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 North Americans  – Results

The 2022 edition of the International Flying Dutchman North American Championship was held on Lake Canandaigua in upstate NY. The namesake club  has a long history of hosting great sailing events, among which the Cannonball Regatta is famous next to many editions of FD Nationals and NAs.

The venue is really very nice, with light wind most of the time and shifty conditions. It is a lovely lake and beautiful environment. The club’s main building is located near the docks (albeit on the other side of a low traffic road), and is fitted with all the expected amenities and comfort: clean showers, dressing rooms, restaurant with both saloons and patios, and a well-supplied bar. In the restaurant, Tammy will serve the best fish and chips ever. Past the clubhouse in a little clearing under the trees there is a cozy camping area for sailors preferring to avoid the daily commute to hotels in town.

This year the Flying Dutchman NAs were run as part of the CYC’s “Dinghy Regatta”, which also included Laser and V15 on the same course, but with separate starts. For the V15, the event is also known as the “Muddy Mast” regatta. The name has to do with the tippyness of the V15, the shallow water in some areas of the racing course, as well as gusts hitting 30 degrees off course with a force twice the average wind.

The Westerly wind we had this year did fit the above description in the first two days, blowing 10-12kn with gusts of 20. The one FD which capsized during the event did muddy its mast and unfortunately retired for the rest of the day.

The schedule called for two full days of racing in both the morning and the afternoon, with a two hours lunch break, followed by a short day (morning only) on Sunday. Given the good wind, we raced 6 races on Friday (3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon), and same on Saturday, and one drifter on Sunday morning, totaling 13 races overall.

As a result of the Westerly wind the top mark was close to the club, so the Race Committee has wisely shortened the last race in each of the series to finish at that mark and have a quick return to shore. Overall, the Race Committee did an excellent job minimizing the down time between races as well as the commute between the marina and the race course. The course was the standard Olympic triangle and run, with a downwind finish (, except for the last race in the series as mentioned above). On average a race was about 30 minutes long.

On Sunday the forecast read 0kn wind, but a local thermal did provide enough breeze for one race, which most of the boats did finish.

We had 6 FDs on the start line converging at CYC from all directions: Maine, Alberta/Canada, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, California. Special acknowledgements go to Chris Liberti, FD administrator for the NE region of the USA, who sent tons of emails to herd racers towards the racing area. Derrick Hiltz coming from as far as Alberta, and Valeria Takas crewing valiantly on an unknown boat. Who would have guessed that Valeria has sailed FDs for less than three months before this event? And last but not least, Paul and Eric Hemker, towing 3 boats all the way from Ohio.

The teams were also interestingly paired: 2 boats sailed by brothers (Wrenns and Adams), father/son (the Hemkers), husband/wife (the Libertis), a long time seasoned team (Costelloe/Baker) with 50 years of sailing together, and an improvised makeshift (Hiltz/Takas), first time together.

The end results do reflect the same breakout: the first two places were disputed by the brother teams, the next two by the family teams, and the last two by the non-related, with 1 point edge for the makeshift team. Find the results below.

Given the ample wind shifts during the races, there was little strategy at play for the sailors, and many have turned their mental computers off, relying on the next shift to dictate the moment of the tack. As for us we tried our best to follow the good plan learned from the great sailor and instructor Andrei Butucaru under whose guidance we had the privilege to sail in a previous life. His strategy was simple, and yet efficient: “Start first and finish first”.

The good thing about this strategy (, in addition to a better position in the overall results), combined with the Race Committee’s decision to stop short the last race in the series next to the club, is arriving first on shore, getting the best dock, and be the first to check the tasty lunches that Sue Raymond has prepared for us.

I am learning that Sue, a former CYC Commodore and accomplished FD sailor is still the heart and soul of most CYC events which, like this one, do owe a lot of their success to her invaluable efforts. Sue organized the breakfasts and tail gates we have all enjoyed after an exhausting racing day.

On the committee boat Jonathan and Anna Gorbold (yet another FD Sailor Family) did an excellent job running the races with minimal down time and well positioned course relative to the shifty wind. I am learning that Jonathan was the real driving force behind this event: he was the regatta chairman and in charge of its organization. He was not only the PRO but also planned for all the additional help that is critical for a successful dinghy regatta that includes the support boats and manpower, particularly critical for dinghies that can go over in strong shifty winds, while Anna worked on the race committee boat assisting in running the races.

Overall, this was yet another great event hosted by the Canandaigua Yacht Club under the supervision of Jonathan, Anna and Sue, with invaluable help from Paul Hemker and Chris Liberti.  Thank you all!

I am looking forward to returning to this awesome sailing place and meet again the wonderful hosts as well the great racers appreciating the venue as much as I do.

