The ideas around the 2018 sailing season were many when we look back one year from now. The real planning however did not really start before January / February. Normally that is too late to get proper project going, but we ended up with a good combination of projects that were already running extraordinary well and other well-known boat types and concepts as well as a small project for ourselves.
After some back and forth, dialogue and thinking, we joined one L 43 each for the season. Both Santa and White Shadow are well known boats at least in Scandinavia and before the season they were both among the favorites to take the gold medals in this year big race; The offshore World championship in the Hague. Before we came there, both the two boats met at the biggest Scandinavian race; Marstrand Big boat, were White Shadow set the standard the first day and was leading with a margin before the winner should be decided after three new races on Sunday. In the first 2 races Santa was brilliant and before the last race the boats had the same points. White Shadow woke up and took a new bullet and with that also the overall race. In the worlds the roles were changed. Santa proved again to be good with preparations. Roger Nilsson was hired to find the right way on the course and in the end, Santa took the gold and White Shadow the silver. Both those positions were secured before the last race. Once more the two boats (and also others?) should meet; this time on the Norwegian championship in ORC. Again the positions would switch as White Shadow took the gold in front of Santa with Too Bonita (XP 44) on the bronze. Karl Otto Sailed the three races as tactician with White Shadow, Maren as Spinnaker trimmer on Santa in Marstrand and the worlds. Thanks for having us on board!
League sailing in J/70:
Before we left for our long-distance cruise, we were very much in to the Norwegian, but also European league sailing. This is a competition between the sailing clubs, first at a national sailing league were the best 4 teams get the chance to try to qualify in to the sailing Champions league and during the final with the 32 best sailing clubs determine who is the best. In Norway it is 30 clubs in the league system divided in two divisions, the elite and first division. In 2017 our club Aasgaardstrand came second and, were in other words qualified for the semifinal held in the beautiful Russian city of St. Petersburg. A challenging course on the river, with 3 knots of current flowing in the opposite direction of the wind and only 100 meters wide course made it very interesting and hectic. We managed to qualify after having sailed the 14 flights and were as the only Norwegian team qualified for the final in St. Moritz. St. Moritz is more famous for skiing and winter activities, in the middle of the Swiss part of the Alps. However, it has been held a lot of big sailing events on the little pond 2000 m above the sea level. The first day provided great sailing conditions but the following thre days were grey and with light winds. We didn’t quite make it this time, but after a win in our last race we came 22. In 2016 while on our cruise, we flew in from the Azores to Porto Cervo to attend the sailing champions League final and came 8, so judging by result it has gone the wrong direction. We see however that as in all other sports, the ones who practice most tend to normally be the luckiest. The German, Austrian, Swiss and not to forget the winning Italian team are sailing in this format more than what we managed this time. Karl Otto joined in to the last of the Norwegian league weekend races held in Arendal and that ended with victory for Aasgaardstrand. Through the races, Maren has sailed as Spinnaker trimmer and Karl Otto as tactician and jib trimmer.
A thing with sailing on teams consisting of many sailors; it is challenging to get enough sailing hours to actually improve your sailing. To do something about that, we decided to get hold of the “family snipe” from the garden in Aasgaardstrand. Mainly we wanted to have it in Aabenraa to be able to practice whenever we wanted and could find time to do that. We also wanted to do some races and pinned out the annual race in Espergærde close to Copenhagen, the Norwegian championship in our neighbor club Horten and the Europeans in Pori – Finland. In Espergærde we came 9 out of 33 boats which was a fair start on the snipe career. For Karl Otto it is a comeback as the last time he sailed the snipe was in 2009 (except for the weekend in Mission bay last spring), and Maren has not really sailed too much dinghies at all. Yngling (a small keelboat) is the closest. The Norwegian championship was the next up, and after not really having the margins on our side in several of the races we ended as number 6. In the Europeans in Finland we got well out of it and finished number 9. The Spanish boats were very good, we had one Italian and two Belgian boats too in front of us but became the best Scandinavian boat. All in all a big improvement during the season.
Champion of the champions
Just a couple of weeks ago the sailing season should be finished with the Champion of the champions race in our home club Aasgaardstrand. In this race the Norwegian champions from all boat classes, but also “wildcards” to make sure all the best sailors meet each other, to determine the winner of the Kings medal. White Shadow was qualified as winner of the Norwegian ORC championship. As our captain Torkjel Valland was called out for work in last minute, Maren stepped in as a substitute. This time Karl Otto was on the helm and together with Stian Østlund and Aage Hedegaard we took the second place, one point behind the winning Melges team. In total 29 teams started.
The total picture of our sailing season is from our perspective fantastic. We have sailed together with a lot of fantastic sailors on fantastic boats and on great race courses. Time will show what boats and races we will aim at for the next year and in the future!
Catch of the year!