JUNE 2024

Day two of the Soling WC offered many challenges. Dag Usterud solved them brilliantly and won both races. The organizer chose to postpone the start for Soling in anticipation of steady winds. It came gradually and when the race could finally start, the wind was blowing steadily north-west at 6-11 knots. The line favored the start at the pin end and Dag Usterud with his crew Terje Sorteberg and Rune Pedersen succeeded in taking the favoured end both in a start that was canceled and the first regular race. He chose to continue out on the port side and when he decided to tack, he had the whole fleet to leeward. The only ones who stayed with him the first round were Lars Ingeberg, Alf Larsen and Bjørn Johanson who followed Usterud like a shadow.

At the second crossing, straight ahead of the mark, Ingeberg got a couple of favorable turns which meant he took over the lead. Great tactical sailing on the run apparently gave Ingeberg breathing space, but Usterud, who had registered an advantage on the starboard half of the course on the previous beat, chose to go east, followed by the team of Herman Horn and Lars Johannessen and Harald Blom Bakke. This paid off and the two teams built up a big lead which they kept until the end. Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne and Christen Horn Johannessen came strong and finished third, thus engaged in he quest for the championship. Ingeberg had to settle for 6th place.

In the last race of the day, the wind dropped a couple of knots and it was uncertain whether one would be able to complete a whole course. It was probably a wise decision by race manager Nina Myhre to end the race after two and a half laps, but it turned out that the wind held better than feared. Rune Jacobsen with Thom B. Haaland and Erling Landsverk sailed a flawless first beat and rounded ahead of the Hungarians Farkas Litkey, Károly Vezér and Kristóf Wossala. Usterud and Horn Johannessen were well up in the field, while Nergaard and Wang rounded somewhere between 10 and 20. The next round brought no changes to the lead. Jacobsen, who sailed the Norwegian Soling in the 1992 Olympics in the same boat with the same crew, kept the competitors at arm’s length, but at the end of the last run he was outmaneuvered by Usterud who found the pressure and changes of direction perfect. At the mark Usterud was head, he never looking back, and from the lead on the starboard side he could only increase to the finish line. The Hungarians took 2nd place ahead of Horn Johannessen, while Jacobsen finished in 4th place. Great to see the old Olympians Usterud (Los Angeles 1984), Jacobsen (Barcelona 1992) and Horn Johannessen (Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000) still up there. It shows that the old masters are still going, even if none of them have spent much time in the Soling in recent years. – 25 years in all kinds of boats together with Sorteberg and Pedersen weighs heavily, says Usterud, who fears that the weather forecast that reports a lot of wind on Friday and Saturday will be too tough to handle. – We are not fit for that, he says.

Results after four races:

1. Usterud 19 p

2. Litkey 23 p

3. Wang 23 p

4. Horn Johannessen 24 p

5. Sandor Endre 24 p

6. Østre Pedersen 27 p

7. Bergenthal 29 p 8. Nergaard 29 p

9. Farthofer 31 p 10. Ihla 34 p

All results:

https://manage2sail.com/no/event/c81149ab-26ad-4ca4-94b1-619ae4a8a947#!/results?classId=8f2e23a2-f213-4ba0-8625-4c81f75773f7

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