Marie-Françoise XIX clinches 5.5 Metre season finale on Lake Thun
October 14, 2018
Marie-Françoise XIX, SUI 228 (Jürg Menzi, Dino Fumasoli, Christof Wilke) has won the 2018 Herbstpreis at Thunersee YC after two races were sailed on the final day. Race wins went to third and second finishers, New Moon, BAH 21 (Christoph Burger, Renato Marazzi, Peter Vlasov) andAvalon, SUI 210 (Beat Aebischer, Aaron Teuscher, Christof Gerber).
After another early gathering at the club at 0800 the race officer sent everyone afloat hoping the wind would allow racing. It looked touch and go for a while but then a relatively stable 4-5 knots from the west filled the race area and the racing was quickly got underway.
Most of the fleet were caught napping at the start of Race 3 with only Marie-Françoise XIX and New Moon anywhere near the line. New Moon tacked immediately to the right from the boat end while Marie-Françoise XIX, who started further down, was soon to follow. At the top Marie-Françoise XIX held a narrow lead. The two leaders split downwind with New Moon having the best angle into the bottom to take the lead. Marie-Françoise XIX was back in front at the next top mark after holding New Moon out to the left. But Zicca, SUI 201 (Tobias Isler, Staffan Lindberg, Mathias Dahlman) had also caught up. Another split downwind gave New Moon a half boatlength advantage at the shortened finish over Marie-Françoise XIX with Zicca just a few seconds behind them.
The light wind had dropped during the race but the race team, were keen to get in a second race. After a short coffee break the wind filled back in at 4-5 knots a bit further to the left for Race 4. Both Marie-Françoise XIX and New Moon went back the start after a recall signal and never got back into the race. Pungin, SUI 213 (Hans-Peter Schmid, Walter Dürr, Urs Wyler) led round the top from Caracole, SUI 214 (Bernard Haissly, Daniel Stampfli, Nicolas Berthoud) and Avalon. These three extended on the fleet with Avalon taking the lead downwind and maintaining that to the finish to win from Pungin and Caracole.
The wind was now about as stable as it had been all weekend so the race team ran straight into Race 5. But their luck had run out with the race abandoned twice on the first upwind as the lake became more and more glassy. After the second abandonment, the fleet was sent back to the club.
It was an emotional day for Victorine Bredero, owner helm of Duchess of B, NED 31as it was her final race in the class.
“Over the years it was very fun to race 5.5. We went to various places, all over Europe as well as Curaçao, The Bahamas, and you meet a lot of different people, all sailors in the same class but totally different and that’s nice also.”
“It’s one big family I am leaving and I now I realize that, and that’s not just the boat, a marvelous boat, but it’s also the group of people around it. But I hope to be in Helsinki next year for the world championship to visit all them and see how they are going so best wishes to everyone.”
“The boat is going to England and that’s nice, so after several years there will be a British boat sailing again so maybe the fleet will grow. It’s going to Cowes and the new owner said he wants to sail internationally.”
Best memory: “I have several, it’s hard to say. 2012 was a great year, but there are so many. Everywhere was nice. It was all very fun and with fun people.”
“My crew will sail next year with Max Müller, so they will carry on.”
Jürg Menzi, skipper of Marie-Françoise XIX was happy to end the season on a high note.
“It was a very, very nice day for sailing, verv light air, tricky, fluffy shifty. We finished a second in the first race. Sometimes we were in front and sometimes New Moon was in front but at the finish, they were some metres in front of us.”
“For the Herbstpreis, we had some luck, but you need to have some luck in these conditions, so we are happy to have won it again.”
“With our season we are very happy, we won the Swiss championship and were second in the worlds and to win the last regatta of the season, we are very happy."
Final results after 4 races 1 Marie-Françoise XIX, SUI 228 (Jürg Menzi, Dino Fumasoli, Christof Wilke) 5 2 Avalon, SUI 210 (Beat Aebischer, Aaron Teuscher, Christof Gerber) 7 3 New Moon, BAH 21 (Christoph Burger, Renato Marazzi, Peter Vlasov) 7