Mittwoch, August 31, 2011

Zhik Moth German Open

A great championship with participants from Denmark, Holland, Sweden and of course all the German Top Guns had been sailed between 26th of Aug until Sunday 28th. 10 races in three days at a mostly very windy venue. The PRO was not shy to lay a long course over the lake and mixed the program up with a number of different rounds to be sailed. Anja, of Mottenfieber Sailing TV fame, has again taken great shots and survived 3 windy days on a pram to bring some of the action straight into our homes. In the name of all participants, Anja: Thank you very much.

Look for the Friday and Saturday races no further than here:
Zhik Moth German Open at Lake Wittensee, Friday/Saturday

Look for the very windy (gusts up to 25kn) Sunday fotos here:
Wittensee, the windy Sunday

And look for the attending persons during the price giving here:
German Open, Price Giving

Again, my sincere thanks to Anja. She is a real class act.

Foto courtesy: Anja R.

Donnerstag, August 25, 2011

Sailracing or not?

Last weekend had been full on with racing though I thought. And I tried to be mentally prepared. One of the local clubs held their annual regatta and there had been a start for the dinghies. I was going to start in the Moth and my YS was set on the A-Cat Class number of YS 76. Not that I cared about it. I was happy to have a race to compete without packing and traveling far. Went out to practice on Friday but it had been a bit breezy and after a capsize fest together with a 29er and some Lasers, who all went into the "drink" at certain times, when strong gusts from the East came through, I skipped sailing and left the energy for the next day.

Next morning the wind had not eased much but it all looked good. Somehow the race committee had their own way of giving signals and as they never took "P" down, I missed the start by 30 seconds. Climbed back and lead at the weather mark right in the middle of the keel yachts, which had started 5 minutes earlier. Made a mistake (capsized) in front of the mark due to giving right of way and than bore off to a great downwind run. Tried to figure out how to best attack the "narrow path" as the water was very low and the sandbanks nearly looked through. Therefore no way of foiling over them. All of a sudden I hit, or better, something hit me underwater. Turned the boat over to inspect the foils but all looked OK.

Righting the boat was OK but starting it, was difficult. A lot of times I buried the bow and kind of cartwheeled whilst bearing away. Not funny. In hindsight I think, it had ben the eased vang and the outhaul. Note to myself: pull tight after capsizing in a breeze. The swimming and all took much of my energy and I still feared some damage. Next Moth race is ahead next weekend and I want my boat to be in the best possible condition. I sailed the boat home without making it around the course. Fastest boat on the course had been the Melges 24 followed by a windsurfer. Claus, who is more than 70 years of age and spending every wintertime windsurfing at the Mar Menor from Camping La Manga. A great role model. He used a modern raceboard and I think 9 qm of sail. The participating cats ended up in the back with a lot of capsizing. The only Laser who finished, came back "home" late in the evening. The party was on in the Fahrdorfer Segel Club vis á vis from were we live. We took our 36db to cross the water and take part in the festivities. During the trip back in the pitch black night (not really, the town was lighted) K. and I decided that we take "Samantha" and do the Sunday race doublehanded.

So we did. But first we had to wash the boat and to get rid of all the spiders and dirt which had aggregated due to the long time being without moving from the berth. We had a good start, being more familiar with the signals in very, very light air. Code Zero or jib had been the question before the start but the small wind shift two minutes into the start left no option and upwind we tacked with jib. Only the Melges pulled slowly away from us and extended after rounding the weather mark for a long reach. We hoisted our 0.5oz "Whomper" which I had purchased as a used sail from a Mumm 36 about 15 years ago. What a great sail this spinnaker still is. Two reaches and we had sailed away from the X-79´s an Luffe´s and other keelyachts. Just the Melges in front. I was surprised as with the boat only being used occasionally this summer it still was slippery throught the water. No underwater species to see. Anchor and chain in the front locker and some water in the tank. Normally on race day this would not have been our style. But this was a sunny Sunday. And it was a real pleasure to sail the boat. On the second round we were nearly passed by Andreas and his X-79 team but with a good mark rounding an a beat in the light wind (no ripples on the water) saw us in front at the last weather mark. Due to the very light, drifter like conditions, we did not hoist a different headsail, instead kept our cool and sailed away again from the fleet, which had caught up on the last leg and desperately tried spinnakers and other combinations to catch up with us. To much tumult on their foredecks and just not enough breeze to fill a 0,75oz spinnaker.

Looking forward to the upcoming weekend, when we will be sailing our "Zhik Moth German Open 2011". K. will take part in her first Moth regatta with her M2 "Goldfisch". Three Moth women have signed in. Participants from Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands will come to sail 3 days at Lake Wittensee. Weather forecast looks good. Again our president Carlo has found great sponsorship and the food and party will be as good as at the Europeans this year. If you can manage a last minute entry, you are welcome. Look for details at the German Moth Homepage:

Mittwoch, August 24, 2011

Great Live Pictures from Cartagena

The first Audi Med Cup race in Cartagena Spain will start soon. The boats are leaving the dock. All live on at:: audimedcuptv

During Moth Fest we took the chance to go sightseeing in Cartagena and it was worth the trip. An interesting town with some roman history. Great to see again (on my screen) the port, the cruise ship at the dock and hopefully in abt. 30 - 45 minutes some great racing from the TP52´s. The camera was just featuring CONTAINER when she left the dock. Wishing them and also the other "German" boat, AUDI ALL FOR ONE with Jochen Schümann as skipper/helm all the best. Good luck and Smooth Sailing!

