Amidst of studying for my last exam ever I went to the X-Yachts Gold Cup on the Flensburger Förde from July 6th to 9th. The nice thing about this regatta is that only X-Yachts participate and I was looking forward to compete with some other ships of the same make and model to measure up our crew's qualities. So far we're usually the ones with the oldest ship (made in 1986) but way too bad ORC rating. But I was disappointed, we were the only X-102.
Me studying to keep up with my studying plan.
This was so close!
On the first day we were one crew member short, but all the maneuvers went fine. Only little wind and the start got postponed and we made last place, as expected when trying to compete against souped-up racing yachts with no amenities on board like a table, a bench or a cooker. Oh, and two world champion crews in our starting class.
The second day was horrible! Wind was better and we didn't have to postpone the start much. But every other maneuver went wrong. Especially the spinnaker ones in my responsibility. Spinnaker sheet got tangled up around a clamp. Jib sheet going under the spinnaker boom after a spinnaker gibe. Spinnaker and jib halyards tangling up when setting the sail. Being too slow, setting up sails, the boom and sheets on the wrong sides. It was a mess. But the worst moment was when I pulled up the spinnaker and the halyard fell off halfway, so that the head of the sail got stuck atop the spreader between the V-shaped shrouds. Our skipper picked a crew member, clicked attached him to the halyard left and told him to climb up and get it down. Luckily he got it. And luckily we have two spinnaker halyards, so we could continue sailing. The spinnaker has a small hole we could fix with some tape though. Getting down the spinnaker halyard was no big deal after we found the bosun's chair lost in the depths of the ship. I was pulled up as well and I attached a small piece of ribbon between the V-shaped shrouds to prevent sails from getting stuck in there like in a cleat. I noticed later all the pros had ribbons like that, too.
This was so close!
For the last day we adjusted a few parts of our spinnaker routines to give me more time and prevent yesterday's mistakes. It was a good day of racing and I left right after we got back in. So I missed the great gala dinner, but I got refunded for that.
The starts were very tense moments.
Awesome event, very well organized (compared to Nordseewoche) and the Danish people are so much fun