It was hard work: a lot of upwind parts, with rough nights in which the sailors were shaken well in their berths, nerve-wracking lulls with 0.0 knots of wind and boat speed, a lot of tussling about routing weather models, who disagreed as to what the fastest way is. But also great moments: Under the gennaker dolphins played around the bow of our "LunMare" in bright moonlight for almost an hour. Navigate at a speed of seven knots through the stone piles of the Croatian islands in the pitch dark at a distance of 400 meters. After getting up for the watch, beaming with joy, you will be informed by the crew which opponent you have conceded at night. The experience of coping with tiredness, seasickness and problems together.
On the edge
The adventure of accompanying six rookies on their first long-distance high seas regatta turned out to be a direct hit. TabeSend, Friederike Wilbert, Fabian Claußen, Jan Godts, Konstantin Krüger, Boris Tempelin, they have grown together really well as a crew. They sailed the boat 494.7 nautical miles as fast as they could - or we could, because admittedly, we are still learning. Other crews always found a higher gear for the Bavari45. So it was enough for sixth place on the first stage - before the official result was announced. Nobody is really dissatisfied, only Fabian is a little annoyed that the BMW sailing colleagues, who we were able to keep behind us for so long, passed shortly before the finish.
The finish under sail was denied: The high wind and light wind components made it possible for only two crews in our one-size-fits-all Bavari45 Cruiser to cross the line within the time limit. Everyone else had to start the engine to make it to the deadline for the restart on Saturday. Pitter Yachting has developed a fair system to get the problem under control that the Mediterranean Sea with its lulls brings with it: If the previously sealed engine is started, the remaining distance is scored at the previous average speed plus a penalty.
The crew: TabeSend, Konstantin Krüger, Friederike Wilbert, Boris Tempelin, Jan Godts, Fabian Claußen and YACHT editor Andreas Fritsch (from left)
As expected, the first ship home was the Class 40 "Ola" from IvicKostelic, who crossed the line shortly before Wolfgang Koszar with his brand new and at the same time the last Bavari65 "Naboo".
Tonight we are going to the victory celebration in Levkas and then quickly to the preparations for the restart: wash the boat (and sailors), rinse the salty oilskins, go shopping. And above all: Share what we have experienced together, drink a beer with other crews and simply let the impressions take effect. In any case, I only see satisfied grins on their faces.
Jan Godts catches the crew doing the routing for the return leg before partying. It's good that nobody looked before: It will be 500 miles on the wind - with plenty of wind.