2003 470 Masters' Cup
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What characterizes Lake Balaton is the changing dye of its waters, milky white under strong winds, bottle green in the breeze, dark grey before the rainstorm, deep blue in the late afternoon and purple at the sunset.
The 2003 World Masters in Tihany could enjoy all these variations with winds ranging from a whiff to force six.
On the night before the races, a strong hot breeze with some drops of rain blowed over the Tihany Club, presaging storm. But the first race on the next day was sailed under light NW winds that advantaged the light crews and those who betted on the right side. Larisa and Boris of Russia won the race with an advance of nearly one leg.
After a rainy and stormy night, the second day brought strong NE winds and waves, and that time the heavyweights came to play, with a victory of the Hungarian Zsolt and Zoltán in the second and of the Greek Teodoros and Athanasios in the third race.
The third day, the wind settled to shifting light breezes with lulls in between, shuffling the field. Zsolt and Zoltán consolidated their position with two victories, followed by the Italian Stefano and Gian Enzo and the Hungarian Péter and Zsuzsanna. On the fourth day, the wind came up again strongly from NE, the German Jörg and Andreas won both races and about four boats capsized, some learning that Balaton is known to be a shallow lake.
On the last day, the wind chilled and increased to force 6, only a part of the fleet sailed out and could enjoy a bumpy wave-riding in shifting winds, giving the victory to the Hungarian Attila and István.
In all races, the tactical decisions were much more important than the pure boat speed, and it was difficult to identify the favored side and the wind shifts on the water.
Remarkable of this Master's event is that there has been not a single general recall nor a black flag, and the international jury was left with little work to do: only one boat disqualified for OCS.
The Race Commitee did an excellent job, innovating with laying out the race as an outer loop with the finishing line identical to the starting line. The participants quite enjoyed this configuration, that gives two reaches and two runs, with a finish on the beat that reserved surprises for many.
Our thanks also to the rescue team, whose help became really indispensable due to the shallow waters.
A favorite discussion topic at Tihany Club was how you righten a boat whose mast stucks in the silt. The first rule is "don't capsize", the second is "if you capsize, don't let the mast stuck" (stay on the centreboard, send the crew out to keep the mast afloat), and the third "if it stucks, be patient and help the wind turn the boat about".
If you have to call the rescue motorboat, tell them to pull you out gently in the windward direction, tie the tow to the shrouds, otherwise you can have a bend in the mast that exceeds the Class Rules.
The social program, an ingredient of every Master's event, was a piece of Hungarian hospitality, with a musical evening given by Kálman Bakóky (a sailor) featuring the "470 Master's blues" and a visit to the vine cellar of another sailor, István Jásdi.
Surely, more German boats would have showed up if they had known that there was Freibeer and free dinner every day.
Our great thanks to the Tihany Yacht Club and Kásimir for the splendid organization.
1. (1) HUN Nyári Zsolt and Zoltaán CSURY 10
2. (5) HUN Péter Takács + Zsuzsanna Viharos 31
3. (6) ITA Stefano Giugliotti + Gian Enzo Duci 31
1. (2) GER Jörg Säger and Andreas Gluschke 21
2. (4) HUN Attila Regós + István Rutai 31
3. (9) HUN Péter Fináczy + Andor Sellei 48
1. (3) SUI Martin Steiger + Hans Vonmoos (Grandmasters) 29
2. (18) SUI Hubert Kirrmann + Verena Kirrmann 88
3. (19) HUN Péter Fodor + Péter Sipos 96
Special prize for oldest crew (Total 134 years)
GBR Stan Speer and Dawn Speer
25 participants of 8 countries
(the number in parenthesis is the overall rank)
Tihany Yacht Club