Tuesday, August 29, 2006

International Swedish Championship Marstrand Sweden

This is Donald Bratt's boat Sjøjungfrum (mermaid). Donald graciously let me sail his boat in the International Swedish Championship in Marstrad. As you can see she is a beautiful boat and sails like a dream.

We sailed from Ljungskile to Marstrand and ate shrimp along the way.

You just grab a hand full, throw them on the deck, pick one, rip off the head, rip off the tail, twist off the legs and body in one smooth move and bam! eat the center, repeat until full.

This is Bjorn playing with his food. Click on the link to see How to Eat Shrimp.


Bjorn is talking with his mouth full, doesn't he look guilty of something in this picture?

This shot was taken a little more than half way through the sail... about 4 hours into the project. The one way trip is about 25 miles... plenty of time to tune up, change sails, get used to new boat... etc.

We passed under this bridge that was built in less than a year because the previous one had collapsed.

I like this shot with the folkboat mast in the frame.

When we arrived in Marstrand I felt like a rock star... We had the U.S.A. flag off the stern and the USA 105 on the sail... it seemed like everyone stopped and watched us sail in... I guess they don't see too many U.S.A. flags on boats sailing into the harbor. Lars-Gunnar Lindberg and Olaf (two guys who raced at the SF Cup on US 116) waved to us as we sailed in. When we landed on the dock and stowed the boat Donald introduced me to a few of the Swedish sailors including Lief Ahlquvist. Lief had stayed with my parents in 1977 when I was quite young... the first thing he said was, "I remember you when you were 6 years old and about this tall." He held his hand at below waist level. I was happy, yet slightly embarassed, but thought to myself, I rememeber being very young, having these weird Swedish people in our house and thinking they talk funny... I was 6, what can I say. Lief was the other Swede my father had asked me to look up and say hello to. Mission completed dad. Check out the regatta results: http://www.gkss.se/templates/plaindocument.asp?node=69&subnode=189&sub2node=193

There were 8 classes of boats competing at this regatta in which folkboats did not have top billing, but there was this overall respect for our class. I'd meet people all the time and tell them I raced folkboats and they all said the same thing... tough class to do well in.

These boats are Maxi racers going out for a practice race and yes, that's a Dragon at the bottom of the picture.

This guy was our after race entertainment. Soon I'll have an audioclip of him singing junglebook in Swedish which segways into a Bob Marley song, No wonan no cry. How often do you hear a Swede sing a Bob Marley song anyway?

After the practice race in which all folkboats were disqualified because we read the instructions correctly, we had dinner with Lars-Gunnar Lindberg, Per-olaf Johanson and Hans "Rusty" Gastovson. All three were in SF for our internations sailing on US 116. It was great to see them again and get their reaction to the SF Cup and talk about the days events... they ended up 5th in this regatta.


The view from the fortress on top of the island.

The fortress was built in the 1400's so Oscar II could have a safe place to spend his summers.

More of the fortress...

Another perspective....

This view looks across to the mainland from Marstrand.

The cannons used to bomb the Danes when they would invade.

Local Church.

Royal Swedish Yacht Club

After my day with Robban the Robber, I needed to blow off steam... I went for hike in the hills and looked for some solitude.

Can't get enought of these types of pictures... The closest boat was the winner. Kim Fogde's boat's name translates into woodpecker.

Martin Bratt being forced to smile by his brother Alexander.

Arne Olson (NFIA President) and behind him Anders Olsen (Swedish Folkboat Assoc. President).

Lief Ahlquvist.

In the middle is the guy from Germany who won the SF Cup in '99 beating Sean Svendsen... they asked how he was doing.

German team's crew, also were in SF in '99.

We had a folkboat party and a few of the guys got up and played their instruments and lead us is a sing along.

Bjorn Axel Johansson. Notice the strategic location of the protest flag, very key.

Bjorn loved our SF Cup race director so much he was quoting him all the time...
"Are you shark? Or are you bait?"

And heaven forbid you're a cruising boat from Norway... Bjorn loved to yell out, "Go back to Denmark!"

Donald Bratt exhausted after a long day of racing.

"I'm supposed to be relaxing on vacation!"

Donald was telling me about how Norway had discovered huge oil deposits and that the economy was doing very well as evident by the increase in pleasure boats cruising into Sweden. He suggested starting a war with Norway, then giving up immediately to become a part of Norway... brilliant.

This is Kim Fogde the winner of the Swedish International Chamionship. I call him "The Great Dane" because he was truely an amazing sailor. He did some incredible sailing... always in complete control of everything, at least it seemed that way. I'll beat him next time I sail against him. ;)
This is Donald being "two beers away from feeling 30 again".

This is Robban "the robber" Olson at the awards ceremony.

Oscar II

This was the cocktail hour before the awards dinner. They gave us "$400" to buy drinks... each drink cost... $400, so Bjorn pulled this brilliant scam... he folded two bills in such a way to make them look like 4, borrowed a bill from Kester and we had tripple the drinks we were supposed to get... thanks Bjorn for helping us start the evening right.

This is view of the area we did all our racing in... pretty awesome, huh? This is close to the top of my list of things that don't suck.

The last day of the regatta had this empty feeling to it. Everyone was anxious to get their boats ready for transport and get out of there. As Bjorn put, "Gone like a payckeck." Marstrand became a ghost town. Beer can everywhere, lost or abandoned gear all over the dock, groggy blurry eyed, hung over 20 somethings left behind to fend for themselves... quite a sight.

This is Bjorn and Kester.

This is Bjorn grabbing Kester in the ass while I take their picture.

This is Bjorn and Kester grabbing a handfull of each other's ass while I take their picture.


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