"Well, actually I should not be writing this report, because it makes all the folks back home believing that I may be Pinocchio and not telling the real story and, worse, imagining that I may be promoting our awesome boat!
So, there we were, a 530 km ride ahead of us, then sail for two days. Would the weather hold up? Would the car make it? But, as my bowman Jorg always says, 'Nothing ventured, nothing gained, sometimes you just have to do it!' Otherwise, if you don't, you will just fall into the 'everyday miserable rut of not doing anything'! Wise words. So, I must tell you, it was a great weekend and worth all the drama!
Friday at 1700 hrs we leave and make it to the Brombachsee Lake clubhouse by midnight. No problem, because it seemed no one attending the regatta wanted to go to bed until all are there. A warm "Halloooh" and "nice to have you here" when we arrive. To start with, club members asked us to join them with a delicious "Absackerbier" (e.g. a damn good beer made locally). Beautiful isn't it? Nice feeling to not have to stand in the middle of the night somewhere in a foreign country alone! One hour later we were ready for bed. We were ready to rise early, get breakfast with the nice harbor master in the tap room of a brilliant club house. Then, off to rig, launch and get ready for sailing. Last boat in was Christian Rieck who came 'directly from the airport' to the lake and set a record for rigging and launching!
What we could not see at midnight, we were now faced with in the morning, a fantastic sailing area with a gorgeous landscape and plenty of room to go racing J/22s. My goodness, that's all fine and even better yet is that winds of 3-4 Bft were forecasted! Paradise on a sunny day!
1000 hrs skippers meeting, then 1100 hrs start. Great day of sailing with four races. The locals were amazed by how the J/22s sailed so fast across the lake in gusts above 4 Bft. And, it was exciting (despite the small field of 7 boats)!
For each error made by any J/22 team, one was passed quickly in our closely spaced field. In turn, it was also good action in the back of the fleet, too. At the end of the day, the two teams (Halterner Daniel Lötzbeyer and we) were equal on points, followed by the fast-improving team of Thomas (who would be regatta leaders were it not for 'shrimping' their spinnaker under their boat one race!). By the time sailing ends at 1700 hrs, we arrived to the club over-amped, hungry, dry-throated, ready to eat and drink!
The dinner at 1730 hrs with pork and dumplings, plus wine & beer were much appreciated at the table in the evening sun. Here I must say a special praise to Jürgen Buchard and the gastronomy of the club. You could feel their efforts to care for us as welcome guests. After hard work on the water, a wonderful, convivial atmosphere ashore. It was clear - this weekend can not go wrong!
On Sunday morning we were greeted by a glassy lake and a less than optimal weather report - sunny with wind force 1 or less! The big question, shall we ever start today? But actually, everybody knew that you had to try to make a race. So we tried it when it was actually not quite real in terms of sailing. Sometimes, you just have to cancel racing! Especially, setting marks and course with barely a whiff of wind. We managed a fantastic start. Somehow, we were in the lead drifting left and speculated it would go further left. I went left, I went left all alone on the left...
And right there at the moment, we drove past the whole fleet! Because, this time it was just right. Again, with mirror smooth water we had enough time to look at the fleet from afar. This would probably be our best rest yet, and I have no idea why. Was probably too obvious that it was a gamble today! So, we managed to salvage a good race and take third for the regatta!
Since I was "honored" with the writing of this report, I have the chance to tell you that you should NOT miss this experience next year, in any case! You have a really great event for our J/22's in the Brombachsee! After our crew arrived home (in spite of about 1100 km of driving by car), we immediately decided - we go again! Sometimes you have to just simply go for it and let the cards fall where they may! Fantastic event, see you next year!" Sailing photo credits- Manfred Fritsche For more Brombachsee Regatta sailing information