David Henshall, a British sailing journalist, recently published this interesting historical account on the FD, and allowed us to publish it on our website. I did not know that Great Britain was so much involved with our class. The photos are also very interesting.
This is a true story of a friend who was on his way to a regatta in Austria. He was driving along on the Autobahn in his compact commuter and a trailer with his FD. As he was cruising along in the middle lane, suddenly his car stopped; it happened so quickly that he didn’t have time to maneuver his vehicle to the emergency lane. The next car behind him could not stop in time and crashed into the FD. Here is the outcome:
You could say my friend’s FD sacrificed her life to save the life of her skipper…
It appears there was some kind of defect in the car’s transmission. The insurance will replace the broken FD with a good FD of similar age. My friend, who is turning 80 this year, is determined to continue sailing FD.
Scientific explanation of the accident
You need to know that my friend Heinz is an engineer. He provided the following scientific facts of this accident:
“When my car stopped in the second lane of the Autobahn, the next driver behind me was able to evade, but the one behind him had too little reaction and hit the FD on my trailer.
It is true that the rear of the FD has absorbed a lot of mechanical energy in the form of deformation and breakage. But on the other hand, as the trailer’s drawbar buckled and jumped out of the ball head, the trailer moved relative to the car and penetrated dangerously into the trunk, so that the remaining part of the kinetic energy was converted into deformation.
Assuming an inelastic collision with 50% energy loss of the kinetic energy, the car/boat combination would have been pushed forwards with half the collision speed if the mass was the same as the colliding vehicle. Assuming a typical driving speed of 100 km/h, the FD would have moved forward at 33 km/h. You can see from the photos of the police report that my car and trailer has covered a distance of at least 15m after the impact.”
Two lanes of the Autobahn were blocked for two hours. Heinz received a satisfactory settlement from the insurance company and he is going to get a newer FD so he can race again next season. Oh, did I mention, Heinz turned 80 this year?
Recent heat and hazardous smoky conditions outside prompted me to go through some old photos. Here are a couple images that may interest you, too.
My brother and I set up a booth for the Austrian FD Class at a big boat show in Vienna, and this is where those photos were taken. The photo of the full double bottom boat is a Leonhard Mader; one of the first models with full double bottom. The cockpit was open all the way to the transom where a narrow beam held up the rudder. What struck me is the simplicity of the controls back then. We already had lowers, but the extreme raking had not been fully developed; we were still sailing with the small spinnaker. Also note how the helmsman’s hiking straps are crossing, probably because the helmsman has long legs.
The second photo shows a Hans Mader all wooden boat from the same period but less advanced, with a half double bottom. This one has a curved traveller track. The controls are set up in a similar way and very simple. I suppose this boat had the spinnaker sack on the port side, which is unusual.
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
2019 North American Championships, Flying Dutchman Class September 20 -22, Richmond Yacht Club
This year’s championships took place on the West Coast at Richmond Yacht Club in the San Francisco Bay Area, concurrently with the annual Totally Dinghy event.
The Competitors: Five boats competed in the races:
• Buzz Ballenger with Evan Diola on USA 1453 • Doug Dommermuth with Michael Manning on USA 153 • Zhenya Kirueshkin-Stepanoff with Chris Wrenn on USA 1 • Mike Meszaros with Gerhard Panuschka on USA 88 • Gordon Doller with Michael Spranger on USA 1454