Hanko, Norway – The 2011 ORCi European Championship, hosted by the Royal Norwegian YC (KNS), was won by Peter Schmidt and his German team sailing the Evento 42 SILVA HISPANIOLA, which was powered by UK Sailmakers Sails. Winning Division 1 and the overall title by 9.5 boats was the result of the six-year-old boat’s superior boatspeed and crew work. The German team never finished worse than fourth in the eight-race series, and never worse than 3rd in the six inshore races. Second and third went to two IMX 40s.
In contrast to SILVA’s dominance of Division 1, the winner of Division 2 was never clear all week; new leaders came with nearly every race. Martin Nilsson’s Swedish team on his Salona 37 FEELGOOD won, and runner-up was Kai Haupthauf’s X-332 Sport VARUNA XPRESS, another all UK Sailmakers customer. VARUNA, earned the second place trophy on the strength of winning two inshore races on Thursday and by finishing second in the long offshore race. VARUNA XPRESS was the Corinthian Trophy winner in Division 2 Corinthian
SILVA HISPANIOLA’s success is the first international title for a project that started three years ago. Peter Schmidt decided to make an investment in the sport and set up a team of young sailors to campaign his boat. He built a team of nine sailors in their late teens and early 20s who would be mentored by himself and UK Sailmakers Germany’s Dirk Manno. Schmidt said, “This crew was devoted to learning all aspects of offshore racing. They trained intensively, even on cold winter days and spent just as many days working to optimize the boat. Throughout it all they were listening and learning from their experienced tactician -- UK Sailmakers’s Dirk Manno.”
“Besides the well trained crew, the basis for their success was the engine of a boat – the sails,” said Schmidt. “When the new MatriX Titanium sails came aboard the boat met and exceeded her targets. As all sailors know, offshore racing takes a heavy toll on sails. But we have been very happy with the durability of our Titanium sails. This championship was won with a two year-old mainsail.”
At the 2009 ORC German championship in Flensburg, the X-332 CHINNOK was the winner followed closely by SILVA HISPANIOLA. And two years before that, CHINNOK won the IMS Worlds (the precursor to ORC) in 2007. Both boats only use MatriX Titanium sails, which are only made by UK Sailmakers.