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21 January 2004, 11:47 am
Postponed Event Gets Underway - Just
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Action From Hungary

International DN Ice Sailing World Championship
Lake Ballaton

Due to start on Sunday on Lake Balaton in Hungary, the Championhsip has been hampered by warm weather and racing was finally started yesterday as the temperature dropped below freezing. Here is the latest from Gareth ROWLAND.
"Made the 60km drive and found the new harbour at the western end of Lake Balaton. We all unloaded and rigged our yachts. This quickly became an amusing event as the temps were still 1 deg and it had snowed a little but the ice near the shoreline became plastic in parts. As you walked on it you made your own depression in the ice which followed you as you stepped, all accompanied by ominous creaking and cracking sounds. The plastic ice finally broke up, but at least the lake depth was only 6 inches, although it might be deeper further out.

The course was laid out on a 2.5 km area of good ice, venture further than that and there were other cracks and holes, plus open water if you went too far. With very little wind we all pushed/sailed to the holding area, D Fleet qualifiers first the C Fleet qualifiers, each top 12 moving into the next fleet up.

My fleet (C Fleet) finally got going at 3.55pm. The deadline set by the local police was 4.00pm! I set of in a light wind over to the right hand side of the course, overstood the turn and made good speed till 300 metres from the mark, then the wind dropped and turned a little, just enough for you to pinch the mark and dribble round it. Downwind it was "hunt the gust" to make speed to the bottom mark. In the second lap the wind dropped very low forcing you to make lots of errors downwind. I gave up on the third lap as I could see everyone else within eyesight running on the course. Later I found out a lot were running directly downwind - definitely not allowed in the rules.

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That was it for the day. We ended up packing the yachts up in the dark, then drove 60km back to the hotel. A lot of pilots have stayed in the local town where we're now sailing to save on the driving. We will stick with the Racing Committee at Hotel Fured in Balatonfured.

Feeling knackered after a day on the ice and the car park. The latter degenerated in to a mud bath on the bank side. Hope to fully update everything tomorrow. Temps finally dropped to -1."
Gareth Rowland (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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