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Ocean Elements 2018

RC Laser German International Championship at Segler-Club Dümmer

by Tony Wilson 15 Aug 2017 07:50 BST 4-6 August 2017
RC Laser German International Championship at Segler-Club Dümmer © Dave Fowler

Sprechen sie deutsch? Well I suppose it doesn't really matter that much as most Germans have mastered the English language to our assistance.

The Segler-Club Dümmer in Germany was the location for this, the first official Internationale Deutschen Meisterchaft, the RC Laser Championships. There have been similar sailing events each year on this lake running up to this, but this was now the official one.

Representing the UK we had Dave Fowler, boat No GBR 840, and myself, GBR 985, who have been to two previous events also held in the first week of August 2014 and 2015 at the Dummer, so was this going to be any different.

Well to start off we had an additional Friday tied in. This was for practise and for some weights and measures. One by one we came out of the boat store and most were being caught out by having a shorter C and D boom. There was rumour of an earlier batch being a bit shorter. The other main check was to whether your winch was winding in at the correct speed and there didn't seem to be any quicker ones among the bunch.

The small grass car park was now getting fuller with cars and a few camper vans perched for the weekend, while other folk just commuted in by the day. Another GBR entry, boat 02 was from a guy that was attached to a British yacht club in Berlin. We also had a female contender from Belgium, six guys from the Netherlands and the remainder was from Germany making a total of 26 Skippers registered.

Although it did seem like a bit of hefty entrance fee, this did include Friday and Saturday evening meals, a personalised RC Laser polo shirt and a certificate framed Laser gift.

On to racing on Saturday - race day 1.

As the jetty had lost the bottom part of the T piece to earlier in the year rot and storm damage, we would have to stand single file along the one piece that remained. It was decided to race in two fleets to minimise confusion and to aid the referee officials in oversight. Many were a bit unfamiliar to this form of racing but it soon got into full swing. Penalty infringements were for the usual 360 degree turn or if you had left it too late and caught by the officials, two 360 turns would be asked for by the whistle.

By lunch time we had only sailed a couple of races and didn't seem to be moving very quick. The first race had been a seeding race to split the fleet and the points were divided. Tony had his usual issues with keel and had put it in back to front again. Dave had a bit of a weed issue and then to compound problems went into radio silence with an additional winch failure.

Early afternoon and it was over heard that the B fleet was now the new A fleet. If you are on the edge of competence, you get the best bang for buck and just keep moving up and down groups as it's the bottom four of A fleet to go down and the top four of B fleet to move up.

The morning had seen us all in C rigs and now on the other side of the jetty with a decrease in wind speed the occasional B rigs started to appear.

The wind then started to drop right off and the very last race for the A fleet was with the big sails. A one hour extended break had been given as some persistent light rain had come in, but the second half of race 7 really needed to go ahead to complete that races results. 17:45 and right on cue the two minute countdown started to finish us before the 18:00 deadline.

By the end of day, it was the Dutch Tjakko Keizer NED 180 that was bringing in the results while the UK's N01 wasn't doing too great and was praying for a better second day.

The next day was more of the same, average wind conditions and the exact same course with a leeward gate and with the slight adjustment of the top two buoys that included a spreader. All 24 heats went without any fail starts apart from a race rerun due to 3 or more boats tied up with the rescue boat.

The Dutch were the main triumphants for the day with the three top places for the weekend. The weather had mainly conformed and a reasonable good International weekend had been had by all. Most had maybe at one time encountered dragging along a bit of weed and had also changed from one fleet to the other. Nine separate firsts were recorded and the many diverse results showed for a great spread and active race force.

14:30 was the earlier finish time for the Sunday and prize giving went ahead along with brief farewells as some were eager to get ahead of heavy weekend traffic for the distant traveller.

Thanks to the DKVRCS for hosting the event with a double backup of Electric and Power rescue crew boats and to all that made this event possible. Looking forward to the next event, but to where this will be held in Germany is any ones guess.

Overall Results: (top five)

1st Tjakko Keizer, NED 180
2nd Marcel Bleeker, NED 26
3rd Taco Faber, NED 01
4th Bernd Blohm, GER 19
5th Stefan Gote, GER 103

Full results can be found on the RC Laser German website along with more pictures and Video (also local newspaper coverage) - see www.rc-laserforum.de

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