Lake Sailors Took the World Championship Title at Hankø

By: Mikkel Thommesen

The final races in this year’s World Championship for Solings were more exciting than expected, with many shifts in the leaderboard after two difficult races, where strong currents and shifting winds posed significant challenges for the sailors.

The first race began dramatically for the World Champion Farkas Litkey, Karoly Wézer, and Kristof Wossala, who had a ten-point lead before today’s races.

Photos from the regatta

Received a Penalty

Farkas Litkey received a penalty even before the start in a duel with Herman Horn Johannessen, and it suddenly looked like the Hungarian would struggle to defend his lead. From a seemingly hopeless position, he sailed his way up through the fleet and finished in 8th place, enough to hold first place before the final race.

The World Champion

Instead, it was Lars Ingeberg and Kristian Nergaard who would compete for the victory in this race. Both chose to go out into the Glomma current, which flowed strongly into the Oslofjord. The start boat registered a 1.4-knot current. That made the difference, and at the windward mark, Ingeberg, Alf Larsen, and Bjørn Johanson led narrowly ahead of Nergaard, Christen Horn Johannessen, and Johan Barne.

The other Norwegian medal candidates were further down the field along with Litkey. Nergaard passed Ingeberg on the first downwind leg, but Ingeberg hung on, and at the finish, the difference in Nergaard’s favor was just a few meters. Among the other medal candidates, Horn Johannessen came in 4th place and suddenly looked set for World Championship silver, with Wang in 5th, Pedersen 6th, Brazilian Ihla 7th, and Litkey 8th. Litkey still held a clear lead, but the other medals were firmly in Norwegian hands.

Before the final race, the wind shifted to the east, and the course had to be adjusted to the left. Again, the Glomma current played a role, and in addition to significant pressure differences along the way, it created major challenges.

At the first windward mark, Hungary’s Varjas Sandor Endre, Gabor Meretei, and Laszlo Kovacsi led ahead of Brazil’s Nelson Ihla, Manfredo Florick, and Leonardo Mayhofer, while Litkey and the Norwegian medal hopefuls were further back in the field. Endre and Ihla maintained their positions to the finish, followed by Lars Ingeberg and the team of Dag Usterud, Terje Sorteberg, and Torgeir Pedersen. Litkey finished 7th, Michael Farthofer, Rudolf Matheis, and Lisa Farthofer finished 5th, Kristian Nergaard finished 8th, Rune Jacobsen, Thom B Haaland, and Erling Landsverk finished 9th in the same boat they sailed in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Herman Horn Johannessen, Lars Horn Johannessen, and Harald Blom Bakke finished 11th, and Terje Wang finished 12th.

Soling European Championship to Norway

Thus, it was a 5th World Championship gold for Farkas, silver for Ihla, and bronze for Nergaard, while the happiest Norwegians of the day were Lars Ingeberg’s team with 2nd and 3rd places, the best of all in the final races. It wasn’t enough for a top overall position, but Ingeberg could also delight in the news that the Soling European Championship is coming to Norway, although the Norwegian Soling Club has yet to decide who will host the event.

Hankø once again proved to be a challenging and fun racecourse where sailors had the opportunity to show that they can handle all kinds of conditions, and as usual, the best sailors won.

Full results list

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