Montag, Februar 09, 2009

Wet, wet, wet

Another day of DN sailing happened on Sunday on a very wet surface. There had only been 12 sailors plus a few non racing DNér s showing up which could be a sign that people get tired after 5 weekends of sailing. Maybe their equipment is getting worn out, or that their wifes do not allow them to get free from the family every weekend from the beginning of January or that they are in the States to start in the DN Worlds at Torch Lake, Michigan. Anyone with a better excuses, please comment here or mail to me. The sailors from Berlin called for the Wolzig Cup to be sailed only on Sunday, when the weather forecast showed promissing 3-4 Bft. This allowed me to take part Friday evening at a big reception from the German Offshore Owners Assc. (no I did not take part in any offshore racing last year, but I think about it...stay tuned here) There had been a good film session, music session, awards for the 10 most successful German teams plus mentioning the race winners of the Baltic Sprint Cup, 1st. place went to Mr. Mike Castania with his Rogers 46, "DANEBURY" and second place to Mr. David Aisher, also on a Rogers 46, "YEOMAN XXXII". Both took part during this remarkable evening in the impressive Hamburg Rathaus. (House of lords, so to speak) and got some presents from the organising committee.

Anyway, back to the DN Sailing in Berlin. Left home with the van on Saturday evening to be fit and ready next morning. Wanted to unload the boat at 23.00h when I arrived, but the place was closed. High fences. Being the only car in the carpark, I felt a bit strange. "do they really show up tomorrow morning for racing?" I asked myself. I had faith in the Berlin race management and of course, Dieter S. , G-368, greeted me in the morning, being happy that some "foreigners" wanted to take part in the racing. Lot´s of action as one has to carry his equipment a good 100m to the ice. Ready to sail at around 11.00h. Wet and cold feet at around 11.20h after walking through water to collect my starting position number. "Where are my Goretex socks??". First race from block 2. Right side, first inside the middle mark. My testing had showed that the left side was favored. After a good running through the wet I had enough height to bear away and blast across the next boat to leeward. Than tacked, tacked back in the middle of the course, crossed with G-709 but had built a good lead at the weather mark. Extending the lead and crossing the finish first. Next race I had block Nr. 1. First boat on the left inside. Easy. Start, run, jump in the boat and blasting away. Maybe the smoothing of the runners helped in the slush ice under the water. The boat was exhilarating, the new mast did bend nicely and I reached nearly warp speed. A pity, all the top guys this season did not take part except of G-709, 896 and 136. The third race was more interesting. I only managed to be third at the weather mark, was not able to shorten the distance to the two leading boats, neither downwind, nor upwind and had to fight on the last downwind run to secure third place against an impressive G-542 who used older equipment than even mine. Something had to be done. The wind had increased a lot. New sharper runners and the sail a little lower. The left side was not favored any more. G-709 went early for the right and he crossed me just after I had tacked on to the layline on port tack. He went too high and I was able to leave him in my wind shadow. Right in front was the blue boat. Knut, G-896, who was lying very low in the boat just in front of me. He was fast and I could almost match his speed to the first weather mark. We rounded very close and he extended the lead on the run. I had a better mark rounding in the gusty and strong wind and gained already 30-50m on him. Now bending the mast, crawling into the boat and of we went for a real dogfight upwind. Both tacking on to the layline, he a little higher than me, investing his lead. I had a bit of luck, tacked on a hard spot, accelerated a little quicker and started to point high into him. Catched the wind from the front, giving him a little backwind and rounded the mark first. From here on it seemed easy. Finished with a good lead. Knut reported later to me that he had spinned a 360° on the last downwind leg. Mmmh, the sharp runners, which I had mounted, felt good. The race committee called it a day and the Wolzig Cup was finished. Everybody went for the shore where we got our feet dry and packed up the gear. Price giving, the typical "Berliner" pancake and hot drinks for all. Short speeches, hipp-hipp-hurray and off we drove. You cannot have a good day of DN racing when you don´t leave your cozy home. Hope some more racers will show up next weekend. The show must go on as long as we have some sailable ice in Germany this winter.

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