The return of the Volvo Champions

49er and Tornado action in Travemunde

Friday October 10th 2003, Author: Tati Pokorny, Location: none selected
2000 spectators watched the first two races of each the Tornado and 49er class at Day 1 of the last Volvo Champions Race in the season 2003. The fans enjoyed spectacular action, especially when the crew rounded the windward mark, that was placed as near as 20 metres to the beach of Travemünde. More than a dozen capsized 49ers (and even two Tornados!) proved how hard it is even for the best olympic sailors in the world to control those sensible racing machines in gusty 25 knots of breeze.

Two German crews, 49er European Champions Marcus Baur and Max Groy and three times Tornado World Champion Roland Gäbler and Gunnar Struckmann dominated their fleets at the first day of the three-day-series. While there is some fierce competition for the event´s purse of 13.000 Euro the battle for the overall prizes is even harder. The best team of each class in the overall rankings after three stopps will be rewarded with 5000 Euro. A total purse of 35.500 Euro is for the grab at the final prize giving ceremony on Sunday.

World Champions Darren Bundock and his friend and sparring partner Roland Gäbler are the top favorites for this final showdown of the new Super Series that is hoped to be continued next year. Bundock leads the overall rankings with 28 points but by just two points ahead of his closest rival Gäbler who defends another three points advantag over Denmark´s Peder and Sören Ronholt. Because they missed one of the three Volvo Champions Races, Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen have no chance to reach a top three position in the overall rankings but they are definitely on for the event's podium places in Travemünde.

Another German/Danish duel is on in the 49er class where Peter and Sören Hansen (The Hansen Brothers") lead the overall rankings with 29 points ahead of Baur/Groy (26 points). A maximum of twelve races will be started in Travemünde before the overall winners will be celebrated ­ stay tuned!

Volvo Champions Race Travemünde
Day 1 / Top 6 after 2 Races

1st Marcus Baur/Max Groy (Kiel/Fleckeby) 4 pts (3,
2nd Peter und Sören Hansen (DEN) 4 pts (2,
3rd Marcin Czajkowski/Krysztof Kierkowski (POL) 8 pts (1, 7)
4th Markus Steeg/Hannes Peckolt (Budenheim/Kiel) 8 pts (5, 3)
5th Tom Ruegge/Jörg Steiner (SUI) 10 pts (4,
6th Martin Kirketerp/Dion Valente (DEN) 11 pts (6, 5)

Tornado Sport
1st Roland Gäbler/Gunnar Struckmann (Tinglev/Kiel) 6 pts (1, 5)
2nd Peder und Sören Ronholt (DEN) 7 pts (5, 2)
3rd Mitch Booth/Herbert Dercksen (NED) 7 pts (4, 3)
4th Helge und Christian Sach (Zarnekau) 7 pts (3, 4)
5th Darren Bundock/Will Howden (AUS/GBR) 10 pts (9,1)
6th Martin Strandberg/Kristian Mattsson (SWE) 10 pts (2, 8)

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