My dad sailed the 470 World Masters Cup in Bracciano (a regatta for the really old ones) the first week of August and dragged me and the rest of the family along. We took my opti on the car roof and I indeed used it quite a bit. It's a nice lake, very shifty thermal winds that kick in at around 2pm. The last day was the best, I had never seen so big waves on such a small lake before. Sailing was great fun. Even my big brother Niklas took a tour on my opti - to find out that he now really grown out of it.
It's came as a big surprise to me, too when I won the national opti training camp in the first week of my summer vacation. I somehow managed to sail four good races and was lucky enough to win Optilager 2016.
Apart from this win, I really enjoyed my stay in Davos. We could have had more wind but the other kids and I had a very good time together.
Coming up next is a training camp with my regional team SSTR5 at Reschensee.
No, I did not sail well last weekend. I tend to be super nervous when I participate in a regional regatta. I hear the other kids, parents and coaches say "Oh, Simon is here. No chance of winning". That puts a bit of pressure on me...
And in fact, I did not sail well. Many tactical mistakes. My brother Niklas, who was coaching again me and the other kids from my club, almost fell overboard his coach rib in anger.
Anyway, I spotted a wind shift just before the finishing line and luckily won ahead of Luis and Jerry-Mo who had been leading the entire race.
We only had one race on Saturday before a thunderstorm kicked in. No wind on Sunday but close soccer matches instead.
Coming up next is a training at Walensee the second weekend in July.
My team, the Swiss Sailing Team Region 5, was invited to participate in the International Swiss Teamrace Championships at Lake Aegeri, 30 minutes from home.
I learned that it really takes a team to do well at team races. Our expectations were high given that we did well last year and that some of us very much improved our sailing skills quite a bit. But we were not really prepared and we did not really sail as a team. We consequently ended up on the last place.
Interestingly, Regattaclub Oberhofen won – with INDIVIDUAL sailors who are not much better compared to us. But they were a team, up to the task and won the trophy – very, very well done!
The teamrace championships were my brother’s final opti regatta. It’s too bad that it ended on the last place. But I know he is looking forward to sailing the 420. I am sure that will become an excellent sail coach, too - he is coaching our club’s optis already and he is doing a great job.
Coming up next is a regional regatta with my club on Lake Zurich next weekend.
First regatta with my sailing club this year, a regional one on the Lake of Zurich. It was my first regatta in a very long time with my club mates. We arrived with nine kids and hence a third of the entire fleet!
We had lots of rain, occasionally quite a bit of wind and five races. My my SSTR5 teammate (and future 420 partner ;-)) Nik and I actually had five very lonely races so we ended up first (Nik) and second (I) with the same amount of points. Nik won a cool regatta watch and won… a book (a book!). It turned out, however, that it a very good and comprehensive and really good opti book. And I even started reading right away.
Nik and I also used to occasion to say thanks to the 1000 (I) and 500 (Nik) Swiss francs we got from Club Beaufort last February. I find the Club Beaufort sticker looks very good on my boat. Too bad I need to peel it off again to race the international Swiss teamrace championship on Lake Aegeri next weekend.
Well, it’s a long way to the top indeed and I didn’t qualify for an international regatta to represent Switzerland in 2016. I became 23rd in the Swiss national selection, six ranks below the last to qualify for the North American Championships.
But next year I’ll beat them :-) :-) :-)! Just as my team- and clubmate Jonas, whoop, whoop!
Selection ranking: http://www.optimist.ch/Aktuell/SelClass2016.pdf.
We just returned from the Dutch Youth Regatta in Workum where we sailed the second and final qualification for the European or World Championships. Competition was really tough. It was also quite windy, at least on some days.
The best news is that my teammate Jonas qualified for the European Championships. He even almost made it to the World Championships. He really sailed an amazing regatta in Workum, following up on his already excellent performance in Marseille where we held the first selection regatta.
This year I managed to finish all my races whereas I had as many as three DNSs last year at the same regatta. I also improved my ranking by 120 places. The catch is, however, that I had a very bad second day with four races (44/38/27/11) which meant I made it to Emerald fleet only. We only had two races the first day which went OK (32 and 12) so that didn’t really help a lot. The races in Emerald fleet were mixed (8/2/31/8/19/24/15). I got the 31 after I badly jammed my head on my dagger board. My final rank was 174 out of 391 participants, 29th benjamin out of 110 kids born after 2004 and 28th Swiss out of 63.
