No, not TV’s Family Guy, we’re talking about Martin Oleson. A father and husband, Martin is an experienced sailor...but not a pro. He has offshore and singlehanded experience but on September 22, 2018, Martin took the opportunity to step outside his comfort zone and go for a ride the Seascape 27 ESCAPADE that he’ll never forget.
It all started at the 134 km Silverrudder Challenge 2018 sailed out of Svenborg, Denmark on the Baltic, the largest singlehanded regatta in the world. Due to severe weather, many of the skippers opted not to sail and, wisely, save their boats and themselves to race again another day. However, that didn’t mean it wasn’t safe to go out with a full crew and that’s what a few boats did.
OUTSIDE HIS COMFORT ZONE IN SEASCAPE 27 ESCAPADE
Having opted not to race, Martin was asked to join four others aboard Philipp Lenzinger’s Swiss Seascape 27 ESCAPADE for a run at setting the speed record for this sporty monohull. On that blustery, grey and cold day with winds blowing 26-28 with gusts up to 35 knots, Philipp, Martin, Susann Buecke and Jure Jerman set off for a sail with, dare we say, one of the world’s top offshore racers, Phil Sharp on the helm. The five of them set-out to beat the previous Seascape speed record of 15.52 knots over 500 meters.
Martin spent most of the day at the cabin top grinding the spin sheet as Phil and the rest huddled in the stern with the 27’s bow soaring out of the water. Bouncing off wave after wave, often going through the waves with green water pouring over the deck, the quintet enjoyed quite a sail as they roared downwind on the knife edge between being under control and...well...not! In fact, as Sharp noted in his post sail comments, they went for a swim a few times as the rig “got wet.”
What a ride. Gybing back ad forth, holding on for life and safety, making the very most of this amazing day on the water. In the end they did it! The instruments told the story and Phil, Philipp, Martin and the others pegged the speedo at 16.57 knots over 500 meters, more than a full knot faster than a Seascape 27 had ever gone before. Well done!
So what should you take away from this story? First, sailing fast is really fun...albeit a bit scary at times. And, if you’re on a good boat with a good (in this case excellent) crew, you can afford to stretch your comfort zone and grow into a better sailor. Martin did just that. With his family at home, he spent a few hours with one of the world’s best offshore sailors and, just by sitting there and watching how Phil worked the boat through the wind and waves, learned a lifetime’s worth of lessons that you just can’t learn sitting around the bar or in the boat park.
So, find a fast boat. Find some good mates. Wait for the wind to blow up. Go for a ride. And, Sail with Confidence.
Photos ©Ana Šutej, Seascape d.d.o.