Sorry for the long break but I needed a rest from the blog and we have had pretty good winds so I am really tired at night.
Eric Kaminga e-mailed me following my post on safety and our need to take more care on the water. Eric was sailing on Lauwersmeer in Holland in some quite low temperatures but with good winds. One other sailor joined him and after a while, went down. His mast foot broke like Andy's and he had to swim with his equipment for 40(ish) minutes. Eric helped him to get back and then spent some time and energy getting warmth back into the guy's body. In the meantime another sailor had launched but after some time Eric noticed that this new guy must have gone down as well. Exhausted from his recent efforts with the frozen guy, Eric dragged himself back onto the water to look for the second sailor. He discovered him lying in the water at the far side of the lake. He had crashed, felt his neck pop and had lost the use of one of his arms. (This is turning into a long story)
Anyway Eric and the injured guy tried in vain to get him back on to his board - no luck. Eric's kit (Manta+Ka) was a bit easier than the sailor's so they swapped and the wounded guy was able to start and sail back with crooked neck and paralysed arm. Eric helped him to de-rig and the guy managed to drive home. Long story short he got home from where he was rushed to hospital. It was discovered that he had fractured a neck vertebra - (4 screws in the bone and months of physio ahead to re-gain the use of his arm).
This all demonstrates once again the need for us to pay more attention to safety when we sail. Thank
goodness Eric was there to help both of these guys.
Speaking of top Dutch sailors, I note that Ben vd Steen has left Starboard to join Tabou. This brings him completely into the Gaastra/Tabou stable. 2014 will be an interesting year. His Manta sizes are going to be 61, 71 and 85. Nice!
In the meantime Peter Volwater recently clocked over 44 knots on the open sea on a stock slalom board. He recons that he was totally in control and comfortable. Awesome!
I wanted to show you a new sail from Vandal but it is late and the camera is in the car. The guys were here shooting the 2015 prototypes which include a 2 cam model called the Mission. Ellie took some pictures of this and I will will include them in the next post.