Donnerstag, August 18, 2011

Campione, the Formula 40 and other Memories

There is all this talk about Campione, Lake Garda within the Moth enthusiasts at present. Carlo will take part in the Italian Championship coming weekend and I am envious about it. Campione is one of my favorite places though I do not know how it looks like today. But the mention of this special place brought back some incredible memories and soul searching. Many years ago I had spend time there with my Bavarian friend Konny to train on our DIV II boards. (good ´ol times) Later through the years, I had done trips with K. and our two singlehand dinghies and we had taken the Bull down there for some speed blasting with Gennaker in the Ora. It had always been very enjoyable. I remember one great summer when friends and I drove down there for a couple of practice sessions with the Formula 40 Cat "Double Trouble". See the photo. It had been owned by a windsurfer friend who started to get into sailing. He had built it from scratch himself and whilst on a windsurf holiday in the Canaries (Gran Canaria) he had asked me if I could help with materials for building the craft, with organizing a rig and to find some crew for sailing. I helped him to get a used "Fleury Michon" rig when the French F40 team had decided to up their 22m mast for a 24m and we also got their nearly new sails etc. This was really different sailing other than my IMS sailing in those years and I much enjoyed our sessions. The loads on the F40 boat were massive. Grinding the mainsail up (with flaps on the mast) took already two man, two winches. I was helming the boat as the owner had never had helmed a boat before. He was an enthusiastic windsurfer, though the waves in Pozo were a bit much for him. Due to costs and other reasons we did not manage to take part in the planned Formula 40 events at Lake Garda and Eckernförde (where later "Full Pelt", the trimaran, helmed by Joe Richards, capsized). Those were the days!

Anyway, the 1400 km trip to Campione is too long for me for this weekend trip. The weekend after we are already sailing the German Moth Class Championship. Our Swedish and Danish friends have already committed to be on the start line. What about the Dutchies and Giovanni from Belgium. I had better do some practice on my home water. Working out the best (if I would ever know) set up. In the meantime the Wednesday night races have started and I should have sailed on a M24 which would have been nice but this week there were family commitments. But besides this, there are a couple of events coming up with different boats to take part in. It is always in autumn, when I get busy with the sailing because the usual 6 month of "Wintertime", which normally only allows for two month of iceboating, is way too long to stay away from the sport. Or shall I turn back the clock some years and take the 2.55m Litewave windsurfer from it´s shelf, still in it´s flight bag, to go windsurfing in Pozo or Maspalomas as I did for many, many years with my KAFC friends until the last years when it was only me, shredding some waves. Where are you today, guys?

Pic 1 "Double Trouble" at Lake Garda with me at the helm. Photocredit: ES
Pic 2 Loaded for the trips to Campione. Same place for a tank stop but different years. Photocredit: myself

Mittwoch, August 17, 2011

What is coming next after the great MOTH Euro?

It had been a great week in Travemünde though not sailing wise for me. In hindsight one always thinks that he could have done better but having been on the water on Tuesday, with 4 races being scheduled, the wind howling and the waves getting bigger the more outside of the harbor I sailed, I had to rethink my DNF and DNC´s a couple times. Actually i did not even start the first race as I had capsized my boat on purpose before the race in order not to run against a big police boat which was lying square in my course on a first downwind trial run. I needed about 30° left and right to stay upright, to steer the waves and all was fine and I had been motivated until the moment when I decided to better capzise instead of running into this blue/grey police boat not knowing if it was moving forth or back. Something must have gone mentally wrong, I still do not know what. The result: I decided to skip it for the day and not doing the races. My inner will had been broken somehow. Sailing back to the shore was not a problem at all. I shortened the wand and I was sailing around 18-20kn downwind home without problems. Due to strong gusts I had a bad entry into the steep shoreline and had to swim and to push the boat until I had ground under my feet. That gave me the rest and I did not want to go out again.

On the last day with a good breeze around 5 Bft and waves, I felt comfortable and started to gain places in the group around me. All of a sudden, I lost height. Could not sail as close to the wind as my fellow Moth friends, Harald and Carlo. I discovered that the rig had come loose. The pin on the mastfoot had grounded itself inside the plastic by 6 cm. No way to keep on sailing as it could have done more damage to my boat. I sailed back to the shore and started packing up and washing down the boat before everybody else arrived. Not good moments these two afternoons spend on the shore when most everybody was outside having a great time foiling. Anyway this is past me now and after Travemünde, I think we only had rainy days here in the North of Germany and except one afternoon sailing it only got better yesterday afternoon and I went out for an hour. Have to practice for the upcoming German Moth Championship on the lake Wittensee. Promised K. some hours to train with her or to give advise from the RIB. Will see how that goes. We are both looking forward to take part in the regatta, alone packing up the two MACH2´s on the trailer and towing them with our van to the site will be enjoyable. If I manage to get them on the trailer without dismantling them, I will publish a photo right here.

Freitag, August 05, 2011

Improve your German language...

The latest German Moth Newsletter, called "Der Falter" is out for easy download. Many thanks to Nina for all the work she has done and the incredible improvement to have it in color. Der Falter

Hope to see all you Scandinavians and Dutch friends on the annual German Moth Championship on Lake Wittensee, near Kiel. A great location usually prefered by Int 14s and the 505 class. Look out for the Invitation and program, coming out soon, on the German Moth Site