Heroic day in Copenhagen at the 2022 Star Europeans

Heroic day in Copenhagen at the 2022 Star Europeans

Heroic day in Copenhagen at the 2022 Star Europeans


08/07/2022 - 20:17

The day started out gloomy and grey, with a cold wind blowing over 10 knots due to increase up to 15/18. You could feel the energy building up on the docks: a mix of excitement and terror for the 51-boat fleet which is very heterogeneous in age and experience, made of sailors from their twenties to those in their seventies and eighties; big Star Class veterans and newcomers, of Olympic medalist wanting to prove their selves and a petite lady.

The Royal Danish Yacht Club Race Committee was sure the day would just be a good one for sailing, and so it proved. Two beautiful races were sailed with wind around 15 knots from the west/north-west with gusts up to 20, choppy water and some shifts to make it more interesting. The first race started out right on time after a general recall. A very tough upwind with the fleet evenly split on the left and the right, in the end the ones on the right were the first ones rounding, with Laser Silver Olympic medalist Tonci Stipanovic and crew Tudor Bilic arriving first with a big margin after only one leg. Behind them the other Croatian team of Marin Misura and Tonco Barac. These two boats continued their own race to the end, with the latter closing the gap to the first, while both extending from the rest of the fleet.

More of a battle was raced in the behind them, with teams swapping positions from the top mark to the gate, gate to top mark until the finish. The contest for third was won by local sailor Jorgen Shönherr and Markus Koy, while Hubert Merkelbach and Kilian Weise broke their mast at the first windward mark and were out of the competition maybe for the whole day.

Instead they rose like a phoenix and were right back on the start line of race 4 even managing to get a second place in yet another wild race. Nothing could stop Jack Jennings and Pedro Trouche (USA/BRA) who, after a very unworthy 14th place in Race 3, dominated the last race of the day. In third it came a very inspired Tonci Stipanovic with Tudor Bilic on their brand new boat, to finish as best of the day.

"Today was really good, yesterday we didn't have speed...we had just come here with this beautiful new boat and we needed a couple of days to try to make the dream come true" says a relieved Tonci Stipanovic. "So this morning we were the first here in the harbor, at around 7:30 and we worked a lot on the boat to find the pace with a better setup. Today was finally really good!! In the first race we were leading from the beginning and in the second race we were also among the leading group fighting for the top three places so we are really, really happy with the one and three!!". "Yesterday after sailing we had our heads exploding, we didn't know what to do, what to change, we had the same setup that we had in old boat which is very fast, so I was really unsure on what to change, but luckily we have a lot of experienced sailors at home, and thanks to them we changed something and today was really much better and we are hoping to continue like this".

The overall provisional ranking is led by Dutch skipper Haico de Boer with Brazilian crew Samuel Goncalves, the most consistent before the discard coming in place with Race 5. Piet Eckert and Frederico Melo (SUI/POR) are second and Marin Misura with Tonco Barac third.

Tomorrow might be windier, another big test for the fleet, called on the water for an 11,30 start just like today.


1 Haico de Boer Samuel Goncalves 18 pts
2 Piet Eckert Frederico Melo 19 pts.
3 Marin Misura Tonco Barac 22 pts.
4 Jorgen Shönherr Markus Koy 22 pts.
5 Jack Jennings Pedro Trouche 25 pts.

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