Baikal 2016, Baikal Cup, Day 10, Last Day
And it is Saturday, our last day of racing. We have an east wind at 3-5 m/s, hard blue ice and it is bitterly cold. Around -9 degrees. The east wind blows along the island of Olkhon bringing the chill from the main body of the lake. I am on the ice early in the morning so as to have everything prepared. The head referee announces that the start will be in an hour and a half. It is a bit puzzling as this afternoon from two we will all have to start packing our things into containers. We don’t have much time for racing today. I go to see him to try to persuade him to start earlier but without success.
At least I go and take a spin with Diderick H 467. Usually he is a place ahead of me and today I am intending to clobber him. We have the same speed, Diderick perhaps a little better, I have a problem with a flat sail, it is sticking in the slot and doesn’t want to come down fully.
And then we start the race. I come in 5th, but it is a struggle to manage even that. All the time Sergey Pulkov R 5 and Roman Kopylov R 105 were trying to catch me. Diderick finished one place ahead of me. I change my runners and will try to improve on this in the next race.
The start of the second race goes well, I turn on our wing with Oleg Vasilev R 1 and tell myself that isn’t bad. But while running there isn’t enough push from my flat sail, the wind drops and several people overtake me. Almost at the end of beating for the second time all of a sudden the wind drops noticeably. I lose my nerve and go for the turn. But it isn’t any better and what’s more I have to make two further turns to get to the upper buoy. In the end I come in 8th. Even worse, Diderick won the race so today it as he who clobbered me.
We go for the next race, but I can see from the start that it isn’t going to work for me. During the race the wind once again drops and it is clear that I should have swapped my sail for a middle one. While running I fall behind and finish 14th. So I change my sail in the hope that I will do better. The wind has abated, but we still have time for two more good races. Despite all this the head referee incomprehensibly declares the end of the competition. Well, there is nothing to be done. I head off to make a few training circuits, as the wind has picked up nicely.
And we go to pack. The whole time while we are packing the wind blows beautifully, almost as though Baikal is trying to show us maliciously that it can do it when it wants to. Although it has to be said that even so we had plenty of sailing and time on the ice. But it went really quickly and everyone has the feeling that we only arrived yesterday. The Baikal Cup was won by Petr Hamrák M 53, while Oleg Vasilev R 1 was second and Diderick van Riemsdijk H 467 was third. I was sixth.
All good things must come to an end and it is time to look ahead. We will see what next time brings …