Light wind 5.5 Metre thriller on Thunersee

Switzerland: The defending 5.5 Metre champions and multiple winners of the Thunersee Yachtclub’s Herbstpreis, MF XXII (SUI 232, Jürg Menzi-Schmid, Jürgen Eiermann, Christof Wilke) won the only race possible on Saturday to lead the nine-boat fleet going into Sunday.

After a delayed start, due to rain and no wind, the fleet set out for a first start at around 16.00 with a very fitful southerly that came and went and never really stabilised.

MF XIII won the only race of the day – Robert Deaves pic

With various ‘hot boatings’ going on, Pungin (SUI 213, Wolf-Eberhard Richter, Beata Kallkowski, Walter Dürr) took second with Skylla IV (SUI 182, Andre Bernheim, Urs Werner, Alex Bernheim) coming through to third.

For many years, the Herbstpreis, which is the traditional end of the European 5.5 Metre season, has been a three-day regatta. This year though, it was reduced to the original two days, but has still maintained a healthy fleet size for racing on this stunningly picturesque lake at the heart of Switzerland. A shame the low cloud obscured much on the impressive backdrop.

Total concentration on the job at hand on Pungin – Robert Deaves pic

Once on the water, the light wind that was in place, died away only to come back stronger, relatively speaking, at 4-5 knots half an hour later. The race team quickly got the fleets away (the event is shared with Dragons ad Onyxs) and the 5.5 fleet sailed three legs of a shortened course.

Pungin, with Wolf-Eberhard Richter at the helm, made a perfect pin end start, and was in contention up the first beat. However, the speed of Menzi on MF XXII soon put them in front and they extended for a big win.

Black and White and Ali Baba neck and neck to the mark – Robert Deaves pic

Pungin held on for second after sailing a great race, while Skylla came through to third on the final beat, as the wind started to die away again and left a few of the early front runners some way back.

By now the sun was setting behind the mountains, so the fleet was sent ashore for some free beer and mountains of melted Swiss cheese.

Racing concludes on Sunday local time, with the latest start time of 15.00 hours.

Forza del Destino against the breathaking Swiss mountain backdrop – Robert Deaves pic

Results after 1 race:
1 MF XXII (SUI 232, Jürg Menzi-Schmid, Jürgen Eiermann, Christof Wilke)
2 Pungin (SUI 213, Hans-Peter Schmid, Gilbert Dürr, Walter Dürr)
3 Skylla IV (SUI 182, Andre Bernheim, Urs Werner, Alex Bernheim)
4 Forza Del Destino (SUI 211, Simon Pfändler, George Prapopoulos, Thomas Huber)
5 Black & White (SUI 219, Daniel Schenker, Mark Dangel, Felix Schneebeli)

Full results:

Robert Deaves!/results?classId=1fa11494-41eb-4f02-96d5-b140e64e738c

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