On Sunday 2nd of November we had the final day of the Ladies Only in Hamburg on lake Alster. Together with a couple of 'die-harts' who went sailing on - what we in the Netherlands would call - a "watercold" Sunday, we sailed semi finals and place finals for all the spots.
One of the teams was a last minute replacement for a team that couldn't attend. They eventually sailed for places 5 and 6 and managed to win! Tania, Venita, Laura H. and Laura S., you did very well for a first time team!
Also one of the reasons I mention them, is that as an umpire you come to expect some of the maneuvers boats are going to make. You have to anticipate to be able to be on the correct place to see the rules issues. With new teams that is sometimes a challenge. So the lesson I learned was to keep a greater distance with inexperienced crews. But I'm sure this particular team will be able to learn to do the right moves very fast, if they keep the learning curve up.
The club organizing the event also had a youth regatta the previous day and the young sailor winning the local Opti event, was a very keen student of the rules. He asked permission to join us on the umpire boat, forgoing the price giving. The next day he was back and I had the pleasure to tell him something about umpiring. So on the final day, Oscar, 13 years old, struggling with his first words in English, joined us for a couple of matches.
He still has a good deal to learn but I was impressed by his knowledge and dedication.
And, yes, that is Oscar standing behind me and Stephan in the umpire boat.
I think that particularly this club is doing a very good job teaching young sailors the joy of sailing in all its forms and shapes. The Alster Acts for instance, which will be closed in a fortnight with the 12th event this year, are giving new match racers the chance to learn.
The fact that they manage to do a good job is clearly visible in the winner of the event Team Halbrock, who are members of HSC.
With Silke Hahlbrock as helm and Marion Rommel, Maren Hahlbrock and Nele-Marie Bock as crew, they beat last years winners Team Lethinen from Finland in the finals with two against one. Congratulations!
I've put all the photos on Flickr. You can have a look by clicking on Ladies Only MR 2008 at my account.