2020 – We say thank you!
With 2020, an extraordinary year in every respect will soon come to an end.
Because hardly anything took place as planned at the beginning, we learned a lot, achieved a few things, and were rewarded for our efforts with a title.
At the end of this remarkable year, the time has come to pause and briefly review the events.
First of all, we would like to thank our partners, sponsors and fellow campaigners, our fans, all those who are interested, and of course the subscribers to this newsletter:
Without you, Black Star Sailing would not exist. You are the reason to keep going, to get better, and to proudly leave the past year behind us and look forward to the future full of energy.
2020: The start of the season
At the beginning of 2020, the Black Star Sailing Team travelled to Oman full of optimism to prepare themselves thoroughly for the new GC32 season and the opening regatta in Muscat. But instead of the hoped-for title, the team initially couldn’t even bring their boat home. That’s how much the world, and with it the regatta sport, were surprised by the lockdown.
As is normal for sailors, they immediately started looking for solutions. The management of the GC32 boat class did everything they could to save the season. And the Black Star Sailing Team started to reschedule their own appointments. Without further ado, the training stay in Switzerland was brought forward and moved to the Lake of Uri.
Fortunately, both the boat and the team were there on time in early summer. And thanks to the easing of the Covid19 regulations, it was even possible to have a guest sail. Thanks to good planning and the best weather, the training on the Lake of Uri was very productive. Optimally prepared, we looked forward to the second half of the GC32 racing season.
But the inevitable happened: the remaining two regattas were also cancelled. A replacement had to be found as soon as possible. After countless hours of training, the team was on a high.
From GC32 to M32
The ideal alternative was found in the M32 catamaran. At first glance, the boats of both classes look confusingly similar: hulls of the same length, similar sail areas, similar construction. The real difference is: the M32 catamaran has no foils and cannot take off and fly over the water. They quickly found a boat in Sweden that was available for rent. On the journey to Lake Garda, a stopover in Denmark was made without further ado in order to train with the “new” boat for the first time together with other teams.
Almost like always
In order to create the most ideal conditions possible, the Black Star Sailing Team container was also brought to Riva del Garda, the venue of the M32 European Championship. This meant that the team was in a familiar environment where they could work and prepare for the competition in the best possible way. This turned out to be very effective and had a positive effect on their self-confidence. The Black Star Sailing Team was extremely confident about the upcoming event, the details of which Christian Zuerrer describes as follows:
Dominant from the start
“Well prepared from our point of view, the M32 race committee opened the European Championship 2020 on time in the thermal wind conditions usual for Lake Garda. Now a little nervous, Black Star Sailing Team started a little cautiously and rounded the first buoy in fourth place. Sailing the gusts consistently on the downwind course and with almost perfect manoeuvres we were able to improve to second place by the next buoy and finally win the first heat. This first victory gave us the last necessary confidence in the handling and speed of our boat, so that we were also able to win all the other races on the first day of racing. We also started the second day with a win in the first race. This made us a bit “overconfident”, which is why we tried out tactical and sailing variations, which unfortunately were not successful. Nevertheless, we were still in the lead overall after the second day.”
“The forceful words of our coach at the debriefing of the second evening and the preparation on the last morning helped to bring us back to our values: To sail simple, no frills and fast, without any experiments. We promptly won the first race again and also the second race. So the title was already practically assured. After we also won the third race, the title could no longer be taken away from us. We decided not to sail the last race and use it as a strike result to start packing up ashore.”
The Black Star Sailing Team is delighted to have won this great title and immensely proud to have won one of the few regattas held last year. Last but not least, this M32 title is one of only two European titles in total that a Swiss sports team has ever won in 2020.
End of season
The container with the material is now back in Switzerland. We would like to thank moyreal for giving us the opportunity to store everything and check all the material in an unused property. Until recently, we sanded, repaired and re-sprayed the foils and rudder blades. The hulls have also been completely sanded, all scratches and minor holes filled with putty and resprayed. Before we move on, we will polish everything clean and put the lettering back on. The Black Star will start the new season shining.
Despite the deplorable situation all over the world, we try to look optimistically into the new year. Earlier than in other years, the Racing Tour 2021 was able to officially publish the press releases for the coming season already at the beginning of December. We are happy that the Racing Tour will start at the end of April in Port Camargue, South of France. We have good memories of this place, as we started the Black Star campaign at this location in 2019 with our first water training with our GC32 cat. After Port Camargue, we will continue to Riva on Lake Garda and then to Lagos in Portugal. As the Olympic Games are expected to be made up in 2021, there will also be a longer break in regatta racing during the summer.
We are planning to bring our boat to Switzerland again during these summer months to sail with our sponsors and guests. Once again, our fans will have the rare opportunity to fly over the water with us.
In September, we will go to Sardinia for the season highlight, the World Championship, before the season finale takes place in November. That location has yet to be determined.
A final thank you
Apart from our sponsors and partners who supported us again this year, it was above all our families, relatives and friends who we can always count on. Our special thanks go to all of them. We are aware that the daily regatta routine is not always easy, even for those closest to us.
Our very last thanks go to all sailing enthusiasts and all our fans who support us directly – be it by forwarding and sharing our content or by buying our merchandising products.
We are counting on you again in 2021!
Merry Christmas, all the best in the New Year, and …
… stay healthy!