During my 5-week visit of Austria and despite restrictions from the Corona virus, the opportunity arose for your US Class Secretary/Treasurer to compete in the Austrian Championships together with a new young sailor who recently bought a used 1985 Mader FD. There was a steep learning curve for Gregor to learn everything from how to set sails to trapezing. We also had a number of equipment failures, but we were able to finish all seven races except for one. Here is a quick summary of the Championships.
Because of Corona and a bad weather forecast, probably none of the 23 teams from six nations (from Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Great Britain, and Austria) expected such good races on the water and such a relaxed get-together on land.
The Austrian Championships started on Thursday evening, with a lot of rain and traditionally fine burgers and beer, all in strict compliance with Corona rules. At the time, nobody counted on sailing on Friday.
After the usual North wind suddenly appeared on Friday afternoon, three sporting races could be completed in 10 to 15 knots of wind.
GER-87 with Hans-Peter Schwarz and Roland Kirst sat confidently at the top of the ranking. AUT-39 with Martin Pfund and Christoph Zingerle positioned themselves with good results for the title of national champion.
On Saturday, the very accomplished race committee sent the FD fleet, including the six UFO-class boats, which also competed for their champions, onto the water despite the thunderstorm clouds on the entire horizon. And immediately both classes had to endure a heavy downpour, which was followed by bright sun and calm winds.
Some boats took advantage of the long waiting time for a trip to Pertisau on the other side of the lake for refreshing ice cream. The North wind set in late in the afternoon, allowing just enough time for a fourth race to make the FD Championships complete. Last year’s winners GER-222 Felix Albert and Lukas Merz won this race, followed by GER-87. In the evening, the traditional party in front of the boathouse was not detracted by Corona: there was great music, fancy drinks, and people even waltzed on the grass.
On Sunday morning it cleared up and the expected southerly wind set in and lasted until late afternoon.
Three exciting and challenging light wind races were sailed, of which GER-222 won and thus secured the overall victory, followed by GER-87 in second place.
Third in the overall ranking went to the Swiss Stephan Fels and Ulf Hügel with SUI-1.
Austrian champions were AUT-15 Gerhard and Rainer Ulrich, who on Sunday caught up with last year’s champions Jacob Holzinger and Paul Srienz with the same number of points but secured the championship title due to their better placement in the last run. Third in the championship standings were AUT-39 Pfund and Zingerle, who on Sunday could not match the successes they had on the first day.
It was a wonderful championship – thanks to the confident race management on the water and the experienced team on land around Paul Hullehaar, Martin Pfund and Christoph as well as Philipp Zingerle. Thank you so much! We are already looking forward to next year, then hopefully without Corona. You can find the overall result here.
Marc Strittmatter AUT-8, translated into English by Gerhard Panuschka, who also competed with a new Austrian FD sailor