waltzing matilda

Here is an excellent report from Matilda 4, the Class C winner at the just-completed ORC Worlds

Boat: J/112E from 2019 with ORC-optimizing from Matteo Polli
Venue: Tallinn Estonia
Weather: Sun, rain, hails. 6-22 knots
Races: Total 8 (6 inshore 2 offshore) one discard
Participants 104 (62 in class C) 

Joachim Aschenbrenner & Mathilda4
Joachim Aschenbrenner is the helmsman onboard the J/112E, Mathilda4 that was the winning boat at ORC World Championship. He is a previous top match racer holding titles as Youth World Champion and European Champion as well as numerous participations in World Match Racing Tour regattas including four Congressional Cups.

After winning last week’s ORC World Championship he is now holding titles with Mathilda4 both as ORC World and European champion with his win at the Europeans back in 2019. 

Preparation is key to success in ORC. Aschenbrenner says: “The boat is relatively new, it was built in 2019. After winning the Europeans in 2019 I re-joined the team at the end of 2020 to help them towards the Worlds. Immediately we started with the first modifications to the boat after experiences with the Europeans. The boat has already been undergoing several upgrades with help from the top designer Matteo Polli. 

After those upgrades were in place we have been working hard on getting a training schedule together in Estonia to test and do the last modifications on sails as well as making sure the team were all up to level. The COVID-restrictions have been a big challenge to allow me to travel to Estonia from Palma, Mallorca, and parts of the preparations were not as I would have wished but we got the best of it.” 

The regatta
“We came to the regatta with a fresh win at the biggest ORC regatta in Estonia just a few weeks before where most of our main competitors also participated so we had  good confidence in the boat and now it was all up to the crew to perform.”

Offshore race
The first race of the regatta was a 150 miles offshore race. The race started out in light winds that totally died after a couple of hours which gave an opportunity for boats that didn’t come well out of the start while the leading boats fought hard to keep their positions. As the evening and night went on the breeze built up to 25 knots and heavy rain came in which reduced the visibility a lot. The course was quite simple;  a few shorter legs of 10-25 miles between Estonia and Finland so the offshore strategy never really came into play in this race. 

After a very calm start to the offshore race, it was a different story when the rain and wind came in where a few sail changes were made after sailing in 4-6 knots of breeze. The course was mainly upwind reaching towards Estonia and some high downwind angles towards Finland that we went to three times. We probably pushed the spinnakers a bit harder than most on the tight downwind legs which we really benefitted from and I think this became the main reason to win the offshore race. 

The crew consisted of some of the best Estonian sailors as well as Karlo Hmeljak who was trimmer and tactician on board. He joined the team after a win at Copa Del Rey in the ClubSwan36 class. 

It was a tight battle in the C-class with participation from top teams as Sugar, Pro4U, and Adelante. Last mentioned Adelante was helmed by previous America’s Cup helmsman, Jesper Radich (Desafio Espanol 32nd America’s Cup).

After eight races consisting of two off-shore and six in-shore races, the points were all even between Mathilda4 and Sugar both on 13 points but with four 1st places against Sugar’s three Mathilda4 were awarded the World Championship. 

We had really hard competition from the top team Sugar in their Italia 11.98. We managed to start the regatta really well and got a small lead on Sugar and Pro4U before we went into gold fleet where we knew the competition was gonna be hard, so all week we had a focus of saving our discard to this final series. Sugar sailed incredibly well in the heavy breeze and closed the gap of three points we had into the final day but with our four race wins through the regatta we managed to keep the lead. 


Even though they aren’t Aussies, the title inspiration comes from here.