Inspired by the great Tillerman, (see link to Propercourse on the right side) I have written a little story about the beginning of my sailing. I have only realized by now that I am a little late but there are maybe some readers out there, who might enjoy this. Also my THANKS to Tillerman to keep us communicating, especially in this winter time without a boat in soft water or on hard water.
Here it goes:
Coming from a non sailing family I caught the bug by watching sailboats on the river Elbe as a teenager. Sometimes a friend took me in an old steel dinghy. Building paper kites I learned about the wind. Did start only when I was 23 and had earned some money to buy my own boat in 1970/1. A Flying Dutchman. G-500. An old boat. The racers had G-931 and above. A change in shape had taken place and the "expert sailors" laughed at me, when I showed up at Kiel Week.
It was also difficult to find a club without having two bailsmen. Read every book in the trade. Trimmed a lot ashore. Participated in races though the boat was old and outdated. Overhauled it and painted it and sold it and did the same with FD G-1057, my second boat. Having my third brand new FD, G-1308, built by Hein in 1974 and yes, a sistership to the famous G-1288 from the Diesch brothers, who won Gold in Kingston in 1976. I practised with them but only managed to become no. 12 in the long German ranking list at those times. And yes, I remember a phone conversation with Ian Murray (?) who wanted to order a Hein boat and I tried to help with the German/English, uuuhps Aussie language, when Uli Libor (FD Olympic Silver in Accapulco) was not available.... My first win came in autumn 1974 in Berlin. Oh, I love this silver plate, which showed me: I can do it. Today I am not putting any pressure on my 9 year old boy who does not like boats at all, though I would love to see him sailing and to tinker with his boats as I love to do, still today.