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104 teams ready for Alexela ORC World Championship 2021

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Campionato Mondiale ORC/IRC
Campionato Mondiale ORC/IRC

After a one year hiatus in competition last year, the annual ORC World Championship returns to the international yachting calendar, this year with title sponsor Alexela’s support and organization by the Kalev Yacht Club in beautiful Tallinn, Estonia. A total of 104 entries from 11 nations are registered for competing in three classes, each with its own World Champion titles and awards.

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Organizers of the event have made outstanding efforts to create a safe environment for all participants, with policies and protocols reflecting the latest guidelines from the local authorities. There is no anticipated interruption of events, and all participants will be kept informed and assisted.

After three days of Registration, Inspection, Measurement and a Practice Race and opening ceremony on Sunday, 8 August, racing will commence on Monday, 9 August with a long offshore race in the Baltic, finishing the following day. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, 11-12 August, short Inshore racing will be held on four course areas near Tallinn. On Friday, 13 August there will be a short offshore race finishing the same day, followed on Saturday 14 August with more inshore racing and the closing ceremony.

The fastest boats in the fleet are in Class A, with 8 entries on the start lines. Most teams are quite strong, with several being veterans of past ORC championship events, but a favorite in this class could be Tillmar Hansen’s TP 52 OUTSIDER from Germany. Even with their boat being brand new to them at the 2018 ORC/IRC Worlds in The Hague, Hansen and his team still managed to earn Silver medals at the event.

Class B is four times the size of Class A with 34 teams, and is also full of numerous experienced teams, some even past ORC World and European champions. In the last ORC championship event held in the Baltic – the 2019 Europeans in Oxelosund, Sweden – there was a fierce battle throughout the event among five X-41’s and a Landmark 43 for the top positions.

All are back next week, some with different names and new owners and teams, and some the same. Aivar Tuulberg, former European Class C Champion, has a new Swan 42 Club KATARIINA II in Class B, and have already proven their supremacy at the ORC Italian Championship last month. So, it will be very difficult to pick any favorites what promises to be a very competitive class.

Class C is enormous – 62 entries – so race organizers will split the class to race in two groups in a heat system. This is a common practice in large small boat fleets, but unusual in big-boat inshore and offshore racing.

Nonetheless, this super-sized Class C in Tallinn will have several former World and European champions once again battling for medals: teams like the reigning Class C World Champion from 2019, Ott Kikkas’s Italia 11.98 SUGAR 3 with their mixed Italian and Estonian crew; Juss Ojala’s J-112E MATILDA 4 from Estonia, the 2019 ORC Class C European champion; and Patrik Forsgren’s modified First 36.7 TEAM Pro4U from Sweden, the 2017 ORC Class C European champion. This will be a highly-competitive class to watch.

As a prelude to the Worlds, about one third of the fleet – 34 teams – opted to race in the One Sails Cup held at the same venue in Tallinn over the past two days. Five windward-leeward races were held in light to moderate conditions. Yet this was not the only pre-ORC Worlds competition held in the eastern Baltic this season: three prior events – the Moonsund Regatta, the Estonian and Finnish ORC Nationals – also provided opportunities for teams in the region to get themselves ready for the main event.

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