Montag, November 27, 2006

Winter mode and talks about Foiling

Everyone out here in the North of Germany is now getting into winter mode. Not that it has been cold at present, the point of freezing seemed far away. Interestingly, my little DN (history & race results) booklet tells me that in the past years we have had some nice days sailing the DN at the end of November. Having seriously raced in Germany in the middle of December, which needs safe ice. This will not happen this year. We have to be patient.

Bar talk at the local sailing club at present is about apparent wind sailing and the message has spread that we will have two Bladeriders (Foiler Moth´s) sailing, or should I better say, trying to fly, on the waters of the Schlei next spring. Boats are not produced yet, but delivery has been confirmed by KA sails. Being an eagerly waiting new owner of a Bladerider, I have had a look at the Aussie Moth website and found the discussions about the status of the class, e.g. will the Bladerider ruin the Moth class etc, astounding. My friend and I would never even have suggested to purchase a Moth from what we had seen so far within the class in Germany. The boats being used looked very crude, they normally did not survive one race without going back into the "homeyard". One particular boat, (a Prowler?) looked well sorted and Jens from Ratzeburg was flying it very well. This pulled the trigger and the Bladerunner, exhibited on the Hanseboot show, looked sorted. Looked the business. Also the fact that Rohan did sail it on the River Elbe (my homewater for many Flying Dutchman years), a tidal water with busy traffic of the biggest container ships, right before Hanseboot. This showed us, what is possible. Far, far away from going racing in the class we want to learn about this exiting thing, called foiling, and if it is not for us, I am sure that many people want to jump on the wagon next year and we will be able to easily sell the boats. Of course this is not the objective. Definitely not.

Some people asked about the foil for the windsurfer which I mentioned during Hanseboot conversations and my blog. We showed the crude equipment (MarkII), built by Werner, on the boatshow and people were interested but did not believe, that you can fly with it. There is actually a video, which proves that it is possible to do so and to steer as usual with the mast raked forward or backwards. I wish I would be technically able to put it into You Tube, but have not tried anything like that yet. For my Blogger friends I put a photo down here.

In the middle of this week I have to fly out to Dubai. This time only a couple of days and for "business only" reasons, but I think, that I will spend one or two evenings on the patio of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club. Meet me there.

Sonntag, November 05, 2006

HANSEBOOT, the International Moth and our booth

Hanseboot boatshow started last Saturday and my company is participating since I have found it 22 years ago. This year we had to change the location due to the extensive rebuilt of the whole area. The old halls are being teared down and the Hamburg Messe is building new, really large halls for exhibitions of all kind. The fair ground is most known to seafarers, be it professionals or amateurs for it’s Ship, Machine and Ocean Technology exhibition as well as for the boat show with an in water part in the Hamburg harbour. Boats of all kinds are exhibited and one of the stars of the show had been the new HANSE 63 in a fascinating apricot colour for a client from the US east coast. This thing is really huge. OK, in the water down at the marina they have a SWAN-80-something and other big boats but as an exhibitor myself I do not have time to drive down to the harbour. Also the weather this week is really bad and the temperature is soaring around 0° C since Thursday. Better to stay in inside.

To me the most exciting boat on the show is the Bladerider, exhibited by my sailing friend Christian (onSail) who represents the RS range of products and he struck a deal with Rohan Veal, the former World Champion of the International Moth class, to come and join him on the show and to give a bit of interviews and to promote the „flying Moth“. Their stand is opposite our own one and you can imagine that since Friday evening when we where all rigging our booths, I could not take my eyes of this little craft. After a good night sleep in Hamburg in my Van and a bit of discussions with my colleagues early in the morning, I took the chance to talk to Christian and Rohan at exact one minute after the opening of the show and ordered a Bladerider. Yes, my friends. I will be able to report to you first hand experience about sailing this most exciting sailing boat of the century. Of course you have to wait until the late spring next year. I am getting in to DN iceboat mode first and we DN´ers al hope for cold season with black ice. (see also my entries from Jan 06 and further) Sailing the Moth later next year, I need to do a bit of slimming down, loosing weight and a better fitness, but it is motivating. Not that I can see myself sailing somewhere in the middle fleet in the International Moth´s World Championship to be held in Dubai in 2008, but the plan is set. Practise and have fun as much as possible and to get the license to foil as quick as possible.

It happened that an old windsurfing buddy came along in my office some days before the “hanseboot”. Werner of the famous Wernerfinne had developed a foil for his windsurfer. He even brought to me a video, which shows him riding high on the foil. Of course we did exhibit the foil and we promoted Werner´s marketing phrase “Foilen statt heulen”… So this part of hall 12 became a “Foiler” corner and I am sure that a couple of people caught the bug and will join us next year, or maybe later.

For my blogger friends out there, I was able to convince Rohan to write a short paragraph into my blog. Here it goes, “live from the hanseboot Boatshow:

This is Rohan here writing a quick spot on Manfred´s blog. Not sure what I am supposed to write, but for someone who is nearly twice my age, Manfred seems like he is still living as a teenager! And not only did he buy a boat from us, but he makes frequent visits to our booth to introduce me to a potential moth sailor or helps sell boats to interested customers. Just wondering how long it will be before Manfred will start working for KA and take over my job? Ah well, hopefully I can still take him out on the race course! Maybe not on the DN tho…
Rohan Veal