Category: FD News

2024 Flying Dutchman Worlds

The International Flying Dutchman Class Association of the United States (IFDCAUS) is very pleased to announce that the 2024 Flying Dutchman Worlds are being hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in March 2024. For additional details, please contact Lin Robson Contact.

Flying Dutchman Nationals, St. Petersburg, Florida, Feb. 17-19, 2023

“Hello all FD enthusiasts, in an effort to not only have a great regatta, but an excellent marketing opportunity, the class is planning to have Nationals as part of the Helly Hansen regatta February 17-19 at St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

There should be great conditions and the usual excellent SPYC race management. Get out of the cold, take a nice FD sailing break. Let’s show off our great boat to a national level audience.

Contact me direct with logistical questions, I’ll help in any way I can. It’s important to have a good crowd of us for this one, start your plan now, there are other sailors from other classes looking at accommodation, etc., and it is high season in Florida! Contact Me

Flying Dutchman Worlds, Univela Campione, Italy, Sept. 3-10, 2022

“Breathe – you are in Campione del Garda” this is what they tell you when you first arrive at Univela. For many, Campione is the most beautiful spot on the Lake Garda, located on the western shore, about 20 km south of Riva, and can only be reached via a very spectacular system of tunnels. The mountain is a very rugged terrain made from limestone. The impressive rocks face erosion by strong winds, rainwater and rivers.

Tristiano Vacondio, the event manager holding the strings of Univela, was so kind to offer some information about this special place, which we`ll share with you. The tall cliff next to the sailing hostel is evaluated each winter with built-in sensors, whereas the fine crevasses are measured and read by drones. The safety of the rock structures provides the certification for the seasonal activity for the following summer. During the competition week, on a morning with strong winds, a relatively small limestone dropped in an unprotected area in the lake, the loud echo on the tall wall, sending the mobile homes’ inhabitants outside, in a frenzy.

The region around the Lake Garda has been in private property since 1850. A large cotton factory was the only industry on the Garda Lake, until it was closed in 1980. Starting with 1980, tourism seemed to be a promising kind of merchandising of the region. In 2012, the Univela Hostel opened its doors for the Italian Federation of Sailing. It was sending to this place, sailors for the Olympic classes consisting of 2-3 teams plus coaches. But it was a short time of exclusivity (approximately two years), then the Federation decided to split over several locations, so that the Hostel could offer its services to more than these unique customers. Any customer enjoying activities related to water and other sports around the lake is now welcome in this special house. The building is also special since it was built with a layout inspired from other sailing clubs (as in: Weymouth, Medemblik and Santander) but it was developed to promote competitions in addition to a venue where you can sleep, eat and have nice conversations with people coming from the whole world and of various heath conditions, since it was built to meet the needs of people with disabilities. Univela has a partnership with the AIL (Italian Association against the Leukemia/ Lymphoma/ Myeloma). According to the information of Tristano Vacondio “it has been discovered that one hour of sailing allows the strength of the pain medication to be reduced to half”.

Univela Sailing has organized the Flying Dutchman World Championship in September 2022. Unlike at other racing places, the place of residence was also at the venue of the boat slips. You can practically spit out the window, into the boat. Regional foods and drinks were served in a pleasant atmosphere by  mostly young staff, who made all possible that the guests feel at their best during their stay.

The yard layout allowed barely tight room for cars, mobile homes, trailers and the narrow slips for boats with marked berths. A siren with the D flag would announce when the boats were allowed to be moved out of the slip, for boat launching to navigate to the regatta. But there was also sufficient place for the kite surfers, who stretched their 13-16 square meter sails next to the deckchairs and sunbeds, on the lush green lawn. Swimming in the crystal-clear water of the glacial lake was a treat for the participants and their supporters alike, the strong August sun on the tall rock warming the water at a reasonable temperature. Participants were surprised even by directional parachutes, whose flyers dared jumping from the tall cliff next to the Hostel, and then found a narrow landing place in between the boat trailers. 

