Due to a massive work load in the company and commitment to my folks I have put the blogging a bit on the side. Also my regular readers must have noticed that the DN iceboating (which actually pulled the trigger to start this blog) has not happened as in the years before. May it be global warming or just bad luck that one low after the other is running over the north of Europe from the Irish sea without giving the Siberian high a chance to settle. Anyway I had been asked by a colleague from England, who visited my company in my absent and who gave a well received lecture, to tell him about. The following is a mail which I had sent to him on Monday which should give you the story:
Thanks for our mail. Now that you are asking me about the sailing: I learned a new word yesterday: Underwhelming! Yes it was! (Sorry Scott, I ripped it from your blog)
The ice on Lake Lipno in the Czech Republic was good. The lake is on 800m altitude and big. The river Moldau is feeding this reservoir. We had perfect weather. Abt. 200 participants. 4 groups with nearly 50 sailors each. A > D group with qualifiers from D upwards. I am fixed at the gold group due to my actual ranking of 13th.
At practise day I bent my steering post due to running into a crack in the ice on the way “home”. Only pushing the boat across the crack but the boat fully loaded with 2 extra sails and 9 spare runners and toolbox had a bit of momentum. (You never know exactly which runners to use as the conditions are constantly changing from morning over midday and mostly freezing again in the afternoon) I had to change to my brand new spare boat (should have a spare steering post but did not.... repair was not possible at the time) which I have not sailed much and never during races. In the first race, I came very, very, very last. 2nd race: Very, very last. 3rd race: Very last. Frustrating. Than started to see some light after more and heavy tuning than in the races before (completely different to my old boat as I found out the new one is a very stiff hull) In the fifth race, fighting in the middle of the fleet, the sheet jammed in one of the Harken blocks, upwind at about 60km/h. I was able to avoid an accident with the first boats sailing downwind at around 100km/h, but could not finish the race. That was the WC. In hindsight I must say that a conversation with former World Champion Ron Sherry, US-44, who came to me to ask “what about me being so dramatically slow”, helped sorting out my boat and more important my “head”. Ron gave me the important tipps for better tuning the stiff boat. He actually asked, how the boat felt, how it behaved and so on. It made me think at least in a positive direction, away from frustration. The stiff boat (hull) needed everything a bit loose. And that worked.
After that we have started our European Championship. I started this new event quite good, ranking 21st after 3 races. Due to the changing weather (abt. 12°C and other circumstances, my friend and I decided to go home. With us about 1/4th of the participants. The PRO and his race committee found good ice around the corner where the river Moldau did not destroy the former good ice from the bottom up as it happened where we were staying on the camping site. So I missed a good opportunity to gain some valid ranking points and it is possible that I have to start in the Silver fleet next time to try and qualify myself for gold again. One American friend, Matt Strubble, US-183 (also an A-Cat sailor) had an outstanding season. 2008 North American Champion, World Champion and European Champion. No brake downs on his boat. Plain good sailing and preparations. Tough to do this in Europe but thanks to some German friends they have access to a complete workshop after landing in Germany and before the DN show begins somewhere in Northern Europe. 3 US boats broke their hulls from accidents and we had a really good session during the night glueing it all together with SP106 and the repair kits. They call me Mr. Epoxy cause I am always carrying SP products with me. Here are some photos taken by a friend: http://www.eissegeln.de/galerie/images/wcec2008-2/index.htm