Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta 2014 – PARTICIPATING VESSLES

With the 2014 Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta quickly approaching, let us take a look at some of the most notable participants in the one of the biggest sailing events of the year. The vessels entry list indicates that just under 40 vessels will take place in the regatta with the majority being UK ships.

One of the most notable UK participants is Tenacious, a class A vessel that is the largest wooden tall ship of her kind in the world. The ship competed in the Tall Ships’ Race for the very first time in 2005 when she enjoyed considerable success taking the second place in class A of the first race from Waterford and finishing fourth in class A of the Newcastle Gateshead to Fredrikstad race.

Another UK class A ship due to participate in the 2014 Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta is Eye of the Wind, originally called Friedrich. The ship was built as early as 1911 in Germany for the South American hide trade. In 1969, her wheel house and poop deck were destroyed in a fire and her old iron hull was sold to square rigger enthusiasts who started rebuilding her.
During the 1970s she was fitted out as a brigantine in Faversham, Kent and circumnavigated the globe marking her first voyage as the Eye of the Wind. She is famous for having appeared in many movies including Blue Lagoon.

Tenacious and Eye of the Wind will find competition in the class A category in Netherlands’ Mercedes, built in 1958 as ocean going fishing vessel. The ship was redesigned and built to sail international waters and is the first sailing ship built with the highest safety standards in line with the new European guidelines.

Morgenster is another Class A competitor from the Netherlands, launched in 1919 as a herring lugger called ‘Vrouw Maria’. She was motorised in 1927 and extended for another seven metres; it was then that she got her new name ‘Morgenster’. In 1983 Marian and Harry Muter bought the ship in a terrible state and started rebuilding it. Morgenster re-entered the sailing world in 2008 and has proven to be a fine vessel ever since.

Stavros S Niarchos, another UK class A participant, is the first new tall ship built in the UK for over twelve years. The vessel was commissioned and built by the Sail Training Association in 2000 as one of two new brigs intended to replace schooners Sir Winston Churchill and Malcolm Miller. She is named after a Greek sailor and businessman who died in 1996.

What to Wear When Figure Skating

pairs2-930x600Well, that is in fact a two-fold question which can be divided into two sub-questions, namely ‘what to wear when practising’ and ‘what to wear when performing’.

Starting with the first sub-question, the keyword here is ‘comfort’. While you are likely to opt for something special and fancy when performing, when practising, and especially when learning the basics, comfort is your first priority. You are looking for balance, meaning that your clothes should not be too tight to restrict your moves, yet not overly loose or baggy so that they present a safety hazard. Form-fitting clothes which stretch are a good option.

When practising, consider a layered approach toward clothing instead of putting one heavy warm jacket on. A couple of thin sweaters or sweatshirts are appropriate; you will be able to take one or all of them off as you start practising and get warm. Some ice skaters also opt for jogging suit or sweat suit pants over their thighs during practice since they can also be removed when you get too warm. Still, make sure not to opt for too baggy sweat pants. Warm gloves or mittens are a good idea since your hands are likely to get cold especially in the case of a longer practice.

Moving on to the second sub-question, namely what to wear when performing, the most important rule here is to look neat and nice. Be careful with too flashy outfits which sometimes tend to be off-putting. The US Figure Skating (USFSA) association for instance advises competitors to adhere to modest and dignified clothing, not theatrical in design, which does not give the effect of excessive nudity, highly inappropriate for athletic sport.

As a rule, girls wear beige-coloured thighs and a skirt or a dress, while boys should stick to full-length trousers. Again, it is good to opt for stretchy material which will permit movements without pulling or tearing out of seams. If you choose any ornamentation such as rhinestones, make sure that all decorations are firmly fastened so that they don’t fall off during skating.

As for the hair, which tends to be a bigger issue with girls, it should be either tied back or put up. Buns, ponytails or braids are all good options, depending on the length of the hair. Be careful with hair pins and bobby pins which could do more harm than good if they are not tightly secured.

How to Take Care of Your Skates

Once you have chosen the right skates to support your feet and ankles while you perform spins, jumps and other complicated footwork, it is important to take care of those skates to make sure that they will serve you longer.

Rebel_Avenger_Fugitive-1-300x298

The first and most important part of taking care of your skates is sharpening the blades on a regular basis. This is however more complicated than it seems since you want to keep your blades sharp but not too sharp. A sharp blade grabs the ice better than a dull one and if your blades aren’t sharp enough, you are likely to feel insecure on the ice. On the other hand, if you sharp your blades too often, you will wear them out too quickly.

Some recommend that you sharpen your blades after approximately 20 hours of skating, whereas others put this number at 40. The trick is to find your own number; simply sharpen your blades when they start to slide uncomfortably when you land. It is useful to keep a log of some sort which will help you determine an average number of hours between sharpenings. This is more important than it sounds since if you wait too long to sharpen your blades, the change will feel pretty dramatic and this will impact your performance.

Take care of your skates when they are on your feet. This means to wear skate guards on the blades when you walk on hard surfaces. Remember that your blades are made for sliding on ice, not walking on floors.

Once you take your skates off, make sure to dry them thoroughly. Remove any snow which might have stuck to the blades and then dry them with a towel; this way you will keep away rust, which will simply destroy your blades. Leave your skates sit for a couple of minutes before you put them away and preferably, open the boots up a bit so that they can air out.

When you put your skates in a bag, store them in towel-like soakers which will not only help draw off any remaining moisture, but will also provide a cushion for the edges. Do not store your blades in hard guards since they hold moisture.

As for the boots, keep them well polished to keep away moisture. Replace broken laces on a regular basis and do not hesitate to replace the boots too when they get broken down.