20140523_134321 (320x180)      The beautiful Lake Constance viewed from my Hotel in Rorschach, Switzerland.

When Tim Tavinor asked me to deliver a boat to Switzerland, then continue on through the San Bernardino Pass to Italy, to collect our “Bear” from Imperia, I had no idea what a wonderful drive it would be. Firstly, he loaned me a new X 5 BMW that I must say is an absolute pleasure to drive, secondly the stunning views as you near the snow covered mountains can take your breath away. The San Bernardino Pass itself is a road that starts high in the Swiss Mountains at 2,065m and it connects the valleys of the Rhine Forest (Germany) on the north to the misox valley on the south towards Italy. Part of the pass takes you through a 6.6km tunnel first opened in 1967. Quite amazing!

So racing begins today and one new entry to watch out for is “Hazbin” a boat formally raced by Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, now owned by Adrian Friend and sailed by top Professional Eddie Warden Owen, and Buddha from “Dark & Stormy”… This will be an interesting addition to the Dragon Class.  Next weekend will see 20 more boats join the racing to compete in the Swiss Nationals, so today we will see how many turn up for this more “relaxed” regatta…

Updated: Sunday 25th…

In fact 14 boats gathered on the start line for race 1 of the Alpen Cup, at 1.0pm yesterday. Unfortunately the “crisp” morning breeze that greeted everyone as they were launching their boats, slowly began to drop.

By 1pm, it was just 5 kts, but at least one race could be sailed before the wind died away completely to nothing…..   This race was won by  SUI 270 “Molesto” helmed by Alex Ruppli, crewed by Andreas Eggimann and Urs Blum. They showed good upwind speed and held on further into the right corner on the second beat, which enabled them to pass SUI 315 “Hazbin” owned by Adrian Friend and helmed by Eddie Warden Owen, crewed by Chris Hunt. The Hazbin team had sailed well in their “opening” race to lead at the first top mark, but the current (yes current on the lake) made the lay line judgement a little tricky on the second up wind.

3rd place went to Sui 309 “LiLu” (the old LiLu) helmed now by Peter Schupbach, crewed by Lukas Luthi and Thomas Duhrsen. The plan today is to start earlier at 10am, so that any morning breeze can be utilised fully…

Higher, Faster, Longer………   Stavros.  (GBR 789).