Teeing up for the SAP 505 Worlds
Having just won the 505 Pre-Worlds Regatta in Aarhus, Denmark, Jorgen and Jacob Bojsen-Møller are looking to continue their winning ways in the SAP 505 World Championships which start tomorrow.
The Danish brothers came agonisingly close to winning the 1978 Worlds, which also happened to take place in Denmark, in Copenhagen. Jorgen recalls those painful memories: “We were leading the regatta going into the last race, but we had been on the shore for the previous two days because of too much wind. Sitting around, I think it allowed our nerves to set in. Anyway, it was decided to have a race on the last day, and it was still very windy. We were leading by a few points from a British team [Peter Colclough and Phil Brown], but we had a very bad discard, so if both boats finished way down the fleet than we would lose.”
The race began well enough for the Danes, and they decided to play it safe downwind in the big breeze. “We didn’t hoist the spinnaker, but Colclough did, so then we hoisted it but it went under the boat, and we capsized,” says Jorgen. “We climbed through the fleet to 8th place, but to win the Worlds we needed 5th or better.” And so the 505 World title would have to wait for another occasion, perhaps 2010.
Having won the warm-up regatta in Aarhus, how do the Bojsen-Møllers fancy their chances of nailing that elusive world title? “We have 32 years more experience since then, four times at the Olympic Games, so if we have a similar situation now I think we will keep our nerve better. You have to stay in the right mood, and back then we were too nervous.” His chance to prove that theory might come very soon, with strong winds predicted for tomorrow on the Bay of Aarhus.
Having won two Olympic medals, a gold and a bronze, Jorgen Bojsen-Møller has nothing to prove to the sailing world, yet he would still like to add to the 505 Worlds trophy to his cabinet. “We will try very hard, but I’m certainly not sure that we will win,” says Jorgen. “There’s a big chance that we won’t win.” With 126 entries from 11 nations, this is a fleet packed with talent.
Finishing 2nd in the Pre-Worlds were another Danish team, the 2007 World Champions Jan Saugmann and Morten Ramsbæk, with the 2008 World Champion Ian Pinnell in third place, crewed by twice World Championship winner Ian Mitchell.
The one that Bojsen-Møller perhaps fears the most is the three-time World Champion from Germany, Wolfgang Hunger. “He didn’t sail all the races in the Pre-Worlds but he is always fast,” says Jorgen. “Howie Hamlin too. He has won the Worlds once and been runner-up many times. Really there are so many boats here with a good chance of winning.”
One thing that has changed since 1978 is the level of media coverage and publicity surrounding the 505 Worlds. With class sponsor, the global software company SAP working closely with the University of Aarhus, there is a plethora of new technology being used to follow every moment of the racing. All boats will be carrying GPS transponders for the live tracking, and six boats will also be carrying cameras on their transoms, generating live footage that will be streaming on the internet. So will having a live camera on board affect the Bojsen-Møller brothers’ performance? “No, not at all,” says Jacob, “except maybe when we want to go to the toilet.”
This evening the 126 sailing teams will meet at the opening ceremony taking place at the Aarhus City Hall. It will be hosted by Marc Perera Christensen, Aarhus City’s alderman for culture, sports and citizens services, the man who will fire the start gun for race one of the Worlds tomorrow.
The SAP 505 World Championship takes place in Aarhus, Denmark, from 30 July to 5 August. This regatta is the latest in a series of major sailing championships hosted by the City of Aarhus over the past 10 years, with the Volvo ISAF Youth Worlds having taken place here in 2008 and with a number of major championships scheduled in the near future, including the A-Class Catamaran Worlds in 2011.
The organisers of the 2010 SAP 505 World Championship are Sailing Aarhus in cooperation with Sport Event Denmark, Sport Aarhus Event and the Danish Sailing Association. With a strong focus on innovation and new technology to promote sailing to a wider audience, Denmark and the City of Aarhus are bidding for the ISAF Worlds 2014, the most prestigious regatta next to the Olympic Games.