Baikal, Baikal Cup II, Day 13
Friday, April 11
Another sunny day, wind just perfect around 4-5 m/s, sometimes slowing down to 3 m/s. Yesterday I managed to seal the plank holders using epoxide from Oleg, R 1. The boat stayed in our room all night. The glue was of the fast-drying type, didn’t smell, so even my room-mate Goddie, G 4, admitted that and put up with me.
Today I can’t use my Hardox 400 runners with the medium-long crown I had been using the most often here. I ran over the stays with them in the crash yesterday, and today they’re good for nothing. I take different ones then, with a long crown. We have the last two heats left. There were some discussions about whether or not it’s still safe here last night. The guys found quite a lot of new holes, and they took pictures of them. One of the contestants even broke through the ice with one of his legs on the start, as he was working hard during the run-up. Spring is coming to Baikal and there’s no stopping it. However, Stan Macur decided to make the race happen in the morning.
I’m finishing the first race in 12th position today. It’s not working for me at all. I change the set up and end up 11th. Nothing to be happy about. Stan is adding one extra heat which was not planned. I play with the set up again and it’s a bit better – third at the upper buoy. In second position in front of me – who else but Jeremy, Z 101. Jost, G 936, is leading. We can’t compete with him today. On the lower buoy, Jeremy withdraws from the race. From second position! Surely he could have kept it to the finish line. What a shame. His control lever fell off, he was lucky to finish without a crash. Apparently yesterday’s training was really hard for our ships. I finish in sixth place eventually, not having a very good sailing day. Must be the runners…or the mast position…or something. In ice yachting, as Abraxas used to sing, it’s definitely true that “Every day is different…”.
Alex, R 15, is the hero of the day – he’s sailing super fast. He skips me in the total ranking today and I end up in fifth place overall.
One more brief training session, but even that I finish early, when my back runner falls into a softer spot and I nearly rip off the plank again. It’s no longer possible to sail, it’s too dangerous. It is high time we finished as well. We take our stuff to the container and pack up. The ice at the shore is beginning to melt – we have to find logs to get all the material to the shore without getting wet. Female shaman Ludmila, our innkeeper, says there’ll be no ice on Baikal in five days. Tomorrow we won’t be there either. Baikal is beautiful, it’s special. I only got to see a small part of it. I’m sure I’ll return one day.
Well, we will see what happens.