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8th International HAPPY CAT sailing meeting 2023

After a 3-year break due to a pandemic, the popular HAPPY CAT sailors' meeting finally took place again in 2023 in Ebensee on Lake Traunsee. In changeable summer weather, over 70 HAPPY CATs and 150 people from 7 nations (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary) sailed across Lake Traunsee.

From a relaxed glide across the lake to a gold medal in the mass start regatta, there was something for every sailor. Most of the participants arrived on Thursday to spend the whole weekend sailing.




With the best summer weather and strong winds, the HAPPY CATs sailed across Lake Traunsee early on Friday morning. To practice for the regatta, there was the possibility of individual time measurements.

During the rich dinner, experiences were exchanged and new acquaintances were made. The three first-place finishers of the afternoon's individual time measurements were awarded prizes of regional wine by the sailing club.

To round off the day, regatta leader Reinhard Kreuzer presented the mass start regatta flags. This was not to be the last flag presentation.




After 6 weeks with little precipitation in the Salzkammergut, a cold front brought heavy rain in the night to Saturday. With a rainy Saturday morning, the day started a little more leisurely than planned. On this day, the designer of the HAPPY CATs - Josef Würfl - was also present. Many participants took the opportunity to discuss details with him. Small repairs were also quickly carried out on site by Mr. Würfl.

The rain break was used to go through the right of way rules and flags for the mass start once again. By now, the participants were real pros when it came to the flags. "What does the yellow/black flag mean?", the crowd shouted "FOLLOW ME! The orange, square blue and class flags had also grown on everyone by now.

The subsequent capsize exercises in gusty winds were particularly popular. With instruction and tips, all 7 volunteers succeeded in righting the HAPPY CAT with capsize buoy and capsize line.

In the early afternoon, the sky cleared up and the wind also came consistently from the south. Time for the regatta. After less than an hour, all catamarans were in the water and sailed towards the starting line. Since a regatta always starts against the wind, the regatta course had to be reversed at short notice due to the south wind. The starting line was no longer near the sailing club, but further north in the middle of the lake. Although it was the first regatta for many participants, the start went quite well. It was fascinating to see how the lake was suddenly packed with HAPPY CATs.

After the first successful regatta, the race director again gathered all the catamarans at the starting line for the second mass start. Again the learned sequence of flags and the starting horn sounded. At the turning buoy in the south suddenly there was no wind. Now the skills were put to the test. With barely noticeable wind, several catamarans nevertheless managed to complete the regatta course. Congratulations to all participants, you have shown great endurance under these demanding conditions!

In order to be back on land in time for dinner, they helped with the safety boats and towed them back to the harbour. Dinner was followed by the award ceremony in 6 classes. The first three in each class were awarded a silver, bronze and gold medal. The overall winner was calculated with yardsticks and awarded a gold cup.




Sunday morning started a little delayed with rain showers. Around noon it cleared up and the planned sailing trip could begin.

About 20 catamarans sailed towards Traunstein. At the height of Traunkirchen, a rain front with fresh wind moved across the lake within minutes. Some participants sailed on nevertheless, others turned back. In the afternoon it became summery hot and it was possible to sail until the evening.

Some participants even stayed a day longer and did not leave until Monday.




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