The 20th anniversary of Germany’s most popular Matchrace Regatta ist history. With its 21st edition and elated 30.000 visitors over five action-packed days, the organizers ushered in the next decade of their success story.
On the water, Eric Monnin and his Albert Riele Swiss Match Race Team including his brothers Marc and Jean-Claude Monnin as well as Lukas Gerig, Simon Brügger and Methieu Renault, pressed their stamp on the 2018 Match Race Germany. They won the German Grand Prix of the Match Race Super League for the second time in a row. In a hard fought final, the famous Swiss Clockwork prevailed against former Matchracing World Champion and America’s Cup semi-finalist Karol Jablonski and his Jablonski Racing Team by 3:0. Vladimir Lipavski’s Russian Team Ost Legal Sailing defeated Dejan Presen’s Slovenian Lumba Match Race Team by 2:0. Presen was missing 50 centimeters to achieve the possible 1:1. Instead he had to settle for fourth.
42 years old helmsman Eric Monnin from Swiss Sailing Club Stäfa draw a happy balance at the press conference: „Obviously we had and have huge respect for Karol. Who wouldn’t? But I guess we like lighter winds more than he does. It’s probably been our experience and the crew work which made the difference. We look forward to our next participation in Match race Germany!“ Karol Jablonski (Bayerischer Yacht-Club), reinforced by German local sailors Michael Seifarth (Yacht-Club Langenargen), Adrian Bleninger (Yacht-Club Langenargen), Conrad Rebholz (Württembergischer Yacht-Club) and Reinhard Brucker (Lindauer Segel-Club) with whom he had won the 2016 edition of Match Race Germany, said: „We have increased our performance throughout the series. Our communication got better, our maneuvers too. The crew did a great job and und I seem to be a better sailor under pressure as I lost both my first races in the quarter- and semi-finals to then go on and win the matches. But that trick didn’t work any more in the final. It is like in soccer: You can only be as good as your opponent allows for. Eric and his crew have sailed excellently, like a perfect Swiss Watch for 400.000 Euro. Congrats to them!“
Twelve teams from nine countries had started into the German matchracing classic last Thursday. Seven survived the cut after the initial Round Robin. Amongst them the only German helmsman Max Gurgel and his team Vmax Yachting. The quintet from the Hamburger Segel-Club, had recommended themselves for the quarter-finals as third in the preliminary round with an outstanding performance and two wins over World Champion Jablonski and European Champion Lipavski. Nevertheless Gurgel’s team had to settle for fifth, got defeated by Lepavski’s Team Ost Lega Sailing (1:2). „Of course we are quite disappointed but proud of our performance in the earlier stages“, said Gurgel, whose team claimed third a year ago at their Match Race Germany premiere. Two bad starts, normally a strenght of the Germans, lead to defeat.
„As patriots we felt a bit sorry for Max and his team but overall I can only take stock positively. Many close matches in the Round Robin underlined the high power density throughout the fleet. Over five days we have seen extremely fair and thrilling matches. How fair they all really sailed is proven by the unique loss record: There were no damages at all. Only two lost winch cranks. We couldn’t have directed a better final than the one we saw: The 2016 Winner versus the 2017 Winner – a true duel oft he giants. This edition has motivated us for many more to come.“ Magg also honored the winner, said: „It’s a deserved triumph for Eric and his crew as they are the most rehearsed team in this fleet. Eric has developed into the getleman of international matchracing and we feel privileged that we had him and his crew amongst our competitors!“
Austria’s Max Trippolt and his Team Segelmanufactur Trippolt, fourth last year, have started to better their 2017 result but dropped out after the Round Robin missing one win to make the cut. Said Trippolt’s tactician Hanno Sohn, „It’s been tight, we just missed one point. Our timing hasn’t been good enough in a couple of races.“ Helmsman Max Trippolt already has his next participation in sight: „We will then again fight for a podium place.“
CHARITY, PARTY & MUSIC ON LAND: THE FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS IN THE GONDOLA HARBOUR
Winner Eric Monnin not only made for great feelings on the water. The Defending Champion used the Charity Day of Match Race Germany to visit a project of the Friend’s Club for Children with rare Deseases. Monnin was visibly impressed by the children’s outlook on life and went on to sail his remaining races in a white T-shirt displaying a laughing green frog. „This is a squib“, explained Monnin smiling, „I have been really impressed by the kid’s enjoyment of life. It should teach us all a lesson as we have pretty good lives if you look around where we are right now…“
Also actor and Match race Germany ambassador Simon Licht became involved in the project creating happiness: „I am Match Race Germany’s convinced ambassador since five years. As an actor and keen sailor I share my passion for Match Race Germany with the public throughout the year. This Festival under sails not only offers a major and exciting sporting event but also sends out other important signals. The special thing this year is that we, as Match Center Germany have a new wonderful yacht in our fleet. We use the classic yacht „Tioga“ as a beautiful playground and have invited children with rare deseases, their brothers and sisters and their parents to enjoy a joint family day on Lake Constance and forget about the adversities of their everyday life for a couple of cheerful hours. The look into the shining children’s eyes were my Match Race Germany moment of this year!“
Whether Dirndl and leather pants party, top-class Jazz enjoyment with Jürgen Weidele’s „Take a Dance“ & Friends or Après Sail Infotainment in the big Bavarian hut: Match Race Germany has lived up to high expactations and remains to be a top tourist destination in the „Dreiländereck“ between Germany, Austria and Switzerland at the shores of Lake Constance. Said Event Director Harald Thierer, „We have received such great feedback from our partners and fans over the past couple of days! I was really impressed with the more than 10.000 visitors on Sunday and probably the same numbers on this beautiful Pentecost Monday. Hundreds or maybe Thousands have had their first contact with sailing and watersports. We hope that Match Race Germany did inspire them to come back and try it out themselves. All this is extremely motivating for us to open the next chapters of Match Race Germany. See you next year!“