Our week at the EM2 Campus in Stralsund
Draft submission for Dinghy Cruising Journal
This summer, Klarie and I spent a week at the EM2 campus for sailing canoes near Stralsund in northern Germany.
The campus is operated during July and August by sailing canoe gurus Bert and Ingo Muller.
The terrain borders on the Strelasund which separates the mainland from the island Rugen.
The campus is reached through the marina of Neuhof at Sundhagen.
There are basic facilities like a communal kitchen, and a toilet block with open air shower.
Surprisingly, there is also a sauna for rainy evenings.
There is room for around 20 tents or camper vans on the grass.
Canoes can be towed back and forth to the nearby beach at the Strelasund or can be left on the beach (sand and pebbles).
The campus has a friendly atmosphere of kindred souls who like to eat and sail in each other's company.
Breakfast and dinner are prepared but it is assumed that everybody helps to clear the table, fill the dishwasher etc.
Friday 28 July 2023
In the morning we launched Hatseflats at Marina Neuhof.
I then rowed around and pulled Hatseflats onto the EM2 beach.
In the afternoon the sun broke through and we joined some of the sailing canoes for our first sail on the Strelasund.
We sailed towards Devin and left Hatseflats on the beach when we returned.
Saturday 29 July 2023 - World Championship Faltboot Sailing
The unofficial 'Faltboot sailing world championship' attracted 6 folding canoes ranging from Klepper, Pionier and Pouch.
These were complemented by 3 very fast Artemis canoes, a Bavaria Mustang with a sailing rig and two Lettmann canoes with EM2 rigs.
Hatseflats was the sole entry in the dinghy division.
Since the entire championship consisted of a single race it was all or nothing.
The course was as follows:
The day started cloudy with a force 3-4 and waves.
I decided not to reef but to hike out extra hard.
- Start at Neuhof near the entrance to the Deviner See
- Rightmost electricity pylon (BB)
- G2 near Gustow (BB)
- S30 (BB)
- S26 (SB)
- Finish at EM2 beach
We had a super start but ran hard aground before we had even reached the Strelasund.
When we rounded the electricity pylon we had already lost out to the Artemis canoes and the two Ingo's.
On the beat from Gustow back into the Strelasund we stayed too close to the shore and Bert on 'Vetinari' caught up with us.
For the remainder of the race we battled with Bert and finally beat him on the finish line.
There were multiple retirements including Koos who broke the rudder of his Artemis.
Since Hatseflats was the biggest boat around I agreed to stay on the water after the finish until the slower boats had completed the course.
We stayed close to Arthur who was trailing the fleet with his Klepper canoe with the original tiny Fledermaus sail.
It did not have enough power against the waves but Arthur remained cheerful and slowly clawed his away to the finish.
1: Axel - Artemis
2: Ingo E. - Bavaria Mustang
3: Thomas - Artemis
4: Ingo M. - Pouch (folding canoe)
5: Hubert - Hatseflats
6: Bert - Lettman Malecite
7: Helmut - Klepper XXL
8-13: Roland, Uli, Robert, Koos, the Berlinerinnen .. and finally Arthur (with Fledermaus sail)
This made Ingo M. the world champion of faltboot sailing.
Sunday 30 July 2023 - Afternoon sail
Today I joined Ingo E. with Hatseflats for a little trip on the Strelasund while Klarie was reading a book.
Ingo suggested we should sail towards the town of Stralsund for a bit.
We had a friendly competition sailing upwind.
It was sunny with a NW3 so I hiked out for more speed.
Ingo was sailing the very quick Bavaria Mustang which had won the Faltboot Championship in previous years.
When I sailed the same angles as Ingo I could not keep up.
When I decided to sail my own course I could sail 5-10 degrees higher and turn the gusts into extra boatspeed by hiking out.
Each time we changed tacks I gained height on Ingo until I finally got the better of him.
Then we landed on the Rugen shore and sat down in the grass with a snack and a beer.
Monday 31 July 2023 - Stralsund
Today was rather wet so we went across to Rugen for a little sightseeing.
When we wanted to buy bread at the bakery the shop assistant did not accept bank cards so we decided to carry extra cash during the remainder of our stay.
