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Fantastic Start to the Dutch Open!
The Iselemere was at it’s best today as 34 boats set sail from Medemblik to compete in the Open Dutch National Championship. Two races were scheduled for today, so Theo Smits (Race Officer) got the fleet away first time in a 16kt breeze. The wind was shifting from 240-260 degrees (more at times), and with gusts up to 23 kts it tested the very best of sailors…… But the most perfect conditions for Dragon Racing, flat water, no salt! and medium/strong winds.
Fresh from his success in La Baule, GBR 745 Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen soon began to find his touch, that won him the World Championship here two years ago. Sailing over the short refreshing waves that are common on these waters.. With only 4 to 5 metres depth throughout the Islemere, the short chop is usually a testing factor.. But not to the Double Olympic Gold Medalist.. Who recorded a 1st and 4th place, to lead the competition by 2pts.
In 2nd place is NED 316 Pieter Heerama who has been bought up sailing in these conditions….. and with Theis Palm to guide him he is nicely placed after this first day in his home championships…. In 3rd place is the defending champion NED 227 Joep Kuhlwilm who battled hard to finish with two 6th places and still well in contention overall.
The winner of the 2nd race was NED 300 Michel van Dis who will be hoping for similar conditions tomorrow as he was so far ahead at the end of the race, that he and his crew had time to have a beer!!
With another great forecast tomorrow, the fleet will no doubt enjoy this fantastic venue and indulge themselves or drown their sorrow’s this evening at the famous “Brackenbar”….. Medemblik at it’s very best……
Higher, Faster, Longer…………….. Stavros. (NED 372).