Mittwoch, November 21, 2007

Look Mama, it starts freezing

It is the iceboating which started me blogging nearly two years ago. And I started my blog with a beautiful picture from Lake Rescia. (see December 2005) Much has happened in the meantime but nothing gets me as excited, as black ice in the beginning of the season.

Yesterday I got a message from one of my DN buddies from the South of Germany. He had been looking up some Webcams and found the first frozen lake. Beautiful black ice on the Haidersee in the North of Italy. Man, had I been nervous. My DN gear is not prepared yet and the Bavarians want to go practicing on the small lake over the weekend. They want the(ir) title back. I am the current Bavarian Champion and I should at least defend the title which hasen´t been possible the last two season due to lack of ice or wind. To come and defend is only fair and sportsmanlike. A pity that I did not know about blogging when I won the Championship on Lake Rescia (Reschensee). It had been a memorable series with strong wind and black ice. I think I wetted my pants on the downwind during the first race but after that, I had been really fast and unbeatable. Lake Rescia is a beautiful lake in the triangle of Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Skiing is also an option as the lake is at 1400m above sea level and it is not far to reach the glacier or snow covered ski areas by lift.

The lake has normally some thermal wind around 14-18kn but it seems that the wind does not have as much pressure as it would have on sea level. Some people talk about less molecule in the air up high. Anyone out there who can share some light on this?

Montag, November 19, 2007

Not a good month for sailing but busy on the boatshows.

Everyone in the northern hemisphere will know that the last two month of the year are no good for sailing. Instead they are good for business issues and as I had two boatshows to attend, I have not missed a beat on the water.

hanseboat show in Hamburg at the end of October had been pretty busy for us and there was not much time to look around on the new, super sized fairground. There are many sailmakers as well as all the dealers for the equipment you want to have. It seems to me that the time for metal shackles is gone on the raceboats and one must have the rope shackles. So, instead of strolling around I went straight for the Dimension/Polyant booth to try and discuss my 4D mainsail for the Bull which is way too heavy in my opinion. Ordered last year and supplied via my local sailmaker, who did the finishing work, like clew eyes, reef and battens the sail is so strong and heavy that I think it will suit well a 5-6.000kg IMS class 2 boat instead of a 1.000kg light weight Sportsboat. It looks like they will try for a lighter membrane sail for me. At least their boss was talking to me.

Two boats had been of interest to me. Not that I could afford to purchase one of them but the standard of quality and the idea behind them had me have a proper look at them. The smaller one, the Club Swan42 is a nice and well sorted out boat with a neat interieur. Just what you need for a cruise in the Baltic Sea or around the Long Island Sound and nothing else. Tidy looks. The whole lot is coming for 411K (Euros of course). And I forgot to ask if the sails are included in this shocking sum.

The other boat had been the Marten 49. What a nice piece of carbon boat that is. I had the pleasure that Steve Marten himself was proudly showing me the anchor locker and the accessible compartment behind that. All finished in varnished carbon and one could see the expert workmanship and the tidy engineering which went into this all composite boat. Very friendly people on the stand let everyone in to look around and I heart many stupid comments inside the boat from the folks who do not know much about this sort of yacht. This of course is usual on boatshows and I could never work as a salesman for boats on show. Interestingly on the boatshow opening party I heart a nice story on my table from one of the guys who had just delivered a German owned Marten 49 from Kiel to the Med. He said that they were 6 men, no one under 70 years old and the boys enjoyed it very much. Good seamen these guys and they must have had a blast. Something to look forward to.

There had been a good dinghy display from Opti´s, Lasers to the RS range and the Bladerider Moth and also the nice looking national dinghies from the local yards. Varnished Gabun decks are always getting my attention and this year I admired the PIRAT, the KORSAR and FINN Dinghy. Of course the STAR had also been presented. It has a strong following in Germany like the DRAGON class. OK, no I do not want to drag myself into a discussion about the latest ISAF decisions. Many others are doing this. And I only hope that all the will and power of the folks will be heart next year and that the Olympic fleet will be of more modern and different equipment from various yards around the world. I like to quote Paul Henderson here:
The final vote is next year in November and done by 39 Council Members. Council is the only committee of ISAF where alternates are allowed. Ask your National delegates why they voted the way they did and make them accountable for their actions. The ISAF process is open and transparent and allows a reassessment of the selections to be finalized next year when the classes will be set in concrete.