We drove on towards Kap Arkona along seaside holiday villages surrounded by pine trees.
We walked the to the cape and found it was a rather unspectacular cliff overseeing the clouded Ostsee.
Probably best enjoyed in brilliant sunshine!
On our way back Klarie and I met up with Koos in Stralsund.
We found a chandlery in the town center and bought new dyneema halyards for our boats and dined at the market square.
Tuesday 1 August 2023
Today the weather was nice and Klarie wanted to finish her book.
Thomas (Artemis) suggested a little trip to the Deviner See off the Strelasund.
Once past Marina Neuhof we sailed round the shallows to the entrance of the Deviner See.
Of course I had to hit the ground again with my daggerboard (90cm draft) while Thomas sailed on with his leeboard.
It was a long beat down the lake.
I found I sailed faster and higher with the more powerful Hatseflats.
On the downwind legs Thomas was quicker with his slippery canoe.
The Deviner See is easily overlooked but it is still big enough for sailing practice.
Wednesday 2 August 2023 - Layday
The planned evening race was cancelled because of the rain so we had a layday.
Koos, Klarie and I went to see the town of Waren and the Muritz lake halfway between Stralsund and Berlin.
Compared to the Netherlands, the countryside was remarkably uncluttered.
Miles and miles of agricultural land without farmhouses, trees, roads etc.
Very restful to the eyes!
After visiting the tourist hotspot of Waren we went to see the Muritz at its widest point at camping Am Nitschow at Gotthun.
It would have been a beautiful camping spot but it was fully booked.
We concluded our trip with a visit to the town of Robel where we had pizza.
Thursday 3 August 2023 - Midweek Race
The race course was identical to that of the Faltboot World Championship but with the addition of S24 in the direction of Stahlbrode to make it a little longer.
Around 8-9 boats participated. We had a great start, ran aground a couple of times but still managed fourth at the finish.
Friday 4 August 2023 - Altefahr
Today was cloudy and F4.
We joined the fleet for a trip to Altefahr opposite Stralsund on the island of Rugen.
The others had already left and were having lunch on the beach at Devin when we caught up.
After lunch we led the fleet towards the bridge between Danholm and Rugen.
It should have a clearance of 8m and we had already put a reef in which reduced our height to less than 7m.
Still we wondered whether we could get under the bridge as we got closer.
Once through the bridge we had a nice view of the city of Stralsund with its shipyard and churches.
The water around here was much more choppy and the wind had increased.
While we were sailing around we decided not to land on the lee shore.
We waved goodbye to the fleet and returned after running aground at the Deviner Haken because I did not find it necessary to stay in the shipping canal.
Saturday 5 August 2023 - Raid Extreme Germany
Covered in our earlier report.
This area in the tip of northern Germany is very beautiful and a paradise for small boat sailors.
Take a trip to Stralsund, the island of Rugen, the countryside or the Mecklenburg lakes if you are bored with sailing.
You will find many tourists around the Ostsee and lake Muritz so you may have to book in advance if you want to go there in summer.
You can pay with your bank cards in the big shops and supermarkets but be sure to bring cash for smaller restaurants and shops.
The Strelasund is a very beautiful sailing area which is relatively sheltered and quiet.
You can sail for many hours without worrying about tides.
Be aware of the shallows!
We sailed with our daggerboard partially raised but ran aground in less than 30cm of water at more than 100m off shore.
If you have a centerboard or leeboards you should be ok.
To avoid embarrassing situations, it helps to stay close to the shipping channel.
The EM2 campus is a friendly place but the sanitary facilities are pretty basic.
Buy coins from the Hafenmeister if you need a hot shower at nearby Marina Neuhof.
The EM2 beach conveniently opens on the Strelasund.
It consists of sand and pebbles and is suitable for leaving your boat if you are not worried about an extra scratch or two.
Area map of Stralsund.
Launching Hatseflats at Marina Neuhof.
EM2 beach looking towards Stahlbrode.
EM2 beach looking towards Stralsund.
The Faltboot Sailing World Championship course.
Putting Hatseflats to bed on a windy and rainy night.
Evening sky at Stahlbrode.