The whole week we followed with excitement the weather forecast. Together with the crew of Pikku-Minkki we signed up for the summer night sailing competition which was supposed to start on Friday the 13th of June. One should have expected that things won’t go as planned on such a date. Thursday we went to the boat and checked if the toilet was working. After planning the route we calculated a total sailing time of over 6 hours and it is nice to know that one can use the toilet along the way.
On Friday we brought Orvokki from our home harbor to Jänissaari where the race was to start. On the way we watched the race of H boats that was organized by another club. Good winds were blowing and we were looking forward to our own race. Arriving at shore we were looking for the registration but it was not found yet. After a while one guy came with a sheet of paper and wrote down all the participants. Quite informal but after all that race is more about fun than tough competition. In the end there were 8 boats registered for the competition. We discussed with the Pikku-Minkki crew about the upcoming trip and that the chances are pretty sure to get into the top 10. After that we went to the boat to make final preparations.
At that moment the horizon was already extremely dark and it didn’ take long until heavy rain started.
At this moment the winds were not bad at all.
We were wondering if we should leave at all with front wind all along the trip paired with steady rain but we wanted to at least start and see on the first leg how things go. The route of the race started first towards Tampere and passing by our home harbour so it would have been easy to decide on that leg how the situation would be. The other boats were already circling before the starting line and we started to leave but at that moment the winds increased extremely so we were wondering how to get the boat away from the pier. Our bow was towards the pier and the rear was attached to a buoy. The wind came from the back and side and was pushing us already against the boat next to us. Our engine was not strong enough to maneuver the boat out by itself.
The winds at Siilinkarilla on the 13.6.2014. The race started at 18:00 o’clock at the same time the wind speeds jumped up.
The first sound by the race commitee was given 5 minutes before the start of the race . At this time we had already hands full managing our situation and trying to pull the boat towards the buoy. It did not matter how hard we pulled on the rope attached to the buoy the boat just didn’t move any further backwards. In the front we kept the bow in line with a long rope attached to the pier. On the other pier another boat were also fighting with the wind at the pier. However, they were parked with the rear towards the pier and were able to leave forward with the engine. Still they needed the help from the clubs own small motor boat to be towed out of their parking position. After the small boat pulled them out they came to help us.
At this time the race has started and the other boats were already out of sight. We tried various ways together with the motor boat crew but we just did not get our boat away from the pier and away from the boat next to us. Luckily the crew of the boat next to us came as well to give a hand mainly by trying to push away Orvokki. To top it off we managed to get our rudder and propeller over the rope which was attached to the neighbour boat and its buoy. What fun trying to get it back. In the end the neighbour boat was parked sideways to the pier and was able to loosen the rope completely and pull it away under our boat.
We had to conclude that it is not our day and that we will not get our boat away from the pier. We worked our way back to our starting point and fixed the bow ropes to the pier. The end result for Orvokki was DNS (Did not start) even though I find DNLTP (Did not leave the pier) more appropriate as we at least managed about 8 m towards the starting line.
Back on land. A big thanks for the crew and the efforts. Unfortunately we don’t have images from our attempts as we had other things in mind than carrying a camera.
We called the Minkki crew to inform about our situation only to learn that it wasn’t their day either. They got started but on the way faced such strong winds which were too much for their boat and the ride was more force than pleasure. They went for our plan B and parked their boat on Orvokki’s spot in our home harbor. When we picked them up from their they were waiting patiently behind the metal gate as they had no keys to get out. Luckily by that time it was not raining anymore but the winds were very strong and the forecast was that the wind speed was even increasing. We agreed to go home, change clothes and gather around a Pizza to exchange our stories. At that point we were quite happy not to be on the water. The name and romantic image of the summer night sailing competition did not fit to well for that kind of weather.
On Sunday we picked up Orvokki from Jänissaari and drove it back to our home harbour. The winds have calmed down but there were many boats on the water and again a race of H-boats took place nearby. With lot of time on our hands and sunshine we cruised back to our harbor.