Overall, the trip was also worth due to plenty of opportunities available to explore the stunning area around Campione.

The FD Worlds races were marked by variable winds. The morning north wind put the skills of the sailors to the test, with speeds frequently above 20 knots, (with one day of even 38 knots) getting everything out of the boats, sometimes requiring postponement or cancelling of the regattas. The races allowed a splendid view of the multicolored spinnakers enriching the wonderful blue of the lake and contrasting to the soft green of the trees on the mountainous background. Not all the boats were able to cope with the high winds and so were some of the sailors: some masts broke, some sailors took an unwanted bath, in addition to capsized FDs. 

The race ranking varied within the days of the competition. Some competitors who did not win any races, had top ranking on some days, while others have claimed the first place in different days. Strong winds brought some competitors in survival mode, while drifters challenged their patience. The last day was decisive for the trophy keeper. GER 88 proved to maintain its lead from the previous day, while the contenders DEN 2, HUN 70, GER 87, ITA 4 settled for this final order. Paul Hemker, the only USA team participating sailor had an ambitious goal to compete on an unfamiliar boat with a goodhearted, but unfamiliar crew. The other USA sailor, Razvan Adam’s plan to crew for a multinational team unfortunately did not come to fruition, due to last moment unforeseen logistical problems. Final results can be observed here.

The ceremony with the various trophies completed the fancy setup of the event. Additional prizes have included: best total with no discounts, best female helm, best skipper under 25 years old, best team on an over 25 year old boat, best team with an under 18 year old sailor.

Razvan’s interaction with Marc Strittmatter unveiled an interesting possibility of chartering or buying race worthy FDs during future competitions in Europe. During the competition’s week Marc’s entrepreneurship was in full display, buying the fully geared AUT 60 boat, that was put up for sale after only 2 days of races.

2022 Cuspidor

The 2022 Cuspidor will be held July 23 and 24, 2022 at Willow Bank Yacht Club Cazenovia, NY. Registration is Friday night 1600 -1800 and Saturday morning 0800-0900. Willow Bank Yacht Club has a fish fry Friday night all FD sailors are invited. Light Breakfast and lunch are provided both days of the regatta.

The club has a launch ramp and hoist. Camping on the club grounds as well as B&Bs small inns and hotels in the village. We are planning to sail 4-5 races Saturday and 2-3 races Sunday. July wind usually 5 to 12.

See you there,

Pig Regatta

In addition to FD North Americans at Canandaigua July 29-31 we are
planning to continue with our low key Brookville Lake regatta as part
of Brookville Lake Sailing Association’s Pig Regatta September 24-25.
The Pig Regatta is named for the pulled pork dinner that has been a
highlight social event for BLSA.

The lake is south of Liberty IN and the racing will be as low key as
you would like or as serious as you would like. Details to follow but
plan on sailing Saturday afternoon and Sunday till about 2 pm.

2022 North Americans on Canandaigua Lake

The 2022 FD North Americans will be held at Canandaigua Yacht Club in Canandaigua NY onJuly 29th – 31st. Located in the Finger lakes of Upstate New York, nearly all FD sailors who have sailed on the east coast or at a national level in the history of the FD class are likely familiar with CYC as the hosts of the over 50 consecutive Cannonball Regattas, as well as many NA and Nationals over the history of the class. For much of that time, the Gorbolds were active (and fierce) competitors on that lake, and this years NA will feature Jonathon Gorbold as PRO with Anna assisting.

Canandaigua Lake is a wonderful sailing location with plenty of room at nearly 16 miles long and 1.5 miles wide with no hazards in our sailing area. We often have a medium wind that is steadier than you might expect but still features some of the shifts that keep lake sailing exciting. And there is something great about finishing a day of sailing and not having to rinse salt off of everything.

In addition to the lake, CYC is a beautiful club, with great water access (you can hoist or ramp launch), easy and secure boat storage, and a long history of running quality sailing events. The club itself is the perfect combination of low key yet well equipped, having a full bar and dining room while also allowing camping on the grounds and plenty of space to bbq and sit around the fire at night.

In addition to Cannindagua hosting the NA’s, Cazenovia Yacht Club which is located about an hour and half east, will be hosting their long running Cuspidor regatta the prior weekend (July 23rd and 24th). For anyone with the vacation time to spare, a week or so exploring this region of New York while being able to sail two regattas in two nearby locations sounds like a dream come true.

In Both Canandaigua and Cazenovia, the sailors, members and staff are warm and welcoming and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at these events.

The Three Amigos

This September Paul Hemker has organized the Oktoberfest Regatta on Brookville Lake, Indiana. This is a beautiful lake, about 10mi long and 1mi wide, with good wind and warm water, and located here:

We had 3 Flying Dutchman boats reaching the location and competing seriously while having fun and enjoying the venue. This was a true Three Amigos event, where we got to meet new people, make new friends, and comment on the various rigging innovations that the open design of the Flying Dutchman class allows. While the event was located in Indiana, we had teams coming from Ohio (Paul Hemker), Michigan (Peggy Menzies, Razvan Adam, and Ovidiu Adam), and Missouri (John Bick and Rick Mitchell).

The Race Committee has succeeded to run all the 7 races scheduled in two days. The first day the wind blew 10kn with gusts of 20kn, while on the second day it dropped to about 8-19kn.
We did enjoy very welcome and highly appreciated meals at the end of each of the days on the picnic area on the beautiful lawn near the ramps. The venue is easy going, and allows boat launch from both the dolly and the trailer. And best of all, cars may be parked near the boats.

Overall the three participating teams have won the three places on the podium in a win-win outcome where friendship, fun and the beauty of sailing the Flying Dutchman were the most valuable prizes. I am looking forward to return for the next event hosted here.

Pictures and videos are available here, courtesy of Daniel CaJacob, our PRO:


FD Sailing on Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada

Here is a short note to start off your week.  Henry Weinhardt and family have been sailing USA 838 on Lake Simcoe for 15 years.   The boat and the sailing venue look fantastic!   Henry reports that the boat is in great condition and that he loves the boat.  Henry, thank you for the short note.

AUSTRIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS Achensee, 14-16 August 2020

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

National Championships and North American Championships Postponed

Dear FD Sailors,

Gerhard and I have postponed the National and North American Championships until next year due to risks associated with COVID-19. The Nationals were scheduled for August 7-9 at the San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) in conjunction with the Olympic Classes Regatta. The North Americans were scheduled for October 9-11 at the American Yacht Club (AYC) in conjunction with the High Performance Regatta. The good news is that both SDYC and AYC have agreed to host our Nationals and North Americans next year in similar time frames.  The National Championships will return to the East Coast in 2022. Our decision follows a similar decision by our International Class to postpone the Flying Dutchman Worlds. The Worlds had originally been scheduled for this September in Altea, Spain, but will now take place in 2021.

The Flying Dutchman is a beautiful boat. Although our championships are postponed until next year, I hope that you are able to get out sailing on your own to enjoy the very best that sailing has to offer. You can enjoy the Flying Dutchman vicariously by reading online old Flying Dutchman Trapezes (Trapeze) and Flying Dutchman Bulletins (Bulletin). You can also check out or contribute to Flying Dutchman news articles (FD News). Now is a great time to work on your boat.  You can buy and sell FD equipment here: FD Classifieds.  Peter Carr’s USA Flying Dutchman Facebook page is also available for your pleasure here: FD Facebook Group. If you would like to join the FD Google Group, please contact me. There is no better boat than the FD. We look forward to seeing you out on the water soon!

Best regards, Doug.

Douglas Dommermuth
US Flying Dutchman Class President
FD President

Gerhard Panuschka
US FD Class Secretary/Treasurer
FD Secretary/Treasurer