Lipno Marathon 2011

Saturday 4.6.2011, Long-distance Race

Vladislav Ptašnik

Broňa Fousek (Tornado CZE 22) recently told me that we should stop using our slogan from the poster for the Lodě na vodě exhibition “F20 Predator – the fastest sail boat in the CR” – that it is not true. Partly I agreed with him and partly just for fun I told him: “… depends when and with whom,” and we laughed. The weekend and especially Sunday proved how much this was true.

The Lipno race on Saturday welcomed 14 catamarans and 26 keelboats at the start. A record. Whoever is considering taking part next year should not hesitate. It is an extraordinary form of racing in the Czech Republic, typical for its laid back atmosphere both on the water and at the evening party. Catamarans were divided into two groups: the Tornado Class and the Open Class, each with seven boats. The Lipno Marathon became the Czech championship for Tornadoes, as the previous weekend’s championship had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

Saturday 10 a.m. we are on the water – and going to the start. I am with my son Jáchym, who sailed with me last year. Nothing in between so this is only his second time on a Predator. Unlike the two previous years, we finally have some wind. We are staying away from the other Tornadoes so as not to cause problems during the start. Gennaker up, we are setting off from the disadvantageous end and are slightly behind. Yet we are making up for the delay and together with other vessels we are wiggling through the Výtoň and Frymburk passes where hardly any wind blows. We keep second to fifth place all the way down to Frymburk. Only Tornadoes around us plus the pretty damn quick keelboat Abrakadabra, frustrating all of us on catamarans, as it keeps going smoothly down in absolute calm, while we are crisscrossing from side to side in the weak wind to meet it again in the middle of the channel. On top of this, it occasionally shadows us from the wind.

The Pavliš brothers, David Křížek and the Fouseks are leaving us behind in Frymburk. Entering the main lake, even we are finally catching the wind hoping to eliminate the lead of the three Tornadoes in ahead of us. We are succeeding only against the Fouseks, having caught up with and overtaken them somewhere around Radslav due to our fiercer sailing and longer time on the gennaker than them. Both of us on the trapezes, on one hull – it was tough. Luckily no strong gusts.

We are back in fourth place at the turnaround buoy at Černá. The Fouseks have chosen a better wing for the beating and are turning half a minute before us. We are running back on gennaker, sailing close-hauled on the main lake in a respectable 6-8 m/s wind. Both of us on the trapezes, finally some yachting – we cannot even see the Fouseks. Close to Hruštice, such a strong and unexpected gust came from the bank that we nearly capsized. It came exactly from the Fousek’s weekend house – surely they had a hand in it.

And we can see them again. We are even getting closer, chasing them in the passes before and after Frymburk. In front of the rock opposite Výtoň, we even overtake them again. But this is just for a while. They arrive at the finishing line 200 m ahead of us. We are the fourth there. The winners, the Pavliš brothers, are already enjoying their beer, having beaten David Křížek and Zdeněk Adam in a nerve-racking finish.

Sunday 5.6.2011, Buoy Race

Circular races in front of the Lipno marina are planned for the following morning. Only one really takes place in the weak wind. The start is combined for both categories: Tornado and Open Class. Right after the start, we are in second or third position, which is not bad. Jáchym’s and my excitement is growing when we reach the windward buoy first. We are still first down at the windward side. David Křížek is pushing hard from his second position as well as the Pavliš a bit further back from their third place. I am telling Jáchym not to have false expectations – they will catch us up anyway. David is catching us up at the second beat, I am losing my nerve and making a turn. No success, it is even worse. David is pulling ahead. After a while, we are returning to David’s course with another turn, being now second. The Pavliš are attacking both David and us on the other side. After some time, we are speeding up again and reducing David’s lead before the windward buoy in the second round. The Pavliš, however, have got closer to us as well. Yet they would still need much more to overtake us. The last run is in weak wind and that is something that suits our Predator. In the middle of it, we overtake David Křížek and cross the finishing line first. It is a wonderful feeling. We really have a great boat and are NOT going to change that slogan.

pics long distance race

result  Open Class

result Tornado

pics buoy race