Work-intensive hours leading to the start of the ORC Worlds 2023
The crew arrieved at the Olympic Centre Schilksee on Friday and are preparing the yachts for the World Championship races. Photo: Christian Beeck / ORC Worlds 2023
The ORC World Championship 2023 is gathering pace, with much to do before racing starts on Monday at 11:00 AM.
Today on Friday (4 August), the crews and yachts checked in at the Olympic Centre in Kiel-Schilksee, and the team of measurers led by ORC Chief Measurer Zoran Grubisa went to work: all 113 boats are to be inspected by Sunday.
In addition, the race committee with their Principal Race Officer (PRO) Eckart Reinke will make their final adjustments before starting the practice race on Sunday (6 August) at 3:00 PM. The World Championship will be officially opened on Sunday (6 August) with the ceremonial march-in of the teams at the Olympic Centre at 7:00 PM.
After six days of competition, on Saturday (12 August) the ORC World Champions in three classes will be decided.
The first two days of the Worlds are all about the measurers: “It’s the measurer festival,” says PRO Reinke with a laugh. For Zoran Grubisa and his team, it’s busy hours before the boats can go out on the race course: “We have five measurer teams in Kiel, each of which checks a boat in three quarters of an hour – up to ten boats a day.”
The checklist includes checking the safety equipment, the other equipment on the boat and the sails. “So far there have been no problems and we don’t really expect any. At the past championships, the checks were always OK, and a large number of the crews are World Championship or European Championship experienced,” says Grubisa.
But even after the measurement marathon, it’s not over for Zoran Grubisa’s teams: “During the long-distance race, we have a little break, but on the other race days, we will re-check three yachts per group – primarily from the top boats. In this way we want to make sure that no yacht becomes a World Champion that has not been re-checked.”
For the race committee, the World Championship begins tomorrow, Saturday, with the internal briefing. The three ORC classes will be sent out on three different courses. “To ensure this, we have 45 people in the race committees. Even though all the teams have their own style, everyone should of course work on the same level. That’s why we coordinate closely,” explained Reinke.
For this purpose, the equipment of the starting boats as well as the ribs is also on the agenda. “These are routine tasks, because all members of the race committee are very experienced. Our motto is: we do it like we do it for Kieler Woche, because Kieler Woche is like a world championship.”
With race officer Stefan Kunstmann and Alexander Prinz zu Schleswig-Holstein, a team is in charge of the large yachts (ORC A) on Course Alpha that many of the crews know from other major events. On Course Delta, Peter Doepgen and Andreas Herbst act as a well-rehearsed duo together with Claudia Langenhan for the ORC B. And the large group of ORC C yachts will be looked after on course Kilo by Laura Kühlewind and Bence Kárpáti. “Laura brings great experience from Warnemünder Woche and has the necessary assertiveness. Bence comes from Hungary and contributes to us,” says Reinke.
During the practice race on Sunday, the race committee and the sailors will be able to test their teamwork. Things will get serious on Monday: from 11:00 AM, the sailors will be sent out in four starting groups for the long distance race. The start will be in the Kiel Inner Fjord in front of the Düsternbrook marina.
With a strong westerly wind, it should be a fast race across the start line right away that will drive the fleets out onto the Baltic Sea. “According to the current forecast, we expect winds at peak speeds of over 30 knots.
“However, this wind will all be sailable since the course of the long distance race is designed to pass largely through sheltered areas. We don’t expect a big swell that would put a strain on the boats. And you can adjust to the strong wind by reducing the sail area,” Reinke explains. All teams must be able to either reef their mainsail to 40 per cent of the area or have a trysail on board. “Therefore, there is no reason to think about postponing the race. It’s made clear in the Sailing Instructions that there are no wind speed limits.”
Appropriate indeed for a World Championship for offshore-capable sailing yachts.
The crews prepare their yachts and apply the bow stickers. Photo: Christian Beeck / ORC Worlds 2023
Schedule of the World Championship 2023:
- Saturday, August 5:
Check-In & Equipment Inspection
- Sunday, August 6: Equipment Inspection, Practice Race & Opening Ceremony
- Monday, August 7 until Friday, August 11: Races
- Wednesday, August 9: Inshore racing: one to three races and/or one Coastal Race, Midweek Event with buffet
- Thursday, August 10: Inshore racing: one to three races and/or one Coastal Race
- Friday, August 11: Inshore racing: one to three races and/or one Coastal Race
- Saturday, August 12: Final race and award ceremony with buffet
Before you start the ORC World Championship there is a mandatory inspection of each boat and its equipment. If you haven’t done it yet, please book an appointment for the inspection. Please use the booking portal.