Mittwoch, Januar 30, 2008

Water, water but not everywhere....

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.

Kommentare:

Anonym hat gesagt…

Fred,

Finally somebody has the stones and the steel to speak critically about the project, it's appreciated here in Minnesota.

The Devils Playground(tm), or DN Racing of any flavor as you so elegantly point out, ain't beach volleyball!

That's a sport with some sex appeal, building drama, and women competing, (ok, we have Merili R and Jane Pagel...), with little danger besides sunburn.

The concept isn't as absurd as it sounds once you see how this format of racing plays out.

As my Grandfather said... "Now Lovey, Don't pop your yolks, it was just something that Jerome..." To which she said "You nasty old gamecock, save that "poultry bait" for those incubator chicks, they may lay for it!" or more directly, don't mistake the Hype for the Real truth.

To well over 99% of the people on our planet, any form of ice sailing is Totally Crazy.

This format is just a little more friendly to a TV/Internet Audience... and in reality we really want to develop that audience, and not a live spectator audience, but think we can manage that too.

The sport is aging, in America, the average DN Racer remembers World War II. :(

We think we can, with some small, (see what we do, not what we say) changes in format, make it fun for the world to see what happens on the ice.

We think they'll want to watch, and not come to hang out.

By sailing a short course, we can manage a course, groom a track and not have to send one a volunteer on a road trip like the World Commodore just traveled... the equvalent of Driving From Key West to Seattle...

Hope to see you on some perfect ice...

DN US 4695

Fred hat gesagt…

Mark,
I appreciate your answer back and the way you try to convince me into the “program”. It is not that I remember WWII exactly but I have been around for a long time. You will be aware of the accidents which we had last week during the WC and EC. I am still speechless about the Hennie accident. It shows that we are getting careless. The invention of the Darling mark happened after such accidents. We Europeans accepted the “left side round” course for safety. In my eyes it had all been smooth sailing within the last years and therefore the invention of the Darling mark, the reason why and how to set it up (position wise) had been forgotten. This is human nature. It will be corrected but will be forgotten again after some years without accidents. Than the wheel will be re-invented.

Your idea of track racing the DN, which of course is appealing, should not have drama. It shall not be like cart racing in old Rome. Contact must be avoided at all means. I am sure your have this emphasized in your program. And about the ice. Sometimes it is there and safe and sometimes not. You might have had luck this year at Peppin (?). We had no luck at all in the north of Germany, in Sweden or in Finland. We are dreaming about an artificial 2 x 2 km round concrete dish which we should freeze over. Until we do not have this, we have to travel. Like we did many years ago, when we were directed to Montreal but the sailable ice had been found at Lake Geneva. OK, not Key West ./. Seattle, but still a 24hrs drive. And also, with a crowd and all the TV brohaha, equipment and all they are bringing, you need more and safer ice than you try to sell me. Also, I do not wish ourselves the downwash of a Heli during a race. But I am looking forward to see you on the ice!
DN G-99