Donnerstag, März 20, 2008

Some Thoughts due to NO sailing activities here...

Recently I had a letter submitted to Scuttlebutt Europe (see below) with regards to the debate about canting Keel Boats to take part in the Cowes Week regatta. I got a bit of feed back to this and one particular guy asked me if I had a clue about what I had written in my statement. It could have been that this was a "quick diagonal reader" who did not got the message from my limited English or it could have been a "canter". One of these guys who are laughing at you, when you are wobbling in their wake.

OK, I have not sailed against a canter yet, though I wish I would be able to see one live and maybe these guys are not laughing at the ones, leaving behind in their wke... We do not have any of these boats in my home waters around Kiel or Flensburg or in Denmark. Not yet. My doubts about the compatibility on the starting line between canters and non-canters are based on my experience in the Sportsboat class as well as in IMS sailing. In the beginning of the Sportsboat movement around 1998 we were looking for participants to get the numbers up. To bring some value to the club, hosting our annual regatta in Travemünde. Therefore the German ISRA (Association) also invited the Asso99, a 6 person keelboat, 3 of them are on the wire. Sportsboats do not have trapezes. They are the likes of the Hunter707, Beneteau25, Bull7000, Melges24, U20, Humphreys22. A righting moment of 3 persons on the wire makes for better pointing and speed on the start line. It did not match and everyone tried to work out how to avoid the Asso. There had also been two 11m OD´s which due to their waterline length and high stability caused headache for the sailors on the light displacement Sportsboats. The silverware had gone to those "non-Sportsboats" and as they were not coming back to race due to a stricter rule, the silver also disappeared. None of them gave the challenge trophies back. The pic shows us fighting upwind with the low displacement Bull 7000.

* From Manfred Schreiber: Reading with interest the debate. Why do they exchange rough letters and arguments and do not put on the table the most interfering thing which happens to non-canters when starting together with canters. A much bigger problem other than when starting with 35 footers against 39 footers within a certain IMS rating band. You really do not want to have a canter on your leeward side. It brings you to a halt and steals from you the minutes and seconds which you need to score well. Same of course with a windward canter which leaves you in the wake of his dirty air. Other boats start rolling you. A good finish is already out of sight 5 minutes after the start.

Do not put these very different machines into the same starting sequence. The Cowes Week organisers are doing the right thing. The fun is only for the crews sitting low on their canters and leaving their "competitors" in their wake. Not good sportsmanship I would say.

Dienstag, März 04, 2008

Remembering the past and looking out to Kieler Woche

With absolutely no opportunity to go sailing (due to weather conditions) there are moments when reflecting about the past comes into my mind. This happened when I came across the picture of this beautiful ship, "Cap San Diego". She is an oldtimer, a so called banana ship. A sleek looking freighter which had been owned by the Hamburg Süd Shipping company, who had a series of those ships running mostly between South America and Hamburg. The cooling lockers full of bananas and other fruits. I worked as a shipbroker agent in those days and strolling around the harbour had been a daily routine in my job. As a waterclerk I had to be the first to enter the incoming ships, together with emigration, customs and police. Most times with a travel case full of letters for the crew and a briefcase with loads of cash for the captain to pay out to his crew for some enjoyable days on the shores of Hamburg. The Reeperbahn comes into my mind, but I leave these imaginations for your own fantasies.

This is all long gone but I know there are ship lovers here as my regular readers and this photo of the good ship "Cap San Diego" is dedicated to them. The ship had been docked for several years in Hamburg, being used as a kind of living museum but this year it will appear during Kieler Woche. Sailing down the river Elbe again. Going into the Kiel Canal through the gates will be sight to watch for shipspotters. Knowing that the ship is coming to Kiel "bridges" nicely to my fellow Mothies, who are also reading here. (no progress yet with my foiling gybes due to no sailing at all) The Moth class is an invitational class this year in the famous Kieler Woche and some really good sailors have already shown their interest. They like to sail Kiel Week as a training for the upcoming Worlds in Weymouthin July. Welcome Mothies, I´ll be there at Kiel. GER-3170.