Team boss Jochen Schümann cannot be carried away with a specific medal prognosis for the DSV fleet. But he says in the YACHT interview: "In the end there will be few surprises. At the Olympics, the results that were achieved before are confirmed. We are very well positioned in three classes." We mean 49er, Yngling and Europe.
The German flagship duo consists of Marcus Baur and Max Groy. The 49er sailors became European champions last year and in 2004 won the Greek championship in front of Athens with a top line-up and bronze at the World Championships in the same place. Anything but a medal would be a disappointment for the most successful German sailing team in recent years. And after finishing fifth in Sydney (with bowman Barth), Marcus has the absolute will to get precious metal this time.
However, the helmsman puts the World Cup result into perspective: "That still means little. The track was about ten kilometers from the Olympic course. We had a very big wave, but expect flat water conditions in Olympia. In addition, the weather conditions so early in the year differ significantly from those in August."
On the other hand, the power density at the top is tremendously high. In 2003 Baur / Groy finished fifth at the World Championships in Cadiz, just one point behind third and hardly less behind silver. The other regattas were similarly close.
Only two teams were able to set themselves apart through exceptional series at the World Cup. Last year it was the British Draper / Hiscocks who did not have to compete in the last races. And in Athens, the Spaniards Martinez / Fernandez, who had regained their strength after an injury, succeeded. Both teams have dominated the 49er in recent years. But Baur / Groy are very close.
With a good sponsorship contract behind them, they have the most professional Olympic campaign behind them that a German team has ever completed. They have long formed an extremely effective training group with the British and Norwegians, both of whom are in the top five in the world.
Nevertheless, the Sydney 49er results show that surprises are possible. The Finn Thomas Johansen won gold almost out of nowhere. He's back with a new crew and once again prepared for Athens away from the world's elite in Finland. With a second place at the European Championships last month and tenth place at the World Cup, he shows that he can be expected again.
But also the friends and training partners of the German Sundby / Bovim belong to the extended circle of favorites. They finished second and sixth at the last two World Cups.