Kiel ORC World Championship at the highest level
Tuulberg is spoilt for choice and starts with his World Championship yacht - "Sportsfreund" entered for Denmark
The 2023 ORC World Championship held from August 4 – 12 off of Kiel offers sailing at the highest level. A look at the entry lists shows that nearly all the top finishers from the ORC European Championship 2022 in Hankø (Norway) and the ORC World Championship 2021 in Tallinn (Estonia) are heading to Kiel. A total of 81 yachts from 13 nations are currently on the entry list.
One of them has multiple choices on how to compete: this is Aivar Tuulberg (Estonia), who will start with one of his three yachts named “Katariina II”. With his Club Swan 42 he won a silver medal at the 2021 World Championship in Tallinn and bronze at the ORC World Championship a year later in Porto Cervo (Sardinia/Italy). This means that this yacht is only missing gold for the complete ORC World Championship medal set.
But Tuulberg’s Club Swan 42 with sail number EST 949 is only one “Katariina II”. With his second, an Arcona 340 (sail number EST 646), Tuulberg won three ORC European Championship gold medals: in 2016 in Greece, in 2018 in Cyprus and last year in Hankø. And there is even another “Katariina II”, a sophisticated one-off designed by Maurizio Cossutti, one of the leading ORC yacht designers.
Since 2020, Cossutti and his team have also been shaping the C-Line from Bavaria Yachts. After the C42, which was presented at the boot 2020, the builders from Giebelstadt succeeded in creating the C38, thanks to this Italian designer.
But Tuulberg prefers campaigning his previous successful designs. In Kiel the Estonian is competing with his Swan 42 in Class B, and his Arcona 340 could appear on the starting line again in Class C at the next ORC European Championships in 2024. For the ORC European Championship 2023 in Malta (April 23 to May 1), Tuulberg has entered with his Club Swan 42 in Class B.
In addition to Tuulberg, however, there are other medal winners from the 2021 World Championships that will be on the starting line in Kiel: “Halbtrocken” (Michael Berghorn/Kiel/Gold) and “Mercedes Benz” (Jani Lehti/Finland/Bronze) in Class A, “Essentia 44” (Calatin Trandafir/Romania/Double World Champion 2021 and 2022) in Class B as well as the fourth and fifth-placed “Olympic” (Tiit Vihul/Estonia) and “Intermezzo”(Jens Kuphal/Berlin).
“Sportsfreund” (bronze in the World Championship 2021) will be reappearing in the entry list for Class B in the 2023 Worlds. Axel Seehafer has sold his X-41 to Denmark, under whose flag Erik Stannow now steers the successful yacht now named “Dixie Team”. Stannow is an advocate of ORC offshore sailing in Denmark and, among other things, is also the organizer of the ORC Double Hand European Championship, which will be held off Helsingor as part of Sjælland Rundt (June 10-18) and thus shortly before Kiel Week.
And the German “Sportsfreund” crew has formed around Gordon and Morten Nickel (Stade). They are not yet on the entry list, but are planning a comeback in Kiel, as was learned in January at boot Düsseldorf.
In Class C the first three yachts from the 2021 ORC World Championships will also start in Kiel: “Matilda 4” (Juss Ojala/Estonia/2021 Class C ORC World Champion), “Sugar 3” (Ott Kikkas/Estonia/2019 Class C ORC World Champion, Class C silver medal at the 2021 ORC Worlds and 2022 ORC Class C World Champion) and the bronze medal winner of 2021, “Pro4u” (Patrik Forsgren/Sweden). Only the Italians, who were so successful at the 2022 ORC Worlds in Porto Cervo (Italy) on the Mediterranean, and the Hong Kong-based Karl Kwok with his TP 52 “Beau Geste”, have not yet entered to defend their titles at the ORC Worlds in Kiel.
A look at the rankings from the 2021 ORC World Championship in Tallinn (Estonia) is similar to the results at the 2022 ORC European Championship in Hankö (Norway). And so, in 2023, the gold medal winners of the ORC European Championships in the previous year are also committed to come to Kiel: “Halbtrocken” (Michael Berghorn/Kiel) in Class A, “Intermezzo” (Jens Kuphal/Berlin) in Class B and Aivar Tuulberg, however not in Class C, but with his Club Swan 42, in Class B. They will be joined by another four yachts from the top six from two nations, the second to fourth-placed yachts from four nations in Class B and the second to sixth-placed yachts from four nations in Class C.
And it’s not just Baltic Sea residents on the list for the Kiel ORC Worlds: in addition to the reigning world champion in Class B from Romania (“Essentia 44″/Catalin Trandafir), two British, four Dutch and one Swiss yacht have also entered. A total of 80 yachts in the three World Championship classes A, B and C as well as in the non-World Championship Class D have announced their participation so far.
The most common design in Class A is the GP42 with three yachts entered, in Class B X-yachts with seven entries and the Landmark 43 with four entries. In Class C X-yachts with 15 are ahead of the J-Boats with eight entered yachts. By the way: the Italia 9.98 “Immac Fram” (Dänischenhagen) has no direct rival because the other three Italia yachts entered are larger (11.98 m).
Preliminary schedule of the Sailing World Championship off Kiel, August 4-12, 2023:
- Friday, August 4 to Saturday, August 5: Registration & Measurement.
- Sunday, August 6: Practice Race & Opening Ceremony
- Monday, August 7 to Friday, August 11: Races
- Saturday, August 12: Final Races & Subsequent Award Ceremony
Text: Hermann Hell