You Coulda Been A Contender
The 2009 Contender Worlds are taking place now in Sonderborg, Denmark – hosted by the Sonderborg Yacht Club. This year there are 123 participants from 13 countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, the Netherlands, Finland, and Great Britain). Sonderborg welcomed the international contingent with an opening ceremony at a castle – and some good breeze for the practice race on Sunday. With so many sailors, the fleet has been broken into two groups (yellow and blue) for seeding to determine who will be in the gold and silver fleets for the finals on Thursday and Friday.
Day 1 of the Worlds was fairly uneventful, with winds ranging from 8 to 12 knots. The winners of the day were Jens Langendorf (1,4) and local boy Soren Andreasen (7, 1). Day 2 opened with 14 knots for the first race and built to 18 for the second – conditions that favoured the big-boned, portly and chubby. Andrea Bonezzi, always a safe bet to capture the Worlds, finished with a 2 and 2, so his results are 10, 2, 2, 2. With that much wind there was some breakage – both equipment (vangs) and brains (with at least 30 sailors tossed for going to the wrong windward mark). So far, in addition to Jens, Soren, and Andrea, Bjarke Johnson, Cristophe Homeier, and Jono Neate are also doing well with consistent results.
Sailors have been consoled and/or rewarded with post-race happy hours (with tons of beer and snacks) provided by SYC. Racing continues with the forecast calling for slightly lighter winds on Wednesday, and hurricanes on Thursday and Friday.