The surprise of the competition about the performance of the Offshore Team Germany at The Ocean Race Europe was already big after the first stage, when the only non-foiler in the Imocas field crossed the finish line tied with the leaders. At the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, the coastal race in the Cascais stage, the German „Einstein“ caused a stir again. The white racer outstripped the foilers on the last of the forty miles and secured victory ahead of “11th Hour Racing” (USA) and “Linked Out” (France).
The winners of the first stage of the European race, the team from „Corum L’Épargne“, had already sent congratulations to the crew around Berlin skipper Robert Stanjek after the millimeter decision when the stage arrived in Cascais, although it was for the “ Einstein ”was only enough for fourth place here in the end. Now the OTG team not only made a good impression at the Coastal Race, but also landed the first respectable success with a strong performance. In the overall ranking of The Ocean Race Europe, the OTG team is now on rank two behind „11th Hour Racing“, level with „Corum L’Épargne“.
At the start, Robert Stanjek, Benjamin Dutreux, Annie Lush, Phillip Kasüske and Boat Captain Ian Smyth, who had taken over from onboard reporter Felix Diemer’s position for the Coastal Race, showed that they wanted to give everything in this race too. The timing at the start was once again perfect: Stanjek and crew crossed the line in top position. Along the coast, past the Boca do Inferno of Cascais, the four competing Foiler-Imocas were able to sit on their wings and pull out a small lead. But when the angle to the first rounding mark became more acute, „Einstein“ took advantage of being able to sail a better angle to the wind with the straight swords. And the advantage of being able to position yourself better stayed on the downwind course. With a lower course and thus less jibing, the OTG team was already in second place. And when it went back to Cascais on the cross course, the Olympic experienced players in the OTG team played their experience in small space tactics, sneaked up turn after turn to „11th Hour Racing“, finally took over the last section of the Target the leadership and defend it to the finish. Directly in front of the port mole of Cascais, the German colors in the „Einstein“ sail finally crossed the target as the winner – due to Covid, only with a small audience, but with the cheers of the entire OTG shore crew and the astonished looks of the fans.
Team manager Jens Kuphal, who greeted the crew at the finish line at the RIB, was enthusiastic: “I’m still full of emotions, don’t even know what to say. That is the reward for years of hard work. We were finally able to show what we can do. On the reach after the start, it became clear what different potential the boats of different generations have. But when it came to the classic downwind and upwind courses, Robert and the crew showed what they can do. The crew and the entire team have earned this success. „
For the next stage from Cascais / Portugal to Alicante / Spain, which starts tomorrow, Sunday at 1 p.m., a lot also seems possible. However, the weather forecast, especially for the passage of the Strait of Gibraltar, is very unstable. “I still have to analyze it carefully, the predictions change constantly. Recently there was a very strong wind. But the wind direction could be right for us from Gibraltar ”, said navigator Benjamin Dutreux, who calculates on the second of three sections with an arrival on Wednesday morning.