The 2023 European Championship week is over, and it’s time to make notes on how to do better for next year’s 50th anniversary!
We had a very difficult weather forecast a week before the start of the regatta. We met in Valmeria, Latvia, with a day already lost to the week. We quickly understood that we had to move further south or to Sweden. Both locations had the only ice in Europe and had bad weather coming.
We decided to travel to Moletay, Lithuania, on Monday and in a snowstorm, knowing that Tuesday morning would determine if it was “GAME OVER” or if we had a chance for a long week of sailing. Hotels, language, cell phone reception, Wifi were a problem, plus about 10cm of heavy wet snow by bedtime. Our biggest question was about the lake’s size because we had not seen it.Tuesday morning’s temperature was plus 3 or 4 and windy. The snow was gone, and quite a bit of water was on the ice. Our hope of sailing for a long week was there, but the ice was not safe, and we needed to wait for colder weather that was in the forecast.Wednesday, light winds and scouting the lake took some time—hats off to race officials for attempting to run C fleet qualifying races. More or less, we had the same sail numbers at the top. With three starts, the wind was first from the right; then it was even, and last time it was from the left. The distance between marks was one km which meant four-lap races. The C fleet had a long and hard day while the rest of the fleets had to wait on the ice.Thursday was the day to get the regatta in. There was a light wind start to the day, and the forecast called for building winds. The distance between marks was 1.6 km, so that meant three-lap races. Overall, the race course was proper and relatively even, with winners from both sides. With 30 sailors in A-fleet, there was tight sailing. Getting a good average meant you were at the top, as it usually is.
Friday, we got some extra snow and warmer temperatures, and the wind died. We waited but decided to call it a day and had the prize giving on the ice so most of the group would be there.
It was not the best week, but we were lucky to complete the championship. Thank you all for your best efforts and thoughts!
A big thanks to all the people involved making it happen and hopefully, we will have better luck with ice and weather in the next few years!
Happy B-day to our secretary Pataki Attila jr today!
Hoping for your thoughts to our board – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mihkel Kosk- Commodore DN Europe