20 years after the triumph of the “Illbruck”, the German colors black-red-gold are to be represented again for the first time in the marathon. Star boat world champion Robert Stanjek as team captain and team manager Jens Kuphal are the engines of the project and have jointly created the structures of the Offshore Team Germany (OTG). The official kick-off for the campaign is to take place during the Kiel Week.
The team was already able to record notable successes in 2017 in the Mini class, in which Jörg Riechers achieved second place with the in-house prototype development "Lilienthal". After separating from Riechers, Morten Bogacki will take his place in the Mini in the future.
Now the team is aiming for much bigger goals: the next The Ocean Race (TOR). According to manager Kuphal, there has been close contact with the new management of the TOR for more than six months, and preparations for a successful participation in the next edition of the race are in full swing.
Refit shortly before completion
The ex- "Acciona" was extensively rebuilt
The OTG acquired the former "Acciona", an ImocOpen 60, two years ago. A new ship has been built around the hull of the boat that was built for the Vendée Globe 2012 in recent months. The Trimarine shipyard in Lisbon / Portugal, experienced in the offshore sector, has brought the yacht's hull up to date with extensive composite work and modifications.
With the completion, the previous project manager Charles Euverte (DMG Mori) has put the rest of the work in the hands of Joff Brown (Hugo Boss / Lighthouse). He is now responsible for the rebuilding of the yacht with keel, mast, electrics, electronics and rigging. For this the yacht was transferred to Gosport / southern England.
The cockpit area in particular has been heavily modified
"We have been able to win highly recognized experts for our project management who stand for absolute top quality in modern yacht construction," said Kuphal. "We work with Joff Brown in the direct environment of the British sailing icon Alex Thomson."
Fastnet Race as the first endurance test
The OTG yacht is due to go into the water in May, then comes to Kiel for a show and is finally supposed to pass its first practical test in the legendary Fastnet Race. Under the leadership of Robert Stanjek, former Starboot vice world champion, the OTG team will be the first Imocim fully crewed mode to start with international sailors and German youngsters.
Transport of the Imocper low loader from Portugal to Great Britain
The data and experiences collected are then to be evaluated and, on this basis and after the TOR route has been announced, the latest generation of foils will be manufactured and installed in order to prepare the yacht for The Ocean Race and the current foil age catapult.
Official start of the Kiel Week campaign
In the history of the world race, which has been held since 1973, the Kiel final in 2002 still represents an unforgettable chapter in German sailing history. At that time, 300,000 people on land and water received the fleet and made the fjord simmer. "It's unbelievable, just unbelievable. Much better than anyone believed. This is the top sailing spot, unbelievable. I have an Olympic medal. But this is the best," said John Kostecki, the victorious "Illbruck" -Skipper, back then.
With Kiel. Sailing. City, a strong partner pulls together with the Offshore Team Germany. Axel Bauerdorf, authorized signatory at Kiel-Marketing GmbH, is informed about every development at OTG right from the start. And Kiel wants to be a stage again, thus strengthening the backing of a German campaign for The Ocean Race.
"We are in direct and close communication with those responsible at TOR as well as in close dialogue with the Offshore Team Germany," says Bauerdorf. For the race it is extremely important that a German team is at the start. “We know about the importance of a German location for the race. We will use the next few weeks intensively to advance the application together with all stakeholders. We are very pleased that two people, Jens Kuphal and Robert Stanjek, are pursuing the TOR project very professionally, and I hope that we can make our contribution to its success."
“One of the key factors on the way to Alicante 2021 is to close ranks with the city of Kiel as a possible stopover in the coming race”, says team manager Kuphal and wants to give the emotional starting signal for the project in Kiel after completion of the Imocas: “We will At the start of the Kiel Week, officially present our campaign and celebrate with our boat christening.”Participation in the Welcome Race is also planned.