Samsø - My Island

Recreational sailors with a competitive gene

Kirsten Bundgaard and Mads Holmen Andersen, with their home port in Nappedam, often visit a harbour on Samsø. They sail a Drabant 38 – an old thing from 1984 which has done many nautical miles. “We have restored the boat ourselves and I enjoy the work involved with an old boat. I probably spend eight full days a year on that which is necessary. Everything else is improvement. For example making sockets for charging phones. There is only power for charging when we are in port, so I had to come up with a battery solution so the young people can charge their indispensable phones,” laughs Mads.

Ignorant competitors
“We have chosen a boat which doesn’t drain our budget, but which is fun and fast to sail. When many boats leave a port at the same time, Mads and I race! It’s not really a competition but it can quickly become one. The other sailors are not always aware that they are in a competition, but one can easily sense if they’re game,” laughs Kirsten. “Generally we prefer the smaller cozy races. We sail primarily to have fun but we want to do it as well as possible. Mads sails around Zealand with another crew. And we have always holidayed with our children on the boat”.

Kirsten and Mads were sailors before they met and both admit that it was a prerequisite that a future spouse should share an interest in sailing. “Sailing has always been a big part of my life and I would be sad to have a spouse without salt water in the blood,” says Mads. They feel it is an added bonus that their three children are equally enthusiastic about sailing, having become so experienced that they can simply board and sail the boat. However, the young ones prefer to take their friends sailing, so their parents have to stay ashore more and more often when the children set sail.

Kirsten and Mads are happy to lend out the boat as there are plenty of opportunities for shorter and longer trips during the sailing season.

The ideal sailing experience
“When one hails from Aarhus Bay, as we do, Samsø is a popular weekend destination. We come here often. We have probably visited Samsø by boat more than 50 times. We switch between the different ports and meet many interesting people. If there are several boats of the same type, invitations for communal dining are sent out via groups on Facebook, which is really nice. Here we exchange tips and tricks for maintaining Drabants. Sometimes one is joined by the other boats for a few days and it’s a big part of the ideal sailing experience to meet people one didn’t expect to,” says Kirsten.

“Often it is the wind that determines our holiday destination and for how long we stay. On this trip it’s been quite windy whilst we have been here in Maarup, so we’ve spent the time on land. We have been to the Labyrinth in Nordby, out to lunch and going for walks. The Labyrinth turned out to be surprisingly fun – a silver lining to the strong wind. And then Maarup is quite simply a beautiful harbour,” says Mads.

Four to seven metres per second is optimal sailing conditions, where most people can partake without getting seasick. “We love when it’s summer and sunny and we simply have to stop along the way to bathe because of the heat. We have a bathing platform for that purpose,” explains Kirsten. In addition, toilet and shower conditions must be good. “The port in Maarup has been upgraded significantly over the years and we moor safe and well here,” says Mads.

Best tips for boat holidays
According to the experienced sailing couple, one must have the desire to do some sightseeing ashore and plan breaks in the sailing schedule to get around a bit. One has to be flexible regarding destinations, since one does not always end up on the planned route and the weather often has the last word. It is crucial for a good experience to plan a trip that is not too pressured time and destination-wise. Another good tip is to arrange with friends to join you on part of the route which can make for some great times. And plenty of warm clothes! Even in the summer, nighttime sailing in Denmark is a cold experience. It is wonderful to experience the tranquility and starry sky when sailing at night but it can be a harsh and cold affair.

With two gas burners, an oven and a refrigerator, food can be prepared on board. An attraction on Samsø is the large number of vegetable stalls and if the couple does not want to cook for themselves, there are many great restaurants on the island. “We are leaving Maarup Harbour tomorrow, because our eldest son is waiting impatiently at home to borrow the boat,” Kirsten concludes. The next generation of sailors is ready to visit one of the beautiful ports on Samsø.

Last updated: 25/02/2021 13:06