar & Gill helped the Segelclub Kuhlungsborn run a spectacular regatta leaving all 51 teams with many exciting memories.

On a “crest” of a wave…. GBR 819 “Fever” the Overall World Champions.

Going into the event certain teams were already in great form, SUI 318 “1 Quick 1” Wolf Waschkuhn European Champion (2022), TUR 1212 “Provezza” Andy Beadsworth back to back World Champion (2017 & 2019), GBR 819 “Fever” Klaus Diederichs Marblehead Trophy winner (2022), JPN “YRed” Peter Gilmour Cannes Grade 1 (2022), NED 412 “Troika” Pieter Heerema Gold Cup winner (2021) and so many other contenders in with a chance, so we knew it was going to be a thrilling competition.

 

The magnificent 80′ Committee Boat “Mulligan” in all her glory…

For me the most pleasing site on arriving in Kuhlungsborn was the amazing 80′ “Mulligan” Super Yacht, which was kindly offered as the Committee Boat. Having a fantastic starting platform such as this truly enhanced the quality of racing and we are all very thankful to the owner and his family for their hard work and patience during the week.

Frank Berg in DEN 266 “My Way” took the opening race on day 1, then Peter Gilmour JPN 56 “YRed” won day 2 with back to back race wins in the heavier conditions. Peter attributed his success at prize giving to the many days training back in Fremantle, Western Australia, renowned for its strong winds. Day 3 was such a significant day in the history of the Dragon Class as it was brilliantly won by GBR 192 “Bluebottle” helmed by Graham Bailey. Built in 1948 by Camper and Nicholson and presented to Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip as a wedding gift, Bluebottle went on to win a Bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics and has been beautifully restored by David Heritage in Cowes. So to finish with two 4th places and win day 3 was an amazing achievement especially during the 70th anniversary of the Queens reign, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee.

 

GBR 192 “Bluebottle” winning Day 3 recording two 4th places.  Graham & Julia Bailey, with Will Bedford & Ruairidh Scott.

On day 4 the wind decided not to play ball and despite a 2 hour postponement ashore and the Race Committee monitoring conditions afloat, PRO Nino Shmueli cancelled the day around 3pm, then posted that 3 races would be held on Day 5.

So day 5 started on time at 12.0 and the whole fleet knew they were in for a long “full on” day in the most perfect conditions. With the Committee Boat anchored 2nm off shore, it was not always a one way beat, with both the left and the right side of the course paying at certain times. In the end two boats recorded a total of 14pts GBR 819 scored 8,1 & 5, whilst GER 77 recorded 2,5 & 7. So both Klaus Diederichs and Ingo Ehrlicher won the day!

GER 77 “Dottore Amore” Ingo Ehrlicher, Malte Philipp & Michi Lipp joint Day 5 winners with GBR 819 “Fever”.

Going into Day 6 (Final Day) there were a number of teams that could “mathematically” still win overall if two more races were completed to fulfil the 10 race series. Although GBR 819 “Fever” held an 11 point lead over TUR 1212 “Provezza”, chasing hard was SUI 318 “1 Quick 1” (who had disappointingly picked up a BFD in race 8), GER 77 “Dottore Amore” and the amazing GBR 192 “Bluebottle”. On the day the wind was averaging 7kts, which meant 2 races could be sailed in the lightest of conditions, but still of fair championship quality. Race 9 was won by SUI 318 Wolf Waschkuhn which moved him right back onto the podium, but in the end it was GBR 819 helmed by Klaus Diederichs who kept his cool and along with Diego Negri and Jamie Lea and won race 10 deservedly take the title. A brilliant performance.

This is the second World Title for both Klaus and Jamie having claimed it first back in 2013  in Weymouth, so very many congratulations to the “Fever” team.

Final Podium Bronze Medals to SUI 318 “1 Quick 1” Wolf Waschkuhn, Charles Nankin & Joao Vidinha.  Gold Medal to GBR 819 “Fever” Klaus Diederichs, Diego Negri & Jamie Lea.  Silver to TUR 1212 “Provezza” Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry & Arda Baykal.

4th GER 77 “Dottore Amore” Ingo Ehrlicher.  5th Graham Bailey “Bluebottle”.

In the Corinthians it was GER 1135 “Birscheri” helmed by Philipp Ocker who took Gold and also finished a very respectable 8th overall.  Silver went to AUT 204 “Diavell III” Christoph Skolaut who also finished in the top 10 overall in 9th position and in the Bronze position was NED 438 “Douzement” Jan Bakker.

Final Podium of Corinthians.  Bronze NED 438 Jan Bakker, Dominic Bakker & Olivier Bakker.  Gold GER 1135 Philipp Ocker, Florian Grosser & Oliver Davies. Silver AUT 204 Christoph Skolaut, Martin Lutz & Georg Skolaut.

I congratulated our new World Champion and Klaus told me “We went into this championship hoping to make the final podium, so to win is extra special. We were pleased to be top of the leader board after day 2 and continue to sail well through the week. On the final day with two races it kept us under pressure, but to win the final race and take the World title for a second time means everything”. Well done Klaus, Diego & Jamie!

In closing I want to thank once again all the helpers and volunteers from Segelclub Kuhlungsborn, the members of the International Jury and finally all the friends who helped us on the Committee Boat 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer……    Stavros.