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Youth project re-starts after dismasting

Youth project re-starts after dismasting

At the ORC World Championship the crew around skipper Tim Eigendorf is now at the start with the borrowed Farr 30 “Charly Whisky”.       Photo: Christian Beeck / ORC Worlds 2023

It happened ten days ago at Travemünder Woche: the young crew of PROTEST, a Zefir 331 from Wismar, was on a upwind course on the second day of the German ORC National Championship in final preparation for the ORC Worlds 2023. Strong gusts of wind were sweeping across the course and the crew was hiked out on the rail – looking to windward, weight on the edge of the boat. From ahead, the gusts were being announced “3, 2, 1!” to help the trimmers and helmsman respond.

Then suddenly the pressure was gone. “The boat righted itself, but we turned around the view went nowhere. There was no sail and no rig anymore,” reported trimmer Felix Schießer. The mast had broken in two places: directly on deck and at a height of two metres.

“We are puzzling over how this could happen,” said Schießer. “We started this project only last year and completely overhauled the yacht. The mast is from this year and the boat is in very good condition,” he said. “After the dismasting, we had to make a difficult decision: In order not to endanger the boat, the shrouds and stage were cut, rig and sails were left to the sea.”

After that, it was off to the harbor by motor. Suddenly, the project to bring a youth team from YC Wismar to the start of the ORC World Championship was faced with nothing: the mast was gone. Was the dream of the Worlds also shattered? The young people from Wismar around skipper Tim Eigendorf and trimmer Felix Schießer instead switched from despair to optimism. Said Schießer: “We are not giving up. The Worlds is our dream, we’re holding on to it.”

Now with the same crew, but a different boat, there is a fresh mood: Eigendorf and his team have made it. They have arrived at the Olympic Centre in Kiel-Schilksee and are preparing the Farr 30 CHARLY WHISKY for racing thanks to Christoph Weßler from Lübeck who has made his boat available to the team.

“We got talking to Christoph at Travemünder Woche. He took me aside, although we didn’t know each other at all beforehand, and said: ‘You can have my boat and go do the Worlds!’ “. Schießer was completely surprised by this generous offer.

Weßler himself was overwhelmed by his spontaneous decision.

“When the mast broke on PROTEST we were not far away,” he said. “And when I met the crew, they were close to tears. After the offer, I first had to check whether it would even work out with the insurance.”

But that was no problem, and so the deal went through, so after Travemünde Week the yacht was handed over. But there was still a lot of work to be done, and Weßler is impressed by the crew: “It’s crazy: they are so young and yet they know exactly what they want and what they have to do. In the past few days they have almost completely refurbished the yacht. There was so much more help from other Farr 30 crews that the ORC World Championship project has almost become a community affair. I’m glad to have done it. It’s really fun.”

Schedule of the World Championship 2023:

  • 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