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Seascape Spirit Award 2018

Dear Seascape Community,

Allow me to propose a simple theory, about what it is that brings Seascapers together. It’s a shared compassion – well addiction – of sailing on top of the water instead of in it.

I think most of us would acknowledge this simple theory.

Just think about the last time you were sailing downhill in perfect conditions!

We could call that, being in “the zone”.

5 years ago, being an inexperienced sailor, I knew nothing about the zone; that is, nothing about what it actually takes to get in it. How about beating upwind, all night, alone, in big waves and 20 knots of wind?  Now I know that that is exactly what it takes, since I have done it twice on the Silverrudder, in utter darkness, on the north coast of Fynen. Often getting in the zone is associated with hoping for more wind… that also happened to me on another Silverrudder. Sometimes you even find yourself, making a wish for less wind, so that you can get out of the zone again, which happened on this years Vegvisir race.

5 years ago, I was just an ordinary family guy dreaming of the zone. Dreaming of cruising with my family in light conditions, and dreaming of racing in all sorts of conditions. Little did I know.

Nowhere in the world would it have been possible to predict, that buying a Seascape 18, would start an adventurous line of events, that would lead me to participate in the Seascape Party here in Ljubliana, and to receive the prestigious Seascape Spirit award. An award is given to members of the Seascape community, who have pushed their limits outside of the comfort zone, who practice a family perspective on sports boating, and who have shown solidarity with this community.

Nowhere would it have been possible to predict, not then, not 6 months ago, not even when Vid called me this Tuesday and left me speechless, as he strongly encouraged me to come.

6 months ago, my family and I were sailing back from Tunølejren. It’s the local kids’ summer school, held every year by Aarhus-bay-sailing clubs on the island of Tunø. My daughter, 8 years old, was attending it for the first time, as one of the promising hopes in the optimist class. She had decided to go with her coach on the rib, so aboard was my wife and our two sons, 2 and 6 years of age, and myself.

We were beating in 15 knots of wind, the waves were big, and the kids were scared.

So I decided to head closer to shore, anticipating smaller waves and perhaps less wind.

BUT we were in for a surprise. When we got there the wind, instead of dropping, shifted as an unexpected squall hit. All experienced Seascape 18 sailors know, what happens to the 18, under such conditions, that is unless you loosen the jib.

Of course, we broached!

My older son was hanging from a shroud. My wife was in the water. I was in the water, and my younger son was nowhere to be seen. So I immediately turned around to look for him, thinking that he had drifted aft of the boat. He had not.

When I turned around again. I saw my wife, as if she were an athlete, bringing the first and then the second boy to safety in the cabin. She then looked at me and said: “What do you want me to do?”. I don’t remember giving an appropriate reply, as I climbed footstraps and shroud, to stand on the keel and righten the boat. The last thing I saw from the cockpit, was both the main and jib under water.

Ashore in a nearby marina, I knew that I had messed up.

But my wife just grabbed my arm and said:

“Martin this wasn’t your fault. All we need is a bigger boat; one that has a guard-rail!”

On Vegvisir race. That is this years 170 NM race in high winds (throughout Saturday no less than 20 knots of wind and squalls of up to 35 knots). My best friend Rune Aagaard and I, crossed the finish line on my 18; Only to learn that we had finished 1,5 hours after Per Cederberg and Øyvind Bordahl, on Pers Seascape 24, and only 1 hour later than Jochen Rieker and Andraž, on Jochens 24.

On this years Silverrudder, which was cancelled. I had planned to sail, without a number. And even though the forecast was terrible, I drove down there to see my fellow Seascape friends. Somehow I ended up on the speedboat, Phillip Lenzligers Seascape 27. Thank you, Vid.

On the speed run, Phil Sharp was on the helm. Susann Beucke was trimming the gennaker sheet. Jure Jerman was predicting the next squall. Phil L was enjoying the ride and myself; I was winching the kite on Susann’s command. We did it!

Also on the Silverrudder, I managed to sell my beloved Seascape 18, through a guy from the community.

And we placed an order for a new Seascape 24.

We are my wife, Mette Callesen, my friend Rune and my humble self.

To round up, I would like to say, that I still consider myself an ordinary family guy, but I’m not an inexperienced sailor anymore.

For that, I would like to thank the Seascape team, both front- and backstage. Thank you guys for designing, building and selling the finest family-sportsboats this world has ever seen.

Also, I would like to thank a very special person, who is among us tonight. I would like to award her with this pink hat (i.e., award made up for the occasion). The pink hat is given to this individual, not for her good looks or splendid personality, but for her exquisite skill in capturing sailors, when they are in the zone. Thank you Ana Šutej for being such an eminent photographer, you may wear this pink hat, as a symbol of our gratitude.

Best wishes for the future of all Seascapers!

 

Martin Hammershøj Olesen
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