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German Sailing Grand Prix Kiel

BMW ORACLE Racing wins German Sailing Grand Prix

Team BMW ORACLE racing, Team Shosholoza and United Internet Team Germany sailed a spectacular three days series in Kiel

dimanche 6 août 2006Redaction SSS [Source RP]

It was a day of ups and downs, but the resume is clear : a perfect race series came to an end today. And everybody would like to repeat it as soon as possible. More than 150 000 visitors went to see the three Americas Cup teams racing in the Fjord of Kiel. BMW ORACLE Racing won the first German Sailing Grand Prix as United Internet Team Germany had to give up with a broken forestay on the concluding day. Shosholoza team member Charles Mankins fell over board and severely hurt his back but fortunately did not suffer any neurological damage. He has to be operated in hospital.

The concluding day of the German Sailing Grand Prix had two fleet and three match races on the schedule, but it went all different. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) could win the first fleet race after another perfect start. Enjoying an early lead, Chris Dickson perfectly covered Jesper Bank (United Internet Team Germany), tack to tack, during the first leg to windward. He put such a tight cover to slow him, that Shosholoza (South Africa), despite being a touch slower in these perfect wind conditions (15 to 20 knots) is extremely close behind the German boat, rounding the first mark. At the end of the first lap, BMW ORACLE enjoys a safe lead over United Internet Team Germany.

This is when one of the crew members from the South African team fell overboard during the spinnaker take down. Charles Nankin was quickly taken out of the water and brought to hospital. He suffered a burst fracture, and will be operated on Monday. As the race went on BMW ORACLE Racing slowly increased their lead to win easily.

The first match race of the day followed and brought the decision of the series. United Internet Team Germany could have regained their Friday night lead and take the series by winning this last duel against BMW ORACLE (the points were doubled today). After a very even start, Jesper Bank appeared to be in a good shape but the forestay suddenly broke while tacking and the last chance of winning the series was gone. The mast didn’t come down, but the jib was badly damaged and the German team had to give up racing for the day. „The first fleet race was okay. And the match race against BMW ORACLE went off pretty well. We won the right hand side and controlled the race from there - until our material damage occurred. However, we were lucky that we kept our mast”, said the Danish Skipper Jesper Bank.

In the second match race Shosholoza could not stop BMW ORACLE to take another win. Despite an excellent start to windward of the American boat, Shosholoza could not maintain the good position. Slowly but steadily, BMW ORACLE sneaked underneath to take the lead and add another win to their series. And the second fleet race (sailed without United Internet Team Germany) showed the same scenario : Great start by Shosholoza but another victory to BMW ORACLE Racing. The boat speed of BMW ORACLE Racing was clearly dominating and combined with clever sailing, the US-Team took the victory in the first German Sailing Grand Prix. More than 150 000 visitors came to see the sailing spectacle in the fjord of Kiel and the teams where quiet happy about the conditions and the possibility to present their performance to the German public. “The teams and the sponsors as well as the race committee have shown everybody how to do it. It has been a great event which was fun for everybody”, concluded Jesper Bank, who sailed to a second place in the end. The South African team around Skipper Mark Sadler had to take third place but sailed into the hearts of their fans. Starting with the “old” RSA 48, they clearly had a speed problem but scored many points by bringing their “Shosholoza”-spirit to Kiel.

Bruno Troublé, representative of Louis Vuitton, the main sponsor of the 32. America’s Cup America's Cup #AmericasCup was impressed and thanked the Kiel Yacht Club for the race organisation Organisation #organisation as well as the City of Kiel in the name of the Americas Cup Management. “Four days of sun, four days of wind, many spectators and thrilling races - it was a great event we should absolutely repeat”, said Troublé.

Final results after 15 races :
- 1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) 65 points
- 2. United Internet Team Germany 28 points
- 3. Team Shosholoza (South Africa) 25 points

Press info German Sailing Grand Prix

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