The email from Lin in March asking me to sail with him in the Worlds at Garda provided me with a new focus and revived many memories of sailing with Lin in 1996.
I was watching the US Nationals on Lake Canandaigua when a call came through from the Committee Boat that Lin needed a crew due to the unfortunate illness of his crew. We had some great fleet racing and indeed a needle match race in the last race. Jonathan Gorbold had carved a set of magnificent trophies for many of the helms and crews and one has a special place in my home.
Since then I have kept in touch with Lin and we have renewed acquaintances at various Worlds in Europe and New Zealand and the 400th Anniversary Regatta at New York.
After quickly agreeing to sail with Lin in the Worlds, I visited Connecticut and enjoyed the generous hospitality provided by Sascha & Job Sandberg who organised the US Nationals at Noroton YC
which Lin and I used to get in some practice for the Worlds - despite the best efforts of fog and reefs to scupper Lin’s careful preparation of the boat!
After the container was loaded, we enjoyed a very convivial evening with Lisa & Susan and headed back to our respective homes.
On Saturday, Susan & I will be crossing from Dover to Calais and thence drive to Lake Garda, the mecca of sailing in Europe which has attracted a record FD Worlds entry of 132 teams. The previous record for FDs was also on Lake Garda in 1996 when there were 123 FDs racing from the same start line!
In 1996 the racing was at the northern end of Lake Garda where the wind can blow with great ferocity and it did! One day the Committee boat had to be towed back to base and many FDs were scattered upside down in the lake and around the northern shores of the lake.
However, at Malcesine, which is mid way down the eastern shore, the lake is wider and the funneling effect of the cliffs - very steep, tall and dramatic mountains - is less severe. Winds should be more moderate but no doubt by the end of the Worlds the normal refrain heard from the locals at nearly all venues will be heard...”It is not normally like this!!”