Nordic Folkboat Gold Cup – Sail Osterlen, Shimrishamns, Sweden

July 13th – 18th

Sunshine and light winds seem to be a reoccurring European theme this summer. The 2018 Folkboat Gold Cup was hosted in the picturesque setting of Simrishamn on the South East coast of Sweden. Some 40 boats made the trip, representing 6 countries. The Gold Cup is effectively the unofficial world championship event for the class and where possible brings together the best Folkboat sailors Internationally. This year’s numbers were down on last year, which had seen the class celebrate some 75 years of the Gold Cup. This being said the fleet was packed with past winners and regional champions, being one of the pinnacle events on the Folkboat calendar.

Competitors were greeted with a steady and encouraging 12mph wind on the first day, and with hindsight the best racing day of the entire event. Rules state the first beat at the Gold Cup must be no shorter than 1.8nm, this allows for a degree of fleet separation. Two races were held in bright sunny conditions and the breeze remaining steady at 10-12mph. Per Buch DEN 926 came out on top in the first race of the day, which didn’t surprise many having won the Gold Cup in a fleet of 80 boats last year, the Danish sailor Per Buch in Geppeline was followed by a fellow Dane, John Wulff in Sultnelajma and in third the German fleet class Captain Jurgen Breitenbach in Till GER 417. All conditions remanded consistent for the second race following a 20 degree shift to the south. Again, Per Buch DEN 926 came out strong with a second and the winner of Kiel Week, Sonke Durst GER 564 taking the win, with a solid third again for GER 417 Jurgen Breitenbach.

The first day had all the usual boats you would expect to see in the top 10, the local Swedish teams having mixed first days with Lennart Magnusson being the most consistent with a 9 and 10. The British boat So! GBR 673 had squeezed into the top 10 on the first day with a 14 and 7, and lay 9th overall. There was a further 5 races ahead and a lot more racing to be done.

Day two brought light 6mph winds, which was to become the flavour for the reminder of the regatta. DEN 873 Soren Kaestel revelled in the light conditions nailing a 1 and 3 to get their regatta really going, having scored a 8 and 6 on the previous day, the Swedish Champions, who had been crowned with their title the week prior, Jerry Hakansson also got into the groove posting a 2 and 8 elevating them into the top 4 overall at the close of day two. At the top of the leader board Per Buch was holding off Soren Kaestel, the two Danes ahead of Jurgen Breitenbach, who was consistently posting results in the top 10 to keep his chances going.

As per tradition the third day was a lay day, and it felt that the weather Gods knew this as the wind blew 18mph steadily all day as the competitors found activities ashore to keep themselves occupied. Nearby Skillinge boasts Sweden’s best beech and it certainly lived up to that.

Back to racing on Thursday and yes, you guessed it, light winds returned a steady but taxing 5mph, with significant shifts in it proved to be mentally tiring. This being said the Swedes revelled in it and Jerry Hakansson SWE 1373, put in a strong 4 and 1, and another Swedish boat SWE 1386 of Peter Wrahme scored a great 1 and 3, clearly revelling in the conditions.

At the top on the close of day three, saw the Danes (Per Buch and Soren Kaestel) slugging it out with the Swedes (Jerry Hakansson) and the Germans of Walther Furthmann in contention now having the ability to discard their OCS from race one. Walther had competed in the Swedish championship the previous week, and was the first non-Swedish boat, having actually won the regatta.

The final day brought bright sunshine, so this report ends as it began. As for the wind, it was the persistently light and extremely patchy across the race course, only 4-5mph. This was a test for anyone, especially for those slugging it out for the outright title.

It became a race of opposites. Per Buch DEN 926 who had lead the regatta for the entire event could only score a 28, and with Soren Kaestel DEN 873 taking the race win, this gave the Gold Cup title to Soren with a 3 point advantage. Its important to note that these two have swapped these wins in alternate years for the past 4 competitions. The Swedish team SWE 1373 couldn’t quite manage the win on home soil finishing 3rd and 6 points off DEN 926 Per Buch in second.

Full results can be found at:

Everyone now looks forward to the next major Folkboat regatta (RFF) in Flensburg August 14th – 18th August with 55 boats already entered this event is the Danish and German Open Championship.

The Gold Cup next year is scheduled in Aarhus, Denmark, 7th – 14th July.

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