Thank you letter from European champion
written by Gabor Helmhout on July 6 of 2019 and read by 147
@Elena Giolai -CVT
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Because of the way the prize giving went we omitted the traditional speech the European Champion makes.
We would still like to make a short thank you letter for that purpose on the Soling Website instead:
First of all, I would like to thank my fellow team mates for the commitment and the amount of hours spent, in order to get where we are.
When we started racing with this boat in this class 2 years ago we were aiming to be competitive but one easilily forgets that winning never comes easy and requires making mistakes before being able to solve them, so time, effort and patience are key. We race for fun but we think that fun boatracing involves a certain amount of seriousness to get it done as it is in my opinion part of the fun. I think with Eki I found a helmsman who understands that as no other and I still have a lot of fun learning a lot by every hour we spend in the boat.
Mathias got no easy job when he joined the team as he never sailed any 1 design keelboats prior teaming up with us in April this year and I think he did very well indeed! Having 3 generations in the boat I think is part of the fun racing it. Eki always sais that 'we should learn from the youngsters as they know a lot more than we do ‘ and I think he is right by that.
Becoming competitive also requires a class which is sufficiently open and supportive to learn from eachother. It makes that we are able to improve the level of sailboat racing in the class as a whole. The Soling is - luckily - a very social class and we would like to thank you all for being there, helping to keep the class alive and improve our level of competition in the fleet. We OFCOURSE also would like to thank you participants and family to have the opportunity to talk about sailing enjoying a beverage of choice at the bar.
Thirdly our thanks goes out to the Race Committee for excellent race management, the International Jury (who had the chance to proof they were able to make some ‘wise' decisions ) and the Measurement team, consisting of Laszlo with the help of his wife and a number of volunteers. Without these people we would have no championships anymore and one should not forget that most of the work involved is just for ‘fun' , so we cannot praise those who are able and willing to stick time into organizing there events enough!
The Circolo Vela Torbole has proven to be a great host prior and during the event and we would like to thank all of those involved for the opportunity to race at this fine club.
Finally, we would like to thank the Italian Soling Association for sticking their necks out for organizing a championship. We know it always holds a certain risk if you host such an event, so thanks very much!
On a more personal note I would like to thank our families(my own and those of my team) for sticking up with us in this (time and resources-) consuming hobby and I would like to mention a little thanks some people who made it possible to keep my boat up to date :
Ceilidh Masts for their willingness to provide a (very reasonably priced-)mast to my liking and also Bram Soedhoudt of Stars Sails for the beautiful spinnakers and the time and energy to assist with several other technical solutions on boat &masts in the past years. The devil is in the details in my opinion and I am happy they manages to put up with me on what I think is best....
I think that the willingness to travel is key for providing big fleets at our major events and as a class we should stimulate that!
It is key as well to get young teams in the class and I know that the Soling class is aware of this by the recent incentives they developed for this.
Both, fleets and youngsters, will secure our existence in the future as a competitive, active and modern class but we need to keep our fantastic boats as up to date as possible to make it attractive to race them!
We hope to see you all soon on the water!
Gabor Helmhout, Eki Heinonen, Mathias Heinonen
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