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Freundeskreis Klassiische Yachten Classic Week, 2024

The Gareloch Class and the FKY were introduced to each other many years ago by David Ryder-Turner and have raced against each other regularly since.  Alternating between Germany and the Clyde.  We raced on Lake Constance last year, they are to visit us in September.


Every four years or so, the FKY arranges a week long Classic Regatta.  Your author took part in 2019 and was determined not to miss this year.  Barrie Choules, acting on fulsome recommendation, came too.


A huge organisation with 250 classic boats entered from Pirate dinghies to International 12Ms (3 of them, Anita, Anitra and Sphinx) and Germania IV.  More than 500 people in 5 locations over the week in Denmark (Aabenraa, Dyvig & Høruphav) the Kappeln & Kiel in Germany.  A splendid atmosphere with breakfast & dinner laid on in large marquees or boat sheds at each harbour, live music daily.  The event was commenced with over night feeder races to Aabenraa which we did from the Schlei a aboard RNCYC member Klaus Birhoff’s Knarr (30’) with a mid-fleet performance losing out to those boats flying spinnakers on a largely downwind race.  Saturday was a recovery day before the first proper race on Sunday.  Your correspondents were invited to sail on Saga, a 27’ 38m2 Spitszgatter (Danish double-ended design) with Tom Andersen.  Tom is one of the ‘Characters’ at the FKY Classic events; always present, often single-handed but a mature gentleman with limited hearing and poor sight, not one to get too involved in the finer points of the sailing instructions but he sails Saga to good effect. We were honoured because he usually sails alone and refuses offers of inexperienced help saying he can manage better alone.  He gave Barrie and I the boat and became the foredeck hand. Between the three of us, we managed a third place in class on the race to Dyvig.  He was given a standing ovation at the prize giving, much louder than the prize winning class one boat. It probably says something about the effectiveness of our assistance that he won the race after we left!

Monday was lectures on Sea safety & Weather.  Google Translate is only so good, we went exploring on the free bus to the nearest town.  Anyway, next to Høruphav, an old port which was used for timber and now has a marina.  Thence to Kappeln on the Schlei in Germany.  Your correspondent missed the last part, race to Kieler Förde and then race round the cans.  A family wedding got in the way.  I know.

We managed a respectable 3:5:3 in the first 3 races (the 5th as a result of the ‘classic’ spinnaker deciding that it had reached the end of its life).  The 4th race (to the Schlei) was badly impacted by light wind and although we overtook a 12M at one point, it became obvious that we could not reach the finish within the time limit and reluctantly resigned ourselves to motoring so as to get to Kappeln and our flights home. For the “Suppentour”, we were all issued with an engraved spoon on a lanyard and a list of restaurants taking part.  3€ a bowl.  Tom, Barrie and I managed three.  Perhaps with the occasional Pils.  The last, a fish soup in a restaurant with the fishing boats tied up just outside.


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