My brother Niklas sailed his last opti regatta and also ended up in Emerald fleet as well which I found was great fun. He finished just six places behind me.
Jürg von Allmen shot great photos of us training up for the regatta of which I upload a few below.
Coming up next is… a break after five very intense weeks of sailing… followed by either an Austrian selection regatta or a regional regatta early June.
Finally, here's a video of Niklas' and my regatta warmup: https://youtu.be/TsvrLXJbQ2g.
We’ve sailed this season’s final national regatta in Spiez. It’s an excessively beautiful place with a great infrastructure. We even had nice wind, between 5 and 20 knots. It was freezing cold. It even snowed on Sunday. The regatta committee somewhat managed to get two races sailed despite the good wind, one each day. Very strange.
Anyway, I came in 7th – my first top 10 ranking in a national regatta ever. My brother Niklas and my teammate Jonas sailed their last optimist national championship before they switch to the 420. They didn’t do particularly well, Jonas ending up 33th and Niklas 70th. Niklas again saw the black flag…
Jürg von Allmen shot very nice photos of which I post some below.
Coming up next is the Dutch Youth Regatta in Workum :-) :-) :-).
We’ve sailed a fantastic first selection regatta in Marseille, the Coupe Internationale de Printemps des Optimist (http://www.ycpr.net/cip-optimist-du-9-au-15-avril-2016/presentation.html) last week. The weather was great, around 20 degrees Celsius all week and wind of between 10 and 30 knots. It was a bit of a rough start as it was the first day where it blew 30+ knots. Racing was abandoned after just one race. That race initially went unexpectedly well for me… before I capsized and did not even meet the time limit, my first DNF in a long time.
We sailed another eleven races during the five days of the regatta. I made it to silver fleet and became 108th out of 297 sailors (top 36 percent). My Swiss rank was 27th which means that I need to overtake at least ten Swiss Opti sailors at the next selection regatta in Workum in two weeks’ time. That’ll be pretty hard I guess :-(.
The good news rankingwise somehow is that I was 14th of 74 sailors of my age overall, and fourth among the Swiss Optis born 2004.
It’s my best overall ranking in an international regatta (well, except for the “Cadetti” last year in Riva but that doesn’t really count), which is nice and I feel I improved myself on many dimensions – but I realized that there’s quite a distance between me and the best Opti sailors. I need more stability as it I had a wild mixture of pretty good races and really bad ones with DNF/29/27/10 in the qualifying races and 53/13/51/36/6/12/21 in silver fleet. And I need to improve onn my downwind sailing, especially in strong wind and big waves. I sense it is a matter of getting more sailing practice in these conditions...
The regatta was very well organized. I also again seized the opportunity to improve my French, especially at the starting line (see the photo below ;-)). I also listened to quite a bit of English since this time our coach was Przemek Struś, the Polish national Opti coach. He did a great job and I learned quite a bit from him which I hope to put into practice soon.
The whole trip was organized by Daniel, Maxime’s father. Maxime is the guy who is exactly my age but who has always been ahead of me. He came in 14th overall, 4th Swiss!! Very impressive indeed, and on track for a qualification to the World Championships at the age of eleven!!
My SSTR5 team mate Jonas did very well, too, ending at 38th place and as 12th Swiss. He has an excellent chance to qualify for the European Championships!!
Things did not do so well for my big brother Niklas since he got four black flags in a row and one DNF because he sailed to the wrong race area :-(. But anyway, he survived the 30 knots on the first day. And he won two races in Emerald fleet.
Big thanks go to the Thommen family for the organization and to Przemek for the excellent coaching.
Cool videos: http://www.ycpr.net/cip-optimist-du-9-au-15-avril-2016/videos.html (spot me in clip 3 and 4 ;-)).
Photo credit: Gilles Martin-Raget, http://www.martin-raget.com.
Coming up next is a national championship in Spiez, Lake Thun. Followed by a trip to my grandparents and the Dutch Youth Regatta in Workum to which I am very much looking forward (I really like sailing the same regattas multiple times).
The photo below is courtesy We've had the second last national regatta of the season last weekend. We went to Geneva where I could again practice my French - but unfortunately not much more. There basically wasn't any wind but we sailed one single race on Saturday anyway. A second one was started as well but abondended.
Given there was no wind, many kids were a bit too pushy on the starting line. Including myself, actually. We've had 16 out of 100 who also started too early. And 36 DNFs, the time limit was 15 minutes.
There was no wind at all on Sunday but we were sent out anyway.
