Dragon Open Dutch Championship 2015-1029 (640x427) (2)GBR 803 “Gorgeous Worgeous” leads overall after 4 races of the Dutch Open Championships.

It was another fantastic day of sailing on the Ijselmeer for the 32 registered Dragons who added two more races to their Open Dutch Championship series. With an oscillating wind on average from around 85 degrees the races were completed under a clear blue sky in 10 to 14kts of wind, which offered wonderful conditions and saw two different winners……

In the first race of the day (race 3 of the series), the start got away at the second attempt under a Black Flag. GBR 789 “Bear” helmed by Martin Payne, crewed by Pim Harmsen van der Beck & Pier de Longh made an excellent start at the PIN end and were soon able to cross the fleet on port tack. Although the line was set square, at the start most boats sheet in and are forced to sail in “high mode” to hold their lane, this often allows boats to leeward of the main bunch to run low, free and fast. The speed differential, particularly in choppy sea conditions, can see some boats make a big jump forward which is exactly what allowed my team & I to have the room to tack and cross the fleet…. 🙂

Dragon Open Dutch Championship 2015-1140 (640x427)

GBR 789 “Bear” Stavros with Pim Harmsen van der Beck & Pier de Longh Win race 3.

Also sailing well was BEL 80 helmed by Ben van Cauwenbergh, crewed by Thibaud den Hartigh & Siebe de Boo. Ben is still getting to grips with his newer boat after selling his “Black Out” (Half Black/Half White) Petticrows, but today showed he is getting back to his tremendous upwind speed as he eventually finished in 2nd place. Following Ben over the finish line was NED 412 helmed by Pieter Heerema who finished 3rd.  However, Pieter then sailed a near perfect second race to win by a comfortable margin. I spoke to Pieter’s crew Lars Hendriksen after the races “Yesterday we felt the boat had no speed and the rigging seemed a little slack. So when we investigated further, we found the shroud fittings below deck on the Pedersen & Thuesen were coming loose! So Claus & I worked long into the evening to make all secure”. Well done to the “Troika” team, you certainly deserved todays success.

Dragon Open Dutch Championship 2015-1044 (640x427)Winners of Race 4 (second race today) NED 412 Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen.

2nd in race 4 of the Championship was NED 311 Bram de Wilde, crewed by Rudi Hofman & George Etty. Following Bram and finishing in 3rd place were my good friends and excellent sailors NED 422 Jan Bakker, crewed by his sons Dominic & Olivier. This consistent team have now recorded 4,4,4,& 3, which actually ties them in first place overall with GBR 803 Quentin Strauss, who after their excellent two 2nd places on day one, had to settle for a 5th & 6th today with his crew Nigel Young and Pedro Andrade.

So after the 4 races, leaders GBR 803 “Gorgeous Worgeous” & NED 422 “Elephant” have 15 pts. Then right behind is NED 345 & NED 311 on 16 pts… Four boats all within one point of each other, all in with a great chance of overall victory…  Lurking in the shadows a little further back are three boats who have all shown their potential having already won races…  NED 300, NED 412 & GBR 789.. However, if Michiel, Pieter or I want to stand any chance of a podium finish we will need two “Bullet’s” tomorrow……  🙂

Not outside the dreams of possibility, but difficult to execute at this level of completion…

Higher, Faster, Longer……………     Stavros.  (GBR 789).