P1040562BEL 80 Ben Van Cauwenbergh leads the event after day 1 with two 1st places and a 4th..

Just over 20 boats have gathered in Aalsmeer for the annual Easter Regatta which takes place over the next few days. Prior to the event there was a two day trial and training session run by Petticrows, with Tim Tavinor, Andre Dupon and Pedro Andrade. Many teams were able to come and try out the latest Petticrow boat which sees the spinnaker launched from the cockpit and the foredeck without the “normal” hatch. This system first started by Markus Wieser, is becoming popular now that we sail just windward leeward courses. I am of course talking about major International regatta’s, not around the can’s in Cowes or the tight reaching legs on the Medway or in Burnham, where a spinnaker shute is essential. 

The advantages are plain to see, with around 5kg saved in just the makeup of the glass-fibre shute, hatch, bag etc.. plus the weight of a wet spinnaker laying within, during a windy upwind leg. In addition to the weight advantage, it is much more forgiving to the spinnaker itself, how would you like to be repeated pulled through a small 9 inch square hole 5 or 6 times a race and that’s if you are lucky enough to have your crew remember to open the hatch! 🙂  Also without the central patch to attach a retriever line, the kite set’s smoother, lasts longer and probably remains much dryer throughout the race…..

Going back to the 3 races yesterday although Big Bad Ben dominated the day with his experienced team of Thibaud and Manu he also had pressure from local favourites NED 402 helmed by Jan Bakker and crewed by his son’s Olivier and Dominic who finished the day in 2nd place (3rd, 1st 5th). In 3rd place is Martin Payne (who?) yes I managed to get around the course thanks to Gabor and Rudy, in my recently refurbished “Full Speed” a Petticrow from 1992. (2nd 9th 2nd).

It was nice to see Emma Tavinor crewing for her father Tim, with IDA Secretary Thomas Wilton in “Tigger”. There were many more younger sailors out there learner their skills and enjoying sailing on this small but extremely well organised lake close to Amsterdam. More to follow……

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