Taonga is out of the running
Shortly before Fair Isle, "Norddeutsche Vermögen Hamburg", "Bank von Bremen" and "Snow Lion" fight a committed battle for the best starting position for the ride through the North Sea.
The three yachts lying close together belong to the same group as "Chieftain", "Gray Goose" and "Outsider". That makes the course of the coming days equally exciting for all participants. At the moment, the youth team of the Hamburg Seafaring Association with the "Norddeutsche Vermögen Hamburg" is ahead of the relatively comparable "Bank von Bremen" and "Snow Lion".
It is true that the waters of northern England with the prevailing tidal currents are one of the most demanding areas of the race. However, due to the short distance to Fair Isle, no more tactical refinements are to be expected. The North Sea will then, however, once again demand the full attention of the crews. Around five hundred nautical miles separate the participants from the finish line.
There is no competition for the three from start group 2 "Gray Goose". The yacht of Hamburg co-sponsor Tobias König is already sailing towards the Elbe estuary after rounding Fair Isle. But that alone doesn't mean much. The yacht has a higher speed potential and has to pay the three opponents a lot. After the calculation, the former favorite should, as before, be found in the lower columns of the result list.
Meanwhile, the Irish yacht "Chieftain" has already left half of the North Sea course in the wake. She is expected to cross the finish line in front of Steubenhöft in second place on Wednesday.
The two Maxis "Rambler" and "Bon Bon" from the second start have meanwhile reached the field and thus made up a week's lead. This performance speaks for itself and makes the range of the regatt clear. They virtually occupy places one and two in the ranking, keep swapping ranks and are the toughest opponents of the "Outsider" crew according to calculations.
Bad news from aboard the "Taonga". After careful consideration, the ship's command decided on Sunday night to break off the regatta for technical reasons. "The retreat from a race of the caliber of the HSH Nordbank blue race is a stab in the heart for the skipper and crew after months of elaborate preparations, especially when most of the work has already been done under strain," says Jochen Claussen, owner and skipper of the 49-foot carbon fiber yacht.
Anyone who followed our course had noticed a strange north course from the best position. The aft like of our new North Carbon / Aramid 3DL had given up at around 3 meters in length. This meant that the large was initially out and we could not maintain the height to Fair Isle.
The decision-making situation: Stronger, longer lasting winds from the east. Position of the boat approx. 400 nm from Fair Isle and approx. 300 nm to the next east coast. Provisions approx. 4 days, water and fuel o.k. According to the on-board sail maker, the repair chance for the large is given under dry conditions, on board it is zero.
"Without a large, we may come to Greenland, but not home," continues Claussen. The sporting spirit behind this decision is shown in the last lines of the mail: "So, and now bye! After the race is before the race."