Øyvind and Martin Knudsen (NOR), sailing First 34.7 LETHE © www.sailing.pics

Øyvind and Martin Knudsen (NOR), sailing First 34.7 LETHE © www.sailing.pics

2024 ORC Double-Handed World Championship to Kick Off Today in Oslo


11/06/2024 - 04:49

The third edition of the ORC Double-Handed World Championship 2024 is set to commence today. Hosted by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening – KNS) and organized with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), the championship will see world titles in the double-handed sailing discipline contested in a 300 to 340-mile race on the legendary Skaw Racecourse, starting from Oslo and finishing in Tønsberg on June 14.

Sixty-eight boats from ten nations—the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and Norway—have gathered at the KNS marina in Dronningen, Oslo. Over the past three days, ORC Chief Measurer Zoran Grubisa has led thorough measurement checks covering inspections of safety equipment, onboard gear, sails, and crew weight.

The championship features a diverse fleet, including past champions, one female crew, 11 mixed crews, and several family crews. Among the contenders are past champions and podium finishers, including a World Champion, two European Champions from 2023, and European runner-ups and bronze medalists.

Unai Cilleruelo (ESP), sailing with Jesus de Miguel in Barcelona last September, was crowned the 2023 C Class DH World Champion. Cilleruelo is now eager to defend his title with Aritz Fernandez in Norway on chartered X-332 EXITA. "We are extremely excited; the team is making a big effort to be here," says Unai. "The opportunity to defend the title is our main objective for this season, apart from racing in Spain's five major DH events. We are also excited to leave our comfort zone in the Med and face new challenges." - Read their story

Karl Otto and Maren Magda Book (NOR), sailing WHITE SHADOW (Landmark 43), are the 2023 A Class DH European Champions. Karl-Otto says, "We look forward to the DH Worlds, the highlight of 2024 for us. It is our home waters, a race course I've appreciated and sometimes hated for 30 years. We are ready with White Shadow and will do our best to defend last year’s title gained in Denmark." - Read their story

Øyvind and Martin Knudsen (NOR), sailing LETHE (First 34.7), are the 2023 C Class DH European Champions. They have spent the past decade perfecting their craft and are confident despite the differences between last year’s race and the upcoming challenge. "We know the boat, we know our strengths and weaknesses, and we’ll try to do our best."  

Michael Höfgen and Eckhard Kaller (GER), sailing LIGHTWORKS (Arcona 385). Michael, sailing on his previous high-performance racing boat, JPK 10.30, with Max Gurgel to the Silver in B Class in the inaugural 2022 ORC DH World Championship in Sweden. He opted for the cruising and family-oriented boat Arcona 385 this April, but the boat has undergone modifications optimized for ORC. This is the second time Michael and Eckhard are sailing together double-handed. Their first venture was highly successful, winning the German DH Championship in 2022. Now, "The upcoming race in Norway presents a significant challenge, particularly navigating the exit out of the Oslo fjord," they noted.

Lena Having and Eivind Bøymo-Malm (SWE), sailing MRS. FRECKLES (Corby 33) claimed Silver in Class C at the 2023 DH European Championship. This family team has been sailing double-handed events in the UK, Norway, and Sweden. They have rebuilt their boat for double-handed sailing and are eager to compete. - See the interview

The fleet also includes inspirational stories such as the dedicated sailing couple Pål and Valborg Mogen Stiansen (NOR) sailing their Xp-44 BORN TO RUN, who have been sailing together for 30 years. Their extensive experience includes numerous long voyages, with Pål having crossed the Atlantic four times. Their story is one of enduring love and shared adventure, proving they are a perfect match both on and off the waves. - See the interview

Another team to watch is the father-daughter duo Christine Mika and Harald Walder (NOR), sailing their French design JPK 10.80, MIKA. Christine started in the Opti class and moved to Snipe to join her father. They have been sailing double-handed since 2015. Together, they have consistently ranked in the top three in double-handed races in Norway. 

A story of sailing connecting people is about the team M2 - Hasan Ciplak and Seref Ozsoy from Turkey. Hasan, the chief of the Yacht Club in Datca, Turkey, was inspired to join the race after meeting with Team Rebella from Norway during a regatta in Datca YC they organized there to pay homage to ancient sailors dating back to 1100 BC in Knidos. They invited 20 master sailors worldwide, including team Rebella, who encouraged them to come to sail at the DH Worlds in Norway, renting out their X-95 to friends from Turkey. The team is excited to showcase their skills in the challenging Norwegian conditions.

Notably, the TP52 JOKERMAN, sailed by Per Ottar Skaaret and Thomas Nilsson (NOR), will be a sight to behold as they tackle the challenge of double-handed sailing. Typically crewed by a full team, these two powerhouse sailors have expertly fine-tuned TP52 for double-handed sailing, showcasing their remarkable skills and strategic adjustments. - Join Thomas as he gives you an exclusive boat tour, highlighting the modifications that make it perfect for this intense double-handed competition.

The ORC DH Worlds fleet has been segmented into Class A, with 15 entries; Class B, with 26; and Class C, with 29.

ORC Management Committee Member Patrick Lindqvist expressed his enthusiasm for the double-handed racing: “We are thrilled to see such a remarkable turnout and diverse fleet in this third edition of the ORC Double-Handed World Championship. This event underscores the growing importance and interest in double-handed sailing. It's truly inspiring to witness past champions and podium finishers returning to defend their titles or achieve new heights. The stories of sailing families and friendships highlight the essence and camaraderie of double-handed sailing.”

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