ORC Worlds 2023 - All defending champions at the start: "Beau Geste" registered

ORC Worlds 2023 - All defending champions at the start: "Beau Geste" registered

With the "Beau Geste" (Karl Kwok/Hong Kong) in category A, all defending champions are now at the start of the ORC World Championship 2023 in Kiel - held from August 4 to 12. In May, the newly crowned European Champion and reigning World Champion also confirmed his participation in the Kiel World Championship.

A total of 121 yachts from 14 nations are registered in the A, B and C classes. In addition to the three reigning World Champion teams from 2022 in Porto Cervo (Italy), all nine medal winners from the 2021 World Championship in Tallinn (Estonia) will also be at the start.

This is likely to be the first time in the history of the ORC World Championship, which has been held annually since 1999, that the reigning gold medalists have gathered to defend their titles at an event in the current year. In Class A this will be Karl Kwok (Hong Kong) with his TP 52 “Beau Geste”, in Class B it will be Catalin Trandafirs (Romania) with his GS 44P “Essentia 44” and in Class C Ott Kikkas (Estonia) with Italia 11.98 “Sugar 3”. Each of them will face strong challenges. There are 14 yachts entered in Class A so far, 33 in Class B, and 74 in Class C. 121 entries – a milestone for an ORC World Championship. The record participation in 2014 ahead of Kiel was 151 yachts. And there are still more than ten weeks until the first warning.

“We are pleased that all defending champions have entered. This is a strong argument in favor of Kiel,” says Head of Organization Eckhardt von der Mosel, who already managed the 2014 ORC World Championship in Kiel.

While the reigning champions as well as the 2021 world champions will try to repeat their successes, there is one team that does not want a repeat. Two-time runner-up “Outsider” (Teichmann/Hansen/Kiel) is going for gold. “Our goal is definitely not to be called perpetual runner-up,” says Bo Teichmann. The 39-year-old project manager has been sailing with “Outsider” owner Tilmar Hansen (KYC/TP 52) for 23 years. After two World Championship silver medals in 2018 behind “Beau Geste” and in 2021 behind Michael Berghorn with his Mills 45 “Halbtrocken 4.5”, they want to avoid the silver triple and have to leave the two gold medal winners and their conquerors of 2018 and 2021 behind to do so. Five other professionals on board, led by Markus Wieser, are expected to help.

The competition is also counting on professionals. Gavin Brady (Annapolis Yacht-Club) is on board with Karl Kwok, who will be sailing under the flag of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in Kiel. The 49-year-old New Zealander has competed in the Olympics and several America’s Cups. Brady was a tactician aboard “Tag Heuer” in the 1995 Louis Vuitton Cup, helmsman of “Chessie Racing” in the 1997/98 Whitbread Round the World Race, and sailed Olympic campaigns in the Star Boat. “We are really looking forward to coming to Kiel and defending our title. We’ll also enjoy seeing Tilmar and his team again – they’re good friends and rivals, and we love sailing with them in a championship like this,” said Brady, looking toward Kiel’s ORC Worlds.

In addition to the two TP 52s, the 2021 World Champion and 2022 European Champion, Michael Berghorn, is one of the top favorites with his Mills 45. The Hamburg native also has other professional support on board. In addition to tactician Jes Gram Hansen (Denmark), match race specialist Frans Hinelaar (Netherlands) is in the crew of the ”Halbtrocken 4.5″.