Frederikshavn SC Two-Peats Danish J/70 Sailing League
The grand finale for the 2017 Danish J/70 Sailing League took place from September 15-17 at Skovshoved, Denmark. In the end, it was the Frederikshavn SC that was declared Denmark’s best sailing club for the second consecutive year. Despite pressure going into the final event, the North Jutland team managed to keep the competitors away, as the year’s sailing league ended Sunday in Skovshoved. The regatta had its tense and anxious moments for the Frederikshavn Sejklub team. After 12 races in Skovshoved, they had a solid lead over KDY in the overall standings. However, in the 13th flight, Frederikshavn scored a sixth place (last in their race) that threatened to drop them lower in the standings for the regatta, and thus the series lead. It was tight racing for third through eighth place in the event, with just four points separating all of them. In the penultimate race, both KDY’s skipper Henrik Jensen and Frederikshavn’s skipper Kris Houmann were racing in the same flight, with KDY taking second and Frederikshavn third—keeping them in the lead. Then, in the last race, KDY started their flight first and posted a fourth place. As a result, the Frederikshavn team could cheer on the dock before they even went out to sail the last race of the regatta. “We had a race where we finished last today. That put us in a bad mood and added a lot of pressure. But, we tried to focus on finding things that we know we can do right. And, as we have shown at the other competitions this season, we managed to pull it off,” explained Søren Steen about the crucial moments on Sunday where the title defense was suddenly endangered. Frederikshavn could endure seventh place at the competition and still win the Danish J/70 League overall. In the end, the team finished sixth, enough for the Championship title with a score card of 1-2-2-6 for 11 points over the four regattas (Struer, Brejning, Aarhus, Skovshoved). “It was a lot of joy and redemption for us. We knew well before the competition that it was only us who could lose the title on the race track. It was exciting, but eventually we did it,” said Captain Kris Houmann of Frederikshavn Sejklub. Frederikshavn Sejklub Chairman Helmuth Melsen was pleased to see their team take home the championship trophy to Frederikshavn, where it has adorned the wall of the clubhouse for the last year. “It is indescribable and wonderful for our club to have this great crew. They are a fantastic four—a lucky four-leaf clover. Since we won the title the first time a year ago, the club has received a lot of local attention in the press, which we did not experience before. We hope to get a league match to Frederikshavn in 2018. So, winning the Sailing League has really meant a lot for our club,” said a proud Mr. Melsen. KDY secured this year’s Danish Sailing League silver. KDY’s crew in Skovshoved consisted of Niels Gramkow, Thomas Hartvig, Henning Lambertsen and Skipper Henrik Jensen. KDY also finished second in the league debut in 2014. That same year, Kerteminde Sailing Club took the bronze. This year, again, Kerteminde took the bronze with their well-matched top crew of Thomas Møhl, Magnus Jung Johansen, Yann le Helleix and skipper Jørgen Mohr Ernst. For Hellerup Sailing Club, 2017 was the club’s weakest performance in the league so far. Without podium placements at any of the first three competitions, they were determined to redeem themselves in the final league event. And, that they did. In Skovshoved, Hellerup was in the front all the way from beginning to end. They won 8 of 15 races and ran the table completely in the last four races. Hellerup’s team in Skovshoved was Peter Wibroe, Jonas Hviid-Nielsen, Kristian Kvid Sørensen and skipper Trine Abrahamsen. For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information, visit http://sejlsportsligaen.dk/.