While many of Laser Master sailors began racing sailboats at a very young age, you started racing as a Master. What brought you into the sport, and what keeps you motivated to keep on improving?
My way into sailing was not really traditional. I got interested in sailing as an adult when I moved to Hamburg in 2000. Hamburg is a sailing city, and I came from a non sailing upbringing. Being German, I first acquired a sailing certificate (license).
Sailing for me for the next few years was being on a big boat with friends on weekends. For work I moved to Lagos Nigeria in 2008. The Lagos Yacht Club was the best option for weekend activities, and I became a very keen crew on a Hobie 16 and participated in club-racing.
Back in Hamburg years later, I thought it might be a good idea to learn how to helm a boat, so I joined a local sailing club. As the Hobie 16 is not so popular in Hamburg and I definitely wanted to keep on racing, I moved on to the Laser Bahia, and from there to the Laser Radial.
I guess I would still not be very competitive if I hadn’t met my partner Lutz who is a very keen Laser sailor. Lutz also convinced me to go to Cabarete in January 2013 to get some proper training.
As with every new sport I made great improvements in the first couple of years which kept me going. However, staying motivated when improvements slow down is not so easy. I just like the events, the sailing community, all the new friends, and the occasional good moments during a race.
The Legends age group in Masters events is a constant reminder that there is still a lot of time left to get better. Needless to say, it surely helps that Lutz and I share the same hobby.
ILCA is a class that is truly run for the benefit of sailors, with clear goals and with easy access to information.