On the first day of the competition, the tornadoes of the Volvo Champions Race were traveling at speeds of 27 knots (around 50 km / h) and sometimes had to overcome crests of almost two meters
From a German point of view, the start of the three-day regatta event on the Baltic Sea could not have been better. In the 49er class, the two top German teams Baur / Groy (Kiel / Fleckeby) and Jan-Peter and Hannes Peckolt (Hamburg / Kiel) joined the battle for overall victory. In the tornadoes, Roland Gäbler (Tinglev) demonstrated his class and sailed away from the competition with the bowman Gunnar Struckmann.
Four races were sailed per class and in the 49ers, especially Marcus Baur and Max Groy made it clear that they wanted to have a say in the awarding of the prize money in Travemünde. After four races they are in first place ahead of the silver medalists from Athens and reigning world champions Rodion Luk and George Leonchuk from Ukraine. Third place went to the Olympic champions from Athens, Christoffer Sundby and Frode Bovim from Norway. Jan-Peter and Hannes Peckolt also coped well with the strong winds and, thanks to their fourth place in the overall standings, move up further. Where the spectators were already holding their breath in the late afternoon and the competitors were sometimes too stormy, they felt completely in their element with increasing winds: "We would also take one more wind force," explained helmsman Jan-Peter Peckolt. And brother Hannes confirmed: "The most difficult thing was getting the boat back on land."
For the 49er sailors (in the picture the Norwegians Christoffer Sundby and Frode Bovim) of the Volvo Champions Race, seven wind speeds were already the extreme limit. The high-performance boats, which were as fast as they were shaky, were difficult to control in heavy waves
In Travemünde the only woman in the tornado field, the Dutchwoman Carolijn Brouwer with her sailboat Sebastien Godefroid, proved that the "big brother" Volvo Ocean Race can also be the ideal preparation for an event like the Volvo Champions Race. She demonstrated her whole routine of sailing in strong winds to the male world elite and benefited from her experience as helmswoman of the "Amer Sports Too" at the last Volvo Ocean Race in the Southern Ocean. After four races she is surprisingly in third place. Germany's flagship sailor Roland Gäbler and the bowman Gunnar Struckmann also coped well with the strong gusts. Thanks to their second place after the first day, they can even hope for overall victory in the Volvo Champions Race 2005. Their fiercest competitors for the Tour success are the Danes Peder Ronholt and Mads Möller, who only ranked seventh after the first day, as well as the two-time Volvo Champions Race overall winner Darren Bundock from Australia with his Italian bowman Edoardo Bianchi, who is intermediate four going into the weekend.
The tornadoes, the fastest Olympic boat class, reached speeds of over 50 km / h on the Baltic Sea. Gunnar Struckmann, foreman at Roland Gäbler, took it rather calmly: "The consistent 27 knots are already above the official competition limit of 25 knots, but of course it makes things even more spectacular for the spectators. But on the water it is sometimes quite heavy."
At the final of the Volvo Champions Race 2005, 23 crews will fight for the individual and overall victory in the Olympic boat classes Tornado and 49er until Sunday. After Lake Starnberg and Lake Cospuden in Leipzig, Travemünde is the third stop in the regatta series endowed with a total of 76,000 euros. Norddeutsche Fernsehen (N3) broadcasts live from the regatta course on the beach in Travemünde on Saturday from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.