16th June 2018, Hamburg
Europe’s largest all-female regatta took place in Alster in Hamburg, Germany from the 14th-16th of June, 2018. The Helga Cup was a successful premiere in every sense of the word with over 250 female sailors and 62 international teams. All ages and skill levels were welcomed and encouraged to participate making it less about pure racing and more about a celebration of women in sailing.
The start of the regatta was accompanied on Friday by weak winds, brooding heat and a slowly gathering thunderstorm. Despite strong turning winds some races came about. On Saturday and Sunday, the wind was more constant, so that more than 70 races were sailed in 90 flights. The teams switched between Seascape 24 and J/70 keelboats.
The best seven teams competed in the grand final on Sunday. According to the motto "The winner takes it all" the points from the preliminary round did not count any more - each team could have become first, but also seventh. The crew of 470-driver Nadine Böhm remained cool and managed to keep the opponents in check at the start and on the first cross. Thanks to Svenja Weger's forward-looking tactics, this lead defended the DSV II team to the finish.
The team "Fantastic Four" was closely on the heels with Johanna Meier, Pia Sophie Wedemeyer, Charlotte Braun-Dulläus and Juliane Zepp. Silke Basedow played her Match Race experience at the finish line and secured third place at the Helga Cup with the HSC Women's Team.
The squad sailors from the German Sailing Team prevailed at the Hamburg Outer Alster against the 61 women's teams from Germany, Austria and the USA. The finish line was right in front of the port of the North German Regatta Association, where they were cheered on by teams and fans alike.
The first edition of the Helga Cup was a great start to what is expected to become an women's sailing institution. Planning for next year's Hegla Cup is underway with the top 20 teams from this year already registered.