The 70-foot-tall single building was the first to finish the stage from Rignach Klaiped with a 17-minute lead and received the flag-shaped award as “First Ship Home”, which Tilmar Hansen from the “Outsider” was also keen on.
With a distance of 225 nautical miles, the distance race between the Latvian and Lithuanian capital, Rigund Klaipeda, was the second longest of the regatta in the Baltic Sea. As a result, apart from the large and fast yachts, only a few participants have reached the finish line so far.
The mayor of Klaipeda, Rimantas Taraskevicius, stood waiting at the pier to receive the first yachts. Customs had also come in large numbers to clear the arrivals.
The organizers on site were worried because the waning wind easily messed up the schedule. The first yachts on their way to the finish became slower and slower. After all, it was Reinhold Riel's 70-foot single “Sinfonie Sylt” building that was the first to pass the last barrel, hoist the spinnaker and, with the little bit of residual wind, crossed the finish line at 1:52 p.m. local time as “First Ship Home”. The calculated winners will not be known until tomorrow.
“It was a long leg with some slack passages, and of course we are glad that we were in the lead in the end,” says Reinhold Riel after the finish. JolitKraniauskaite, Klaipeda's tourism manager, honored the first ship with a bouquet of red roses. “We matched each other with the“Outsider”practically the whole time, sometimes they were ahead, sometimes we,” said Riel. After a long, exciting duel, Tilmar Hansen's “Outsider” from Kiel finally had to admit defeat and 17 minutes later crossed the finish line as the second yacht. "It was a single duel with the 'Symphony' all night long," says Hansen. In between, 'Tutima' was very close”, says the Kiel sailor. "But that's the way it is with a regatta, only one wins."
The warm welcome in Klaipeda, where the organizers went to great lengths to properly celebrate the sailors, will compensate Hansen for having to give up the title of “First Ship Home” at this stage. The radical Elliott 45 “Outsider” has always been the first to arrive at all stages so far. Owner Tilmar Hansen has already become a collector of trophy flags. In the harbor of Klaiped, the two different sized yachts are now lying amicably side by side - a bit like David and Goliath, because the Elliott 45 from Hansen looks like a dinghy next to the 70-foot yacht from Riel.
The following yachts now have to deal with the wind that has continued to wane. But for the night, weather expert Dr. Meeno Schrader announced thunderstorms again.
Alan Green from England, the race director of the NORD / LB Baltic Sprint Cup, has taken up his post this time on a large warship of the Lithuanian Navy to watch through the night and to note the target times of the incoming yachts. Results are not expected until tomorrow.