Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 1 of racing

Finally a day of sailing. We are using a marina facility for the pits and parking, so the DN’s look a little strange in boat slips. After finding way from marina to lake, it’s a three mile trek down to start area in Hungary. The starts were in Hungary and the weather mark north in Austria. Some had time to exchange money on the course, but there was no kiosk. Qualifiers complete and a total of three gold, three silver and two bronze races done.

The course was limited by shore, cracks and obstacles to 1.5 km, or about 0.9 miles. The “C” (bronze) qualifier came off on time at 10 this morning. The committee measured the boats moving up to “B” (silver), so the mandatory delay lasted a few minutes longer. The B race started with a heavily favored right side. The 58 boat could do a short port tack to the weeds, and tack for the mark. The 40 and higher even boats were in lighter wind and required four or more tacks to make the weather mark due to the winds and narrowness of the lake. Mike Derusha finished 13th in the qualifier, and twelve boats move up. There was a big controversy about the measurements with one boat.

We have a runner rule and interpretation about the runners requiring a 1/8 inch minimum radius of the runner above ¾ inch away from the ice. The controversial boat had sharpened the front of his inserts back 3/8 inch from the leading edge for all the lead in up to the wood insert. I was not privy to the discussions, but I overheard discussions about the left and right radius being greater than 1/8 inch, but of course there was nearly a point where the left and right joined. A technical committee member was called in to the discussions, and whether or not Mike qualified-up hung in the balance. For reasons unknown, the boat was declared legal and advanced, and Mike started race two in the B fleet number one position.

US Gold: Ron Sherry, JR , Stange
Silver: Wendell, Dan Connell, Mike Derusha, me
Bronze: Hal, Bob Cummins

No excuses, but I started from 42 in the first race on the wrong side of the course.. I moved all the way up to 41. No excuses, because Ron started the first A race from a similar position and ended up 12 or 13 in the race. I think skill and acumen might have something to do with it.

Oke Luks, the builder of the most desired DNs in Europe, decided to have a go of it. He won the first A race and led for the first five roundings in race two. Ron found a bit of wind and managed to pass Oke down wind for a first in race two. Oke had a 1-2 finish in the first two races. Swedes and Poles with two Estonians dominated all three races. As soon as I get results, I’ll post them. Still internet problems here.

In race two, I got to study the “how do you see a starboard tack boat behind boats to leeward” lesson. Failed. A boat appeared in front of me on starboard very close a couple hundred yards after a leeward mark rounding. I was having a good race, too. I did a picture perfect rounding, (with my legs in the boat, Pete) and came out with clear air and well above the four or five boats in front of me. One tacked for clear air, a port tack boat ducked him. Anyway, I ducked without enough time and I believe he tried to duck, too, so we were head-to-head and made a loud noise. No one seriously hurt, but his ankles are sore and I am barely walking due to a pulled muscle in my calf. What is amazing is that both boats sailed in the third silver race later today, with duct tape repairs. There is something to say about fiberglass reinforced hulls.

My boat needed a new steering chock. The carbon steering rod was bent and damaged, but repaired by being stiffened with my spare heavy top batten and Wendell’s duct tape. (We had brought spare, now that rod is my cane) Race three and the trek home sailed with that setup, so it was fairly strong. My steering rod (carbon tube) was flexed by his plank or the trailing side of my runner. The fat end of the batten covered the weak spot. Lots of duct tape, thanks Wendell. His boat had a bit of glass torn off his side board by my bow plate/tank just at the leading edge of his plank. Both sealed with duct tape. My steering chock rod hit his plank a few inches from there. His plank was not ripped off and my steering bearings in the nose block survived intact.

My travel mate Adam P-235 is doing well, in 11th. Michael Burczynski P-114 is leading the regatta, Vaiko Voorema C-6 is second, Fredrick Loendgren S-8 or Oke Luks S-5 is in third and fourth. Robert Graczyk P-31 is sixth, Lucas Zakrzewski P-155 is 10th, Darek Kardas P-13 is in 15th. My polish traveling companions know more than I about the finish positions.

If it survives the posting, presuming the internet comes up, below is Ron’s start in race 1, on the unfavored side, and steering weird to miss goose poop.

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