Montag, März 13, 2006

DN World Championship 2006 - Report-

The following report was written by me for

208 Iceboat competitors from 18 nations travelled to Germany to compete in the 37th World Championship in the DN Class to be held from 5th of March until 10th of March. The primary location, stated by the Finnish Organisation Committee had been Lake Pyhaejaervi, Saekylae. Due to the weather conditions all competitors had been advised to relocate in Germany on the Lake Mueritz in a nice holiday camp in the small city Klink.

The championship was to be sailed in four groups starting with the "D" Fleet of which the top 12 boats were able to advance into a higher fleet. Remarkably young Polish DN Sailor, P - 37, Grzegurz Prokopowicz, managed to advance into the "A" Fleet and to finish with as respectable 6th place. This is a result of the strong junior program in Poland which backed by senior iceboaters, local companies and the Polish Sailing Union. The US Team had 6 sailors in the Goldfleet and reigning World Champion, Ron Sherry, US-44 was prepared to defend his title against the strong Swedish, German and Polish fleet sailors.

The qualification races and a first Goldfleet race were held in between snowstorms on the big Lake Mueritz. The first three places were hard fought between US-44 and the Polish sailors P-114, Michal Burczynski, and P-679, Jacob Schneider. P-114 had a small speed edge and won the race which finished late that day, close to 18.00h. Time to get to the shore was not enough and a couple of sailors were lost in the dark and in the snowstorm but with help of many friends, directing them home with flashlights everybody was back at around 20.30h. Snow all night and temperature dropping to -17° did not help improving the conditions and the race committee had to make the tough decision to cancel further sailing in Germany and to travel to Sweden. Motalla was the place to be. Only a few sailors did not make it. The Swedes, keen to grap the title from Ron Sherry thought that the black ice, which they had found in the northern part of Lake Vaettern, would suit them better than snow covered ice. The search for safe conditions was difficult and in the process the Finish sailor John Winquist lost his boat, which sank down to 600m. Luckily his friends helped him out of a bad situation which again proves that Iceboaters should never do it alone.

The World Championship was concluded on one day with only 3 more races, no discard and many a favourites died. But not the young Polish sailor, Michal Burczynski. He deserved the title which he won with an 8 point lead to second, P - 155, Lukasz Zakrzewski, followed by American Matt Struble US-3662. It should be noted that Michal Burczynski won the title 27 years after his father, well known Pjotr Burczynski did so. Pjotr was honored during the price giving as being "best coach" of the week. His sons had won the Gold and the Silver Fleet World Championship 2006.

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