17 teams attended the Belgium Nationals last week in Ostend, hosted by the Royal North Sea Yacht Club. The winning boat was BEL 80 with it’s famous team of Ben van Cauwenbergh, Manu Hens and Thibaud den Hartigh back together again after 8 years! In 2nd place was NED 438 sailed by Jan Bakker and his two sons Dominic and Olivier. 3rd was BEL 88 helmed by Guy Celis, crewed by Steven Vermeire and Frank Dobbels.
Winning helm Ben said “We had 10 fantastic races in 4 days, with great weather and winds from 10 to 26kts. We were delighted to finally beat the Bakker Boys and I must say the Belgium teams are getting stronger. I was especially happy to have my old team back, Manu and Thibaud and this is the 3rd time I have won the Championship. Next year I will be retiring from work so I have committed to take over as President of the Belgium Dragon Fleet”. Many congratulations to you Ben and your amazing team, you will do a great job as President of the BDA promoting the Dragon Class in both Belgium and Holland as you try to help each other rebuild.
Currently there are 17 teams in Kinsale fighting for the prestigious Irish Championship, at the venue of the 2024 Gold Cup. Next week is the Dutch National Championships with 15 boats entered so far. Finally, starting on 9th September is the 2023 Gold Cup in Torbay hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. With 50 boats already registered and Yanmar as the principle sponsor, the stage is set for and amazing Gold Cup.
Higher, Faster, Longer……. Stavros.