This years edition was a real test for almost all the competitors. The notorious "bise" was blowing. A northerly wind blowing down the lake mostly strong. Not the best possible perspectives for our boat - maybe you remember the boat concept is done for light to middlewind conditions and not up to 30kts true and a chaotic and steep seastage.
The starting procedure itself was the first test - it almost ended fatal for us as some stupid yachtie put his 4ton boat on our stern two times. We have been extremly lucky to get away without any damage. The whole bunch of boats in starting line segment got off too early i think but the commitee closed all eyes i guess. In the end we had a perfect take off, able to gain a few meters.
Picture: Due to the conditions not many boats with photographers have been out and i am not able to present a pic of a Q30 sailing. But this pic gives you an idea of how conditions have been that day.
The first leg up to Bouveret at the end of lake of Geneva is quickly told. Sailing upwind wasn't funny at all - bumpy and hard and never ending. To boat is so light that it gets stooped by every bigger wave - and there have been plenty. I do not know the lake in these conditions therefore we asked for some advice from experienced people concerning the route. Following their advice the route leads over Lausanne to avoid the calm zones under the french coast caused by the influence of the high mountains rising directly at the coast. The direct and much shorter route seemed to be a NO GO. But as often - real live turned out differently. This day the direct route was the perfect one and so we lost around 45 minutes (or about 40 to 50 boats) on the competitors lying in our range.
On the way back with wind getting even stronger we were able to catch up and pass around 45 boats again. Although seastage (about 2m) was terrible for length and hull shape of the Q30, the speedo often went over 20kts. Even in flat water it still is sensational to sail up to 20kts or more over hundreds of meters, but in conditions like this, taking two waves at once in such a speedrange or beeing buried between two waves, laying the boat on its side as an alternative, is an interestinge experience. We learned a lot about the boat - the most important thing - wind is not the problem at all - sailing the A3 in 25 to 30kts was easier than sailing under main and jib and even jybing really wasn't problem. The reefing systems on main and jib worked perfectly, also the fine tune of the jib is a real winner. There haven't been major issues on our lightwind boat and rig which is giving us even more self-confidence for the races to come - all the more as the police and the rescue services haven been quite busy during this race.
The result is ok. as our light boat done for more decent conditions was able to handle the really rough conditions. We ended 12th in our class (around 60boats) and the other Q30 taking part in the event did much better and sailed on 6th place putting 10 minutes on us.
It was an intense day with moments to remember and bringing the boat home in one piece was reward enough. The beer at the bar never tasted better.