We spend about ten hours on the water and had a single no wind race. We, I sense sitting in a car for four hours, sailing a murky single race and returning home with a fever and a very bad cold simply is part of the game.
My teammates Jonas (21), Nik (23) and my brother Niklas (31.) did better.
Coming up next is... my recovery from my infection and the selection regatta in Marseille.
The photo below is courtesy of SNG.
The first national regatta of this year took place in Ascona, Lago Maggiore. It constituted the end of this year’s Swiss Sailing Team activities. We were coached by Antonis and Damir which was a bit strange for me since my home coach Sebi also was around with “my” regional team, including my brother Niklas. We even stayed in the same youth hostel.
Things went pretty well during the regatta. We had OK wind that shifted quite a bit which made it difficult to sail. I collected some top 10 places but unfortunately also a 16th and 13th so I ended up 21th overall. It is my best ranking ever at a national regatta but I was a bit unhappy anyway since I felt I could have done better. I also felt that it would have been better to have taken my sailing gear out of Damir’s car instead of leaving it with him to Lake Garda after the regatta.
Lago Maggiore is excessively beautiful with its Mediterranean vegetation and the snow covered surrounding mountains.
All photos below were taken by Fabrizio Saudino, fabbaimages.net.
Coming up next is… Easter where I won’t do much sailing but perhaps some skiing instead... and then the national regatta in Geneva.
This year’s Swiss Sailing Team is already history. It ended last week with the third and final training camp at Dongo, Lake Como. On the way to Lake Como we passed by quite vast amounts of fresh snow so our coaches wondered if we brought the right equipment (see the photos below).
We unfortunately had very little wind. We could only sail on the final day of the camp. Instead, we had quite a bit of theory that I hope to put into practice soon. I also got my homework done and improved both my English and my French (yes, there IS room for improvement ;-)).
It was great fun anyway. I really got very well along with the other kids, the coaches and our team leader Carmen. Some of the older team members will stop sailing the optimist after summer and I wonder what the team will be like then and who will volunteer as team leader - and if I will even be part of it nexttime as well.
Thanks so much, Carmen, Antonis, Damir and Zizi! I really learned a lot – and not “just” about how to sail a boat faster. For example, I learned that it is pretty bad idea to leave my luggage in Damir’s car, especially if it is heading to Riva del Garda instead of nearby Cham.
I've won last year's regional Optimist regatta series, Ruf Junioren Cup, both overall and in my age group. I received my trophies from Marc-Oliver Knöpfel, the president of our regional sailing association Zürichsee-Segler-Verband which is the cup's organizer, last weekend at a regional training camp in my hometown Stäfa. The winners also received some nice gifts from Yachting Systems.
Even though I know that regional competition is not super tough, it still feels good to have two more trophies in my collection.
My brother Niklas became second overall followed by my club mate Nathan. A total of 69 kids participated in the four regattas that constitute our regional regatta series.
Rankings, a report and some more photos are to be found here: http://www.zsv-junioren.ch/home/ruf-junioren-cup/.
The photo below shows Niklas, I and Nathan having fun with our trophies. Our club's president Regula (to the far right) appears to have fun as well ;-). My future 420 sailing partner Nik and my boat (SUI 1751) are pictured as well - reflected by the window.
My sailing region celebrated its 6th sailor’s party last weekend. I was lucky enough to get one of the development grants, 1000 SFr. Which made me (and even more so my dad) very happy. Thanks, Club Beaufort, it is much appreciated!
My sailing mates Niklas, Jonas and Nik as well as our region’s laser coach Theresa additionally won a VIP night to watch the Swiss 470 team Yannick Brauchli/Romuald Hausser compete at the Rio Olympics. We did so since we were voted to have produced the best talisman for Yannick and Romuald by a jury consisting of former Olympians from our region. The Olympians also had a lot of useful stuff to tell about team spirit and regatta preparation.
I post some photos below, all shot by Christian Zedler.
Coming up next is… this semester’s school certificate and skiing vacation!
I just returned from my second Swiss Sailing Team training camp, this time held at Sa Rapita, Mallorca. We had the most fantastic weather, good winds, got along very well with one another and had great coaches – Antonis Drosopoulus and Damir Nakrst. Our final day was best, 25 knots and really big waves, even some surfers were also out on the water!
My special thanks go to Carmen Casco, our team leader who took very good care of me. She also took all the photos I post below.
Coming up next is… well, skiing I suppose :-). And my third camp in Ascona in March.
