Die Aalregatta, ausgerichtet vom Segelclub Eckernförde ( http://www.segelclub-eckernfoerde.de/aalregatta/ ) war eine sehr gute Veranstaltung bei allerbestem Segelwetter und toller Beteiligung. Nach einer ruhigen Überführung von Maasholm nach Kiel (siehe Foto) briste es dann am Samstag und Sonntag ordentlich auf und die Rücküberführung fand wieder bei leichtem Wind und bestem Frühsommerwetter statt. Mehr hätte man auch auf Wunsch nicht bestellen können. Auf dem Wasser habe ich viel Spaß gehabt (ha ha, mit der Baumniederholerleine versucht ein Reff einzudrehen....) und auch an Land. Nette Leute. DN Eissegelfreunde getroffen, gute Party.
Nachdem sich die ORC Double-Hand-Gruppe am Samstag mit 3 Booten als uninteressant für uns herausgestellt hatte (Der Sieg wurde uns zu leicht gemacht) meldeten wir uns bei den sehr freundlichen Veranstaltern für Sonntag in der YS-Gruppe (32´bis 38´) ohne Spi an. 2 Freunde segelten dort auch 2-Hand mit ihrer Comfortina 35, der Rest allerdings mit voller Crew. Man gab uns die 2 Punkte Vergütung für ohne-Spi-segeln und dann gab es in dieser Gruppe mit 25 Teilnehmern richtigen Sport. Wobei ich in der zweiten Wettfahrt mit dem obigen Manöver eindeutig nicht zur Verbesserung des Ergebnisses beigetragen habe. Die "alte" 36db "Samantha" zeigte aber wieder einmal mehr, was für ein gutes Schiff sie doch ist und ein dritter Gesamtrang nach den beiden spannenden Wettfahrten war ein achtbares Ergebnis. Kerstin räumte dann noch ne große Silberplatte für die beste Steuerfrau ab (ist doch logisch, bei 2-Hand muß jeder mal steuern) und die schmucken Gläser vervollständigen die Sammlung.
Yes, we did race on the weekend but I had catched a cold straight on Tuesday after the long weekend and have not been in the mood to write a report since than. But promises are promises and here is what happened in a typical German yachtrace in the Baltic Sea. The so called "Aalregatta" (you get a smoked Eel after you finish the race) was always famous for the big boats within Kieler Woche. The opening race for a week of triangle, up-and-down and long distance races; earlier on for the national KR formula, than for the IOR and now for IMS. Things are changing fast in our world and due to sponsor commitment the race from the inner waters of the city of Kiel to Eckernförde (Ecktown) which has abt. 40sm depending on the course, had been cancelled by the Kieler Yacht Club. Many protests and the Sailing Club Eckernförde decided to have a separate series from the Kieler Woche still to be called "Aalregatta". A smart move, which had been underlined by 140 participating boats. The rating choosen had been ORC Club and Yardstick. This should allow for the "not so keen racers" without IMS certificates. It worked.
I had signed up in the double-hand-division together with ex-dinghy sailorette Kerstin. With my valid IMS certificate they put us in a group with 3 boats only, but did not inform beforehand. As usual with my 36ft boat we started under burgee nos. 2, second start. K, doing navigation thought that we had a -dinghy style- five minute starting interval, which I believed without check proving and off we went without a gun and other competitors. A good start but nobody followed. Hmmm, it took a while to register but than we turned around and had an even better start. 10 sec before the gun we turned close behind the mark, building speed and off we went. Abt. 40 boats of sizes up to 42feet with us. It was a shy reach, not the best of courses for a 110% jib but pulling like hell on the barberhaulers helped setting the jib and we defended our first position for a couple of miles. We dropped back before rounding the third mark due to loosing height against the boats closer to the shore but with some good calls we gained back position after position on the long beat up the Eckernförde Bay. The boat was rockin, the new tiller bearings worth their money. It has been the first time that I did read the winds/current in bay pretty well. Or had some pure luck. Changing the side in the middle part and getting the gusts from the right shore in a right hander paid. Our finish was excellent. First place in our small group with one hour ahead on corrected time. In the evening we met our DN iceboat friends from "Wilde Fünf", who lured us into their Yardstick group with abt. 31 participants. They were sailing with two people in their 35 footer, and finished 8th in the distance race. Not bad against the fully crewed boats. There was no compensation for sailing with two only but the competition was good. So we decided immediately to change into this group. The race organisers accepted our switch without hesitation.
Strong winds on Sunday and two races over a navigational course of abt. 14 sm. A good start in the first race and some nice shifts let us round the weathermark in first position, just... as I had to shoot the mark, we lost momentum and were rolled by two 42 footers. I tried to ride some sternwaves of bigger boats to catch up some valuable time but did not really succeed. This is something I definitely have to improve. Not being shy and really hang in there. Absolutely close to the lee transom of bigger boats wins you the minutes which are so easily lost in the traffic later on upwind. Shaking out the reef made me puzzle over the boat speed, which dropped from 6,40 (GPS) to 6,20 but we kept going as both being very exhausted from the tacking. We finished third in our new group. Some people could not cope with the starting sequence and had to be DSQ´d.
We started the second race without a reef but the strong wind gave us problems right from the beginning. We got lost in the traffic at the windward mark and tried hard on the first downwind run to gain an inside overlap. We did not succeed. We tried again on the next long reach and caught up two boats. Our friends were not far behind us. Coming round the leeward mark I decided to put in a reef. I grapped the wrong line and pulled with the help of the winch on the kickerrope, which did not help K. to steer high on the wind. After realizing my mistake (I sail this boat since 15 years!) and feeling so stupid about it, we had lost three boats. It took me a while to catch my breath after the exhausting manouvers and we could not gain a position. Luckily we did not loose another one. Our friends in the Comfortina 35 were falling back again. We scored a seventh place which brought us a third overall. A good result. Resumeé: I need to built up strength and condition. Both do we need to work on our navigational skills. Together we were a good team and had some fun during this racing weekend.