TUR 1212 Mo Gray, Simon Fry and Andy Beadsworth (Helm).

The 2020 Belgium Nationals took place in Ostend over the past 4 days during a spell of high pressure which unfortunately resulted in just 3 completed races. This was indeed a great pity as 17 teams had made the effort during these difficult times to support this popular National Championships. The RNSYC in Ostend have a very good Race Officer (Dirk Sledsens) and always produce a high level of Race Management on the water added to a great deal of fun and camaraderie ashore.

Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry & Mo Gray recorded 3rd, 1st & 1st.

With only 3 races completed over the initial two days, followed by a weekend of little to no wind, all races counted. Winning crew Simon Fry told me “Even though conditions were difficult we had a great time in Ostend. As we arrived early we had a nice practice day before the Championships started and day 1 of the event also had perfect conditions with two very good races. The Race Officer was excellent and the Belgium Sailors really made us feel welcome. We will certainly be returning to this venue in the future”.

Super conditions in Ostend on Day 1 of the Championships.

2nd place overall just 2pts behind the winners was FRA 428 helmed by French Legend Gerry Trentesaux. After winning race 1 Gerry and his 4 man team of Jean Queveau, Eric Brezellec & Christian Ponthieu recorded 4th and 2nd to finish on 7 points. Jean said “We are satisfied with our Dragon recovery after a 13 month break, we finished 2nd behind Provezza (World Champions) and ahead of Pedro Andrade (winner of last Gold Cup). Our next event will be the Juan Carlos Trophy in Cascais at the end of the month”. Many congratulations to Gerry and his team.

FRA 428 Gerry Trentesaux, with Jean Queveau, Eric Brezellec & Christian Ponthieu.

3rd Overall and taking the final podium position was Peter Cunningham helming CAY 9 crewed by Pedro Andrade and Charles Nankin. Pete, who is now based in the Cayman Islands, is really getting involved on the International Dragon Circuit and sailed very consistently over the three races to finish on 12 points. We hope to see a lot more of him as more events begin to take place.

CAY 9 Pete Cunningham, Charles Nankin & Pedro Andrade 3rd Overall.

With all the podium places taken by Professional Teams, it was BEL 82 helmed by Xavier Vanneste, crewed by his Sister Anne (also our IDA Treasurer) and Charles Odent who were the top Corinthian Team. Putting together some very consistent results, Xavier and his team managed to finish ahead of BEL 88 Guy Celis (5th), NED 438 Jan Bakker (6th) and last years BEL Champions BEL 79 Alex Helsen (7th), so very well done to the team on “Herbie” ­čÖé

Top Corinthian Team at the Belgium Nationals was BEL 82 “Herbie”

In summary despite the unfortunate weather the RNSYC made the very best out of difficult conditions and for those of us that know Ostend well, I’m sure we will have many more super events on this North Sea shoreline in the coming years. One in particular will be the 2022 Gold Cup which will definitely attract a large fleet……

Higher, Faster, Longer…….┬á ┬á ┬áStay Safe.┬á ┬á ┬á ┬áStavros.