The next major FD sailing event on the East Coast is the Pig Regatta (named for the famous barbeque the organizers offer at the end of the races) scheduled for September 24-25 2022, on Brookville Lake, Indiana.  That event is announced here: https://sailfdusa.org/2022/05/22/pig-regatta/

See you there,

Ovidiu Adam

FD USA 8

Michigan Sailing Club

Results:

Sailed: 13, Discards: 1, To count: 12, Entries: 6, Scoring system: Appendix A

RankSailNoHelmNameCrewNameR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13TotalNett
1stUSA 8Ovidiu AdamRazvan Adam3.01.01.03.0(4.0)4.01.01.01.03.02.01.01.026.022.0
2ndUSA 301Jeff WrennChris Wrenn1.03.03.02.01.01.03.02.03.0(7.0 DNF)1.02.03.032.025.0
3rdUSA 3Paul HemkerEric Hemker(4.0)4.02.01.03.02.04.04.02.01.03.03.02.035.031.0
4thUSA 1197Kate LibertiChris Liberti2.02.04.0(7.0 OCS)2.03.02.03.04.02.04.04.07.0 DNS46.039.0
5thCAN 311Derrick HiltzValeria Takacs(7.0 DNC)5.05.04.05.05.06.06.06.07.0 DNF6.05.07.0 DNS74.067.0
6thUSA 1486Lee CostelloeDan Baker5.06.06.0(7.0 DNF)7.0 DNS7.0 DNS5.05.05.07.0 DNF5.06.04.075.068.0

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,
Tom

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.

Coincidences around “87”

(brief real life account, in five chapters)

Chapter 1

By the end of the last century, I was happily sailing the Flying Dutchman on the Black Sea with a good friend of mine, Razvan Muresan. The above picture is the best the technology of the day could capture in Eastern Europe. While the picture is not bad, we did enjoy more spectacular sailing moments left unrecorded, unfortunately.

In ’87 we won the Nationals for the first time. My friend gifted me a personalized picture from the awards ceremony, which reads in his own hand writing: “The Republican Yachting Championship. FD class – 1st place:  Ovidiu Adam and Razvan Muresan. September the 10th 1987 Constanta”  (As a side note, the city of Constanta has also hosted the FD Worlds in 2010).

Chapter 2

10 years later, I have moved to the United States, bought a computer, and opened an email account. I reconnected with my friend via email, and we resumed our lifelong friendship. In the 2000s he sent me a message, like (paraphrasing): “Hi Ovidiu – long time no see. Since your departure a great thing was invented, it is called the Internet, and it is loaded with cool pics. Check out the attached one, randomly picked, to remind you of how we used to sail together on the Black Sea.”  At the time none of us noticed the coincidence between the sail number, and the year of our success. My friend was unfortunately lost to cancer in 2013, and I never had the chance to expand the topic with him.

Chapter 3

In 2020 my brother Razvan (same first name as my friend), found a boat for sale and we decided to buy it.

Well… you guessed it.  It was indeed the USA 87, whose picture I had received 15 years earlier. (In full disclosure, the picture shows the previous boat Jim Algert has sailed, and not the actual hull we have bought). In the process, we had the privilege of meeting the seller, Jim Algert, great sailor on the West coast.

We have learned that Jim has had some great sailing adventures both in San Francisco Bay, the Berkeley Circle, and Brazil. He fondly remembers sailing under the Golden Gate at night with his crew standing on the foredeck as the boat planed.  While in Brazil, a tank on his Plastrend filled with water.  They were very slow on one tack, but on the tack that counted, they sped by everyone while planning.   They would sail up to the boat house in Brazil where someone would greet them and take the boat inside with the sails up.   Jim likes to sail with a very little rudder.   As he reminds everyone, you should be able to sail the FD with no rudder on the boat.

Buying the boat was more than a simple transaction: it was also about sharing memories, adventures, remembering old friends, and  making new ones.

Chapter 4

After buying the boat, I called my friend’s wife (Hey Gabi, if you read this, it was nice talking to you last year!) to share with her the whole story, and point out the clairvoyance her husband had. She knew about our reconnect on the Internet and the emails exchanged, but she no longer remembered the attachments to those emails. There seems to be enough coincidence here to surprise anyone, so I went into details, and explained again.  She was getting it little by little and in the end she asked the $1M question: “Yes,  but how did Razvan know 15 years ahead of time, what boat will you be buying?”

Chapter 5

Since Jim Algert chose to retain the USA 87 number, you will now see my brother and I sailing the #8 instead (, as depicted by “The Three Amigos” post, for example).   Long live USA 8!

Ovidiu Adam
FD USA 8

70 years of going Dutch

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.

https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/244269/70-years-of-going-Dutch?fbclid=IwAR0XKwcnX1UrALlimxE18k3LhauiOX41RHmka1pdKYhhJ9lqbRoztsKfTik

David told me he is working on another article on the FD.  I can’t wait!

My FD saved my life

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.

That’s determination!

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?

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: https://goo.gl/maps/o2eqwgyHQe45KU7B8.

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:

Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/PjR5VJr1CY5KmzzW9