This morning: minus 3 degrees, excellent wind of 5-6 m/s, but everything is white. There is 14 cm of snow on the ice, more snowdrifts here and there. The bloody snow has found us even here at the VERY LAST PLACE IN EUROPE where we could sail on ice. The locals’ hopes that the snow would avoid the lake have failed. Actually, no, 14 cm was relatively little. News from home spoke about a snow calamity. One way or another, the organising committee had no other choice than to terminate the European Championship 2010 and announced its results right at the shore.

Racers gathered in a cluster around the organisers, and I said hello to my new acquaintances from the previous night. There was a small local wine festival that night – with free sampling. The wine was very good so we sampled a lot. We also received an unbelievable and friendly invitation from Michal Burczyňski, the current world champion, and from his father, who was also his trainer, to see them in Poland. They shared with us all of their secrets on how to make our boats as fast as theirs. They appreciated having new teams in ice yachting and so they helped us selflessly, the same way they had helped the Hungarians years ago (who are among the world leaders now).

At last we also met the beautiful Merili Randmaa, who could not be overlooked by any of the sailors. This representative of Estonia with a body like a model raced in the best, Fleet A, where she was last. Many of us wished to have a score like the gorgeous Merili.

And then it was time to announce the final results. Some winners made speeches, which was great fun. One can see that they love this sport and do not make more of themselves than they are. I liked the prize, or rather the rewarded act, of one of the Americans. What happened: an Estonian sailor (No. C5) set his yacht aside during a race without putting on the brake. (Each yacht is duly equipped with a brake). Wind put the yacht in motion and drove it directly towards the delimited resting zone, where other sailors parked their yachts and were waiting for their turn. It must have been a very dangerous situation. The American sailor who was nearest threw himself on the moving yacht and stopped it. Unfortunately he injured himself and could not continue racing. Receiving the prize, he said that anybody would have done the same had they been in his position. Well, I was not so sure. He also appealed to everybody to remember to use the frequently underestimated brake. I remembered myself. I had installed the brake only a week earlier as I had never considered it important. Not any more.

And this is the end. The end of a week full of experiences, and full of racing in a way we did not know before. We did not become stars but we were not a disgrace either. We have loads of new experience, but what is more important is that we know where to go from here.

Czech team results at the EC 2010

Jakub Zobač, Fleet C, Position 25 (6, 40)
Vladislav Ptašnik, Fleet D, Position 14 (17, 12)
Martin Vacula, Fleet D, Position 16 (18, 14)
Josef Mareček, Fleet D, Position 21 (24, 18)
Libor Vacula, Fleet D, Position 22 (30,13)

Thank you all for all of the positive feedback, for Fahrenheit to Celsius converters, and for all of your encouragement during the championship!