Well, it is September so technically summer is indeed over. But based on the weather one can ask if summer ever really started. A brilliant spring was followed by a couple of very wet months…

So what is new?

Started on freelance basis as a naval architect at Schickler Tagliapietra and have been working on and off on a variety of projects continuing from my experience with this highly innovative office last summer. The biggest problem is that I can’t share the projects with you but once the boats go afloat I can tell you which bits I have worked on. For more information on the office go to: STYacht.com

Sailing-wise there was Cowes Week, racing most days on MAT1010 with David Franks (whom I know from the Etchells class, having won a number of races with him in the spring). But I also had the chance to race with the Antilope program from Breskens. This boat (a Grand Soleil 46) is very different from Roark (Commodores’ Cup 2008, best boat), only 3 foot longer but a completely different animal. Racing in 27-37 knots of breeze was an experience, racing with the team on board was a pleasure. Very impressive finish of the rig and rigging (Hall Spars), solid sails by North and quality crew throughout (Bouwe Bekking on tactics, Bert Schandevyl doing spinnaker trim and many others).

From Cowes it was a quick shower on Friday afternoon to head to Aarhus in Denmark for the X35 Worlds with an interesting mix of crew. 3 Poms (Tom Whitburn, Dave Kent and helmsman Rob Gullan), 2 Germans (Hans Hout, owner and Tobias Merkel), a Norwegian (Jorgen) and 2 Dutchies (Jochem ‘the boatspeed doctor’ and myself on the bow). Racing the old “Cool Runnings” we had the speed, but with 2 days practice and a new relationship required between tactician and main&helmsman communication was our week-point. A disappointing result in the end with a sixth (out of 29).

(shot from the Worlds)

From Aarhus it was back to the office but the future is promising a nice couple of events to interfere with starting life as a grown up after graduation… First there is Voile de St Tropez where I will be racing with what TheDailySail called “the best looking race yacht” the JV60 ‘Spirit of Jethou’ (see also video below). After that I will be racing with David Franks again at the Etchells Europeans in Hoorn and then there is a chance of doing the Middle Sea Race as well.

Plenty to do, plenty to see but still no long term employment. Yes I can still be hired for small and large yacht engineering/design related problems. That said, life is pretty good still…