This sounds harsh but that’s how it is with sailing. Either everybody is game - everybody pulls, shouts, acts – or something will go wrong. However, not so much so that someone kicks the bucket, of course - or at least we hope so. Teamwork and fun are of major importance here. And one of those who can’t get enough of sailing is the local Claudio Pittin.
Growing up in the small quaint mountain village of Maloja, Claudio has always enjoyed summer days at the family-owned and family-run business, Camping Maloja Plan Curtinac, which sits beside Lake Sils at 1,797 metres above sea level. Blond-brown curls, blue eyes, an even temper and always working on something - this serves as a short description of Claudio. There used to be a local sailing school and that’s why Claudio had already sat in a sailing boat by the time he was 14 years old. These days, he is still faithful to the camping ground, but his true passion is sailing with his Libera.
A day that tickles the adrenaline inside of you, a day when the legendary Maloja Wind gives its all and makes little whitecaps appear. Then it’s time. Claudio drums up his friends. They act fast because the strong wind makes them itch to get started. Claudio flashes a mischievous smile. Yep, everybody’s ready for duty! The five of them row to the sailing boat. A quick briefing and then it’s time to set the sails, to tighten their harnesses, to cast the line. And off they go. Claudio raves: „For me, the fascination of sailing lies in the interaction of the elements. Driven only by the wind, this 7-metre-boat cuts through the water. All that it takes from us is some additional healthy brawn, nothing more.“ Suspended in the harness, the whole crew glides above the deep blue Lake Sils surrounded by majestic mountains – and that, quite simply, is it. The happiness. The Engadin.
Claudio grins. Well, these things do happen now and again. For example, if someone stumbles due to carelessness or misses the harness clip and hooks into thin air instead. Splash. “Or the boat abruptly accelerates and throws the helmsman overboard. Then the crew continues sailing without the skipper.“ No problem at all provided they have fished everyone out of the cool water. Even capsizing is not that big of a deal. The crew know by now what to do. It only takes 10 minutes to right the boat and on they go. Claudio admits: „We like going to our limits. And now and again even past them …“ and he adds, “In those situations, crew member Holte proclaims our motto: to win or to die!“ Then everyone laughs and they gather up everything that went overboard.
Lake Sils is an excellent sailing area, with wonderful views and a thermal wind.
On particularly beautiful days, you can count up to six sail boats and a handful of wind surfers on Lake Sils. Claudio explains how everyone knows each other and will greet each other when crossing. Breaking out of your daily life and living unforgettable moments with your friends does your heart good, says Claudio, it clears your head. But those who assume that after sailing they will go for a beer and rest for a while on the soft grass are wrong. Work is calling and they need to make up for the hours that they spent on the water. And they accept that call with a happy mind, a sunburned face and a respect for balance. Ahoy.