Jesper and Merle Win Open Dutch Championship!
The Open Dutch Championship this year was an international event, being part of the Eurocup series.
Four British boats, two Chech boats, three German boats, One Belgian boat and 19 Dutch boats made up the fleet. Bruinisse has been the dutch championship location for the past years and is well known to the fleet. Next year it will be the venue for the World championships in 2024. The Grevelingen lake being the biggest salt water lake in Europe provides for great sailing and this weekend confirmed this again..
Saturday predictions were light winds picking up toward the end of the day.The racing day starting with watiing for the wind pick up and stabilize.It picked up to a nice light breeze, enough to put in 4 really challenging and close races. Those keeping to the left of the cours profited, but still needed to be aware of the shifts. First race was won by Jesper and Merle with Bruno and Edith on their tail. Second race Jacub nd Teresa showed their light weather skills finishing first followed by Thomas and Hylke.
Third race Bruno and Edith profited from a gust in the last downwind to charge to first place, passing Peter and James who got to second. Last race again was really tight with first 6 boats tied together and postions not secured until the finish line, Jesper and Merle taking first place and Jacub and Teresa scond. The racing day ended with top three boats within 1 point of each other and the following pack within reach. On shore we had drinks and the traditional mussels and hamburger diner evaluating the day. After that some took to the village festival BRU 555 taking festivities into the early hours.
The next day of racing started with a nice breeze and again tight racing fighting for every inch. The slightest miscalculation could