Dream conditions at the spring regatta in Hamburg were a nice reward for the long wait for the season. Gusts of over 25 knots provided plenty of sunshine and plenty of action on Alster Lake. A passionate field of 19 boats sailed on the gorgeous lake in the middle of Hamburg. It was a miracle how the host- Hamburg Sailing Clubs-managed to get the crane work done in a relaxed and well-organized manner, despite the cramped situation for the two large fleets sailing on the weekend. In addition to the J/70s, 13 J/24s also went into the water. Day One: The wind was sympathetic to the sailors as the direction and flow from the northeast over the Alster meant the two fleets hardly got in each other’s way. After five races, the favored NRV J/70 team, skippered by Tobias Schadewaldt, prevailed with a strong performance. Behind them was Thore Kiesbye and his team, who had already competed in a number of successful junior regattas for the Flensburg Sailing Club. The guests from Denmark-skippered by Johnny Jensen-won a race and finished fourth overall, ahead of Lukas Feuerherdt, who came second in Kiel Week, with a team from the Blankeneser Segel-Club. What was cool about the J/70 teams at this Spring Opener? Six of the teams were led and skippered by women helms, with Lynn Hafemann leading the women’s division. Day Two: Eight races in two days. Short, crisp runs. Despite being one of Germany’s best sailors and an Olympic champion, the winner of the J/70s had to work hard to win the coveted honors. Ex-49er Olympian Tobias Schadewaldt had two slips in the series. But, despite the low crew weight, he asserted himself confidently with the siblings Höpcke and Juliane Adelesen. A remarkable performance was put on by a youth team. Taking second place was the Academic Sailing Club Warnemünde, skippered by Johannes Machur. How young was his team? There were still sailing 420s in 2019! Johannes’ crew consisted of Amelie Steinbrinker, Gundram Leifert and Leif Meier. Rounding out the podium were the Plessmann brothers. Their final race 12th torpedoed their chances to garner the silver, having to use it as their throw-out after posting a fleet-leading 2-4-1-1 tally in their previous four races. Nevertheless, theirs was a happy crew in the end to be standing in the bronze position in the first regatta of the season. The team consisted of Ulf & Matti Plessmann, Lea Valentine Beele and Jannes Rix. The appearance of Blindfisch, the new J/70 from a cooperation between NRV and FC St. Pauli Segeln, was also special. Skipper Marvin Hamm led the team with two visually impaired sailors Johannes Loeschke and David Koch to some strong results. For more German J/70 Class information, visit https://www.facebook.com/J70class.de.