Having been quiet over the last weeks, no weekend reports means that there has not been any DN sailing for me. The main reason is the warm weather. January here in the north of Germany had an average of 7°C. Much too warm to freeze over the lakes and way too cold to go out in the Moth.
I do not remember such a bad January of iceboat activities. In former years I had always been driven to Sweden, one year for two to three weekends to Hungary and in another year to the Czech Republic where we had been invited to race and when the conditions at home were not any good. And it had always been a pleasure to go, to be on the move. Something must hold me back which I have not yet deeply analysed. The prospects for this weekend are also not looking good, though my DN friends and I are programmed to go somewhere. 3 man in a Van.
Anyway the weekends at home gave me lot´s of opportunity to check my gear. Runner alignment is all important and I have not done this for 3 years. Now everything looked a bit worn and rightly I spend some time in the workshop. One thing is for sure: The world championship 2008 will happen in Europe. In the middle of February it is supposed to be sailed in Poland. If not possible in Sweden or Estonia. Our Estonian friends have not been sailing this season for lack of ice. The Polish iceboaters have been out every weekend since Christmas, only now the ice is fading a bit and this upcoming weekend they will sail their national DN Championship right at the Russian border, deep in Poland. (way too far for me for a weekend trip) The Swedish friends are a bit laid back. The weekend fleets decreased from about 60 to 16 boats on the starting line lately. They have to travel far north at present.
The two pictures attached are telling a little story. The first one with the bit of ice on the reed had been taken in the first week of January. It gave us hope! The picture below is from the same vantage point taken last weekend. Most of the water is gone. A heavy storm from the south-west blew out the water from the Schlei Fjord. Amazing. I had not seen this before though I live here since ten years. I was not able to read at the monitoring station due to dirt but I guess it had been 2,5m lower than normal. It was possible to walk to the birds island.
The Devil´s Playground?
Before I forget, our American iceboat friends: are thinking about a crazy event with DN iceboats. Look at: http://www.iceboating.net/node/2328. I do not want to discuss this in depth as it is mainly against my philosophy about this sport. We do not want spectators as it is dangerous for them. We do not need to party on the ice as we can and we are doing it afterwards. You cannot predict the place nor the conditions for such an ambitious project due to the weather. It ain´t no beach volleyball. But maybe I am getting old.