Hanko, Norway — 7 August 2022 – Following perfect 14-16 knot conditions this afternoon at the mouth of the Oslofiorden, numerous teams tested themselves in a lively practice race held just before the opening ceremony of the 2022 ORCi European Championship, hosted by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) and co-organized with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC). Fifty-five teams from seven nations are represented here to compete all for their share of European Champion titles and other prizes awarded in each of three classes at this event.
Photos: ORC European Championship 2022 / Trond Teigan – KNS, Text: Dobbs Davis – ORC
The competitive action in today’s practice race was a prelude to what lies ahead for the next 6 days in the 7 inshore and 2 offshore races in the program, with winners in each class crowned after the last race is held on Saturday, 13 August.
KNS Vice Commodore Benedicte Lind Bjorland (above) officially opened the event today.
Practice race winners include Michael Berghorn’s Mills 45 Custom HALBTROCKEN (GER) in Class A, Torkjel Valland’s Landmark 43 WHITE SHADOW (NOR) in Class B and Patrik Forsgren’s modified First 36.7 TEAM PRO4U (SWE) in Class C – by a mere 39 seconds in corrected time.
Tomorrow’s Mills Long Offshore Race will feature a 24-36 hour tour of the southern coast of Norway, with several long legs positioned for multiple wind angles. This will challenge the teams with sail selections and trimming solutions for optimal speed at these angles. Another challenge is navigational, with many small islets and rocks found along numerous sides of the race course.
The six teams in Class A have a 173.4-mile course to complete, the 21 crews in Class B have a 165.3-mile course, while the 27 entries in Class C have a 144-mile course. Weather predictions are for light and variable conditions at the 10:00 start, followed soon thereafter by a building southwest breeze that should persist through the remainder of the daylight and into the evening hours.
This opening race to the event is extremely important to the teams: while the scores are weighted the same as all other races, the results cannot be discarded.“We think a big issue in the long offshore race will be the current,” said Peter Thorwid, tactician on TEAM PRO4U. “We are from the other side of Sweden where in the Baltic there is rarely any current, so we race more frequently in those conditions. With the light air in the forecast we think this could be a big factor in the long race tomorrow.”
Indeed, hydrographic models in the race area (shown above) show the current can reach up to 1.5 knots in strength.
All races in the 2022 ORCi European Championship can be followed and replayed by TracTrac at this link: https://tractrac.com/event-page/event_20220309_KongeligNo/2409.
After finishing on Monday evening or Tuesday morning, the fleet will then take a break until resuming racing on Wednesday 10 August with the start of windward/leeward inshore competition. A total of seven inshore and two offshore races are planned for this event.
“Norway is one of the most important countries for us,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. “There are almost 1000 boats here with certificates, a big fraction of the over 10,000 that we issue worldwide. We are really pleased to be here at this excellent venue in Hanko and all the outstanding efforts made by KNS to produce what will be a memorable event for all.”
Photos are available in the event’s Flikr gallery: https://flickr.com/photos/196152898@N04/albums
The ORCi European Championship is certificated a green regatta by the FEE. The Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS) works continuously to ensure that all parts of the organization are as sustainable and climate friendly as possible.