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22 January 2004, 11:08 am
Racing Postponed
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International DN Ice Sailing World Championship
Balaton

Racing at the DN Ice Sailing World Championship was postponed yesterday due to unsuitable conditions but some competitors took to the ice anyway. Below is the latest from Gareth ROWLAND. Racing will hopefully continue tomorrow.
With temperatures only 0 deg C the Hungarian police, who hold jurisdiction over the lake here at Balaton, did not want us to sail but oddly allowed the ultimate responsibility to rest with the Race Committee. So the committee decided, so as to preserve future sailing on Balaton, and for the safety of 200 skippers, to suspend racing for the day.

Even more oddly you were allowed to sail yourself but without any back-up in the form of a safety boat and Race Committee assistance.

Throwing caution to the wind K1 [Chris WILLIAMS] and K11 [myself] decided to join the brave out on the ice in a moderate wind. At least the previous day's "plastic ice" at the shoreline had hardened to allow a creaky\crackly access to the yachts.

Rigged up we had to negotiate the cracking running 50 metre out parallel to the shore line. This had water in places and maybe ice underneath. Anyway we managed to cross it safely. Out on the ice it was good hard black ice with only small bumps of old melted and refrozen snow. I took the video camera out and mounted it on the front runner looking back with a wide angle lens then I had it on the tiller. I got some good pictures in the fast conditions. Watch out for the video files when I get home.

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About 1:00pm we retired for lunch before we broke anything. We went into the local main town and did some shopping and had another even better Hungarian Goulash soup. It was served up in silver tureens and you were supplied the ladle and plates, spoons etc. We assumed it must be a very posh place as the bill for two goulashes and two beers came to 6000 Hungarian Forints [around 15 British pounds]. Turned out we were paying the bill for the next table! A more realistic 1500 Flt was handed over to waiters that before spoke no English but now apologised in English at least three times.

There were some nice shops in the town that I dared not go in as I would come out with something in hand. In one particular shop there were lovely fur hats and other things that had four legs. After a look around we made our way back to Balaton Fured to be ready for the evening meal at 6.00pm.

Gareth Rowland (As Amended by ISAF)
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