It wasn‘t sailing, but it was quite sporty anyway. Kids from my school, including my little sister, ran the Zürcher Silvesterlauf. Just 1.6 km but in pretty high speed. My school became second among all primary school. I came in among the top 23 percent out of 630 kids in my age (I had a head start but had to struggle quite a bit before eventually crossing the finishing line... and my dad hence ordered me to go running with him over Christmas :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( ).
My dad and his helm Meret participated in the Imperia Winter Regatta this December and dragged all his family along. My brother Niklas and I had our optimists “on board” and we really enjoyed riding the pretty big waves in around ten knots.
I was quite impressed by the huge yachts that were lying in the marina and I really enjoyed sailing my father’s 470. I am not sure, however, how much my opti substitute Meret liked sailing my optimist back home, though ;-).
We also visited Monaco where we had a look at even bigger and luxurious yachts. I am looking forward to sail the Imperia Winter Regatta in some years in the 420 and with my teammate, friend and future sailing partner Nik :-) :-) :-).
We've won the regional handball school championship last Wednesday as well. It's not quite sailing but it was great fun anyway. We're qualified for the state (kanton) championships now :-).
My first SST training camp was FANTASTIC. Very intense, excellent coaches, a very nice team, lots of water time, lots of spinning, fitness and running.
Lots of thanks to all who made it happen - Carmen, Alberto, Luc, Michael and perhaps some others who helped getting the boats to Barcelona and beyond.
I know handball is not quite the same as sailing. But anyway, I am glad that my classmates and I again won the local handball championship.
It was amazing to see by how much my teammates improved their handball skills over the course of the year.
All photos by Marcus Verri: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.954144208003403.1073741871.118727864878379&type=3&uploaded=47.
We’ve returned to Oberhofen where we sailed the Swiss Championship this summer over last weekend. It was a bit more chilly and we did have even less wind than last time.
We went with the club team and not with the regional sailing team and it was great fun to be rejoined with my own clubmates and the kids from the club next to us that accompanied us.
It was my third participation and my best ranking ever – 4th place overall. Not enough for a big Lebkuchen but still pretty good given the pretty good sailors that else were around :-).
Coming up next is a training camp with the Swiss Sailing team in Barcelona :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) .
I have become a member of the Swiss national sailing team!!! I can hardly believe it! I did not have high hopes after the four days in the Talent Scout Camp since I felt the sailing didn’t go so well (but the fitness and aptitude tests did). I enjoyed the camp a lot. I really liked the other kids who I hitherto had hardly known and the coaches were great.
That means I will keep sailing throughout the winter. The destinations are Barcelona, Palma and Lake Como. Can’t wait to get going :-) :-) :-).
We had fantastic conditions with very nice northern winds and six races over the weekend. The organization was excellent and I was a bit anxious since I just returned from Swiss Sailing Team’s talent scout camp the week before Riva and I really wanted to be admitted to the team.
Things went pretty well. I came in 28th which was my second best ranking ever. Well, my best is a 27th this year in Arbon. I again became third Opti-B (age eleven and younger) and got a very sizeable trophy. The whole SSTR5 team did very well, with Jonas again scoring a top 10 (6th overall), Nik a 34th and Niklas as 38th.
Coming up next is a regional regatta in Oberhofen where we had the Swiss Championships. It’ll much colder this time, that’s for sure… I am looking forward to be again sailing with my club mates and to be coached by my very first opti coach Fabian :-).
We returned to Riva del Garda the first week of October. No regatta this time, just training. We were twelve kids from the Lake of Zürich region and from the Lake of Constance region. We were coached by my club coach Marco and Beni who mostly sails and trains Lasers (but he did a great job anyway). It was a week of comparatively light winds. We only had more than 25 knots a single time, on Monday. Wednesday was OK, too, with between 10 and 15 knots.
It was great to sail on Lake Garda anyway. It really feels pretty “homy” now. My brother Niklas was part of the team, my sister spent a lot of time on the coach rib (and enjoyed it a lot, see photo below) and my parents enjoyed kids-free time. My father made us run up Monte Brione, claiming that it’s just a short run but it was long, steep and high (see photo). I believe he was the most hated man in Riva that morning ;-).
It was a bit difficult to get back from Riva since the SSTR5 team bus broke down on the ascent to Ofenpass (see photo). Luckily, my parents have the same bus so all ten kids, all boats and the rib made it home in time.
We also sailed the “Lake Zürich falls regatta on lake Garda 2015” where I came in first J. I also got a trophy (see photo below).
Coming up next is the national championship in Cham, Lake of Zug.