Owned by Falko Knabe, with Ole Von Studnitz as a tactician, “Falkone” is living a special moment of grace. The German team, indeed, has just conquered the third step of the podium in the Platu 25 World Championship in Gmunden last May and it conquered the highest step of the podium in Kiel during the prestigious Kieler Woche just a few days ago. “Falkone” dominated the nine days regatta and confirmed to be one of the most competitive boats among Platu 25. We met Ole Von Studnitz in order to know better these guys from the North.
Here is the line up of this strong team: at the helm there was Sven-Erik Horsch (from Hamburg). He used to be a really successful 470-sailor, also in the National team. He is European Champion in X-41 class as helmsman. Main-trim: Ann Cathrein Jacobsen (Hamburg, Flensburg) is normally bow on Dubois40-racer from her parents. She sailed "pirat" and other keelboats before and works as yacht-designer at "Judel Vrolijk"; Jib-trim, Spi-trim, tactics; Ole von Studnitz (Hamburg, Kiel); Pit, Frank Wegener (Kiel) and at bow: Thorben Nowak (Lübeck).
What was it like to race in Kiel? For all of you, it is like to be at home, isn't it? You should know that regatta field quite well. Most of you come from Hambur, Lubeck, one of you from Kiel..
“It was great to sail in Kiel, but like almost every Kieler Woche the weather was tricky. Strong winds the first three days, shifty and gusty winds the last day. But it is always good to sail in your "living room" because we have so many friends here and we always enjoy to stay in Kiel (I was born in Kiel)!”
You had been leading for four days. So you were confident from the beginning that you could easly win or there were moments of difficulty?
“The most unsecure point was that we had to change two persons on Board. Cornelius and Falko were not able to participate so we got Sven-Erik Horsch as new helmsman (I used to sail six years matchrace and X-41 with him) and Ann Cathrein Jacobsen as new Main Trimmer. Ann Cathrein is my girlfriend and normally "bowman" on the 40ft-racer of her parents. So we changed a lot compared to the worlds, especially in weight! Our crew-weight was 33 kilos under!! So we were really satisfied to start with a second and a win at the first day. The most difficult moment was the second day when we had really strong wind and had to struggle hard to get the speed with 33 kilos missing on the rail”
What about the weather conditions in these four days?
“It was rainy, shifty and in three days really strong wind. But we know that Kieler Woche is always special and we see weather in these days we normally never see the whole year”
What about the last day (with the 19th discarded) and the last result at same points with Flexi?
“We knew that we are the winners if we sail just one race on Sunday. Since there was a postponement and the weather forecast said the wind will drop at noon we were quite secure that there will be maximum one race. Nevertheless we were too lazy in the last race and gave Flexi room to survive. We did not cover them consequently enough. And Flexi was really fast the last day. We were not able to close the gap again and so we decided to sail an extreme last upwind. We hit the right corner in order to have a chance to come up. But we failed since the left was better. After all it was not too expensive because we knew with one race we have won”
Your boat was the only one built in Singapore? Is there still now curiosity for your boat by the other Platu 25 crews ?
“Our boat is the only XSP in Kiel. There is no curiosity, because the XSP-boats are built and delivered this way. Our keel is not modified and it pleases the class rules. The problem we (Platu25-class) have - and this was the message from Austria - is the missing of some measurement points especially at the keel-frontside. We have to work on this problem as a class in order to get "Beneteaus" and "XSP" closer together and to avoid modifications on keels and rudders. I saw some modifications on different boats in Austria and I dislike it a lot”.
Sabrina Bonaiti: Platu 25 International press: email@example.com
Photo : Hannes Koch
English edited by Kev Scott (Thailand NCA)