“Dutch Champions” NED 412 Pieter Heerema, crewed by Claus Olesen & Lars Hendriksen.

All 42 teams enjoyed another great competitive race to conclude the Open Dutch Championship on Sunday in Medemblik, Holland.  The fleet started with a clear line under a “U” flag in a south-west wind of 10-14 knots and the usual Ijsselmeer chop which certainly concentrates the mind 🙂

At seconds to go a clear line “sag” is visible due to the “U” Flag one minute rule deterrent.

Starting right at the pin was NED 422 Jan Bakker sailing with his son’s Olivier & Dominic. Despite a building breeze with a variety of shifts and enormous pressure from overall Leader NED 412 and GBR 585 the “Bakker’s” held onto their lead to secure a much needed race win. This moved this popular family team up to 6th overall.

During the race Pieter Heerema and his experienced team were keeping a watchful eye on their closest rival JPN 56 Peter Gilmore, who was trying everything he could to recover a 5pt deficit. In the end JPN 56 had to settle for 4th place in the final race and a very creditable runner’s up spot overall.  Very well done to this newly formed team representing Japan.

2nd Overall (left) were the team from Japan, helmed by Pieter Gilmore, crewed by his Son Sam Gilmore & Yasuhiro Yaji JPN 56.

3rd Overall (right) sailing BEL 79 Floris Mortlemans (helm), crewed by Dries Van den Abbeele & Richard Van Rij.

These podium sailors worked well as a “team” and were always quick to react to the wind shifts and various pressure changes that required constant sail and runner tension trim. The Ijsselmeer “chop” can really stop a boats momentum unless all 3 or 4 crew make the necessary changes and adapt to the ever changing conditions.

My team on board GBR 585 put together a very solid set of results to finish 4th overall and I am extremely grateful to Frank Dobbels from Belgium and Niklas Jansson from Estonia. All our results were inside the top 10 and I really enjoyed getting back into competitive racing after assisting at various events this season on the Committee Boat. 

NED 411 just ahead of  GBR 585 at the final “Right Gate” NED 422, 412 & JPN 56 rounded the left hand gate.

5th overall was BEL 80 helmed by Ben Cauwenbergh who recorded three 2nd places throughout the seven races and were always a threat to the top teams.

BEL 80 Ben Cauwenbergh, Pier de Longh & Siebe de Boo finished 5th overall.

This was an excellent Championship and the friendly Dutch Sailors always make the visiting teams welcome so the scene is set for the 2019 Gold Cup. Medemblik offers a variety of Accommodation near to the Olympic Sailing Centre where all boats will be rigged and trailers parked. The sailing is great fun on the non salty enclosed waters of the famous Ijsselmeer so make sure you put next years Gold Cup in your diary….  you will not be disappointed 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer……….    Stavros.    (GBR 585).