It is not just the Pommies who sail their Solway Dory canoes, or the US guys in their beautiful Bufflehead boats. Canoe sailing is alive on mainland Europe as well.
This weekend was the Kanu Segel Criterium from Kanu Verein Hanseat in Bremen. It is now held for six times, and same as last year, about 20 boats came in all sorts and varieties. Many folding boats (faltboote), with the guys from Faltbootsegel 3.0 leading this pack, Canadian type of boats, traditional sailing canoes who have been sailing for over 70 years and two Artemis boats, of which I built one over the course of this winter.
The event is fun. We paddle from the canoe club to a small lake. There, we sail a kind of triangle, and most people kind of not paddle when they sail. There is a kind of startline, and after the three start signals given more or less at the same time we are off. Normally several boats capsize or sink because they put too much sail on, didn’t test their stuff, or were busy drinking bubbly wine.
After the windy conditions of last year, this year was more moderate. There was about 9 knots of wind. Just perfect for my sail combo and the little plank I got to hike from. Sorry to Michael Storer I messed up the visual appearance of his mainsail, but I needed a small jib that I made selftacking to get sail balance, and for a little but more power. At 20 euro for two jibs and a mainsail I couldn’t resist, and the jib seems to like living on the front on my boat.
Amazing to think that just last year I came as a spectator, and now to be back with my own boat, with already lots of trips done in the canoe, and lucky enough to take home the “Hauptgewinn”. Looking ahead for more.
I’m thinking now of adding a rig that clears the many bridges in Friesland, a lug rig, with as high a top as would be doable on a 3 meter mast, with many reefs, and maybe a little gennaker just for fun. It would be fast to hoist and drop when going under a bridge.With that rig, it must be possible to do well in distance races such as the Grouster zeilmarathon, a 42 kilometer trip around Friesland, starting and ending in Grou. Should be interesting…