Mittwoch, April 16, 2008

The End of the Winter...5 days of sailing

It had been planned for a long time. To start the sailing season with a little bit of Foiler Mothing down at the Med. At first we wanted to meet with friends at the Easter week but due to a very early Easter holiday this year, we delayed this until the beginning of April and it happened that the boatbuilding of our new Moth by Felix had been progressed to a near finish of the project.

The trip took about 20 hours on the road. When we arrived in Bormes des Mimosas (le Lavandou) it was sunny with a strong offshore wind. Blue sky and a nice temperature wetted my appetite for some “flying hours” with the Bladerider. I should have known better…

On Sunday the 6th it was blowing cats and dogs and even worth it was a strong offshore wind. White caps appeared not far from the shore. Waiting for our friends was disrupted by a call from Felix being only about 2 1/2 hours away: “We have a flat tyre. Not one. It is a twin tyre in the back and we cannot get a replacement on the Sunday. We will get there on Monday”.

Some sightseeing into the local boatyard and marina did not bring much satisfaction as most of the boats moored there had been white plastic boats from the “well known sources”. Oh well, yes there were a couple of boats on the hardstand, more than 50 foot long and these boats featured double rudder blades. Boats which I hadn´t seen before. Not the typical Open50 or Open60 style boats. More cruising orientated, but with a wide stern. Thus the twin rudders.

It had offshore wind again on Monday. But there was much to do with the newly arrived boats. To look and to discuss and to assemble. Felix had 3 Moths on the roof of the Mobilhome. His old Lowrider and two newly built boats, mostly designed by himself with a modified “Schenk” hull. After much discussion and scraping parts and things we came to the conclusion to just assemble one of his new boats. The “Orange”, as it was called immediately by Kerstin and him. Due to the colourful bow section I think.

Oh yes, and I was in the water for about 45 minutes as you can see from the photo on the right. Beautiful blue sky. Offshore wind. Whitecaps in the back. Always a bit scared that something might break or that I would loose the boat. Or ending up in “Africa” due to the offshore breeze. From my windsurfing days I remembered that it was not wise to take this risk and I packed it in. Sloopy fitness also played a role due to the capsizes in the very gusty conditions. But it had been the first day on the water. Should set up my counter as Tillerman did. More about the sailing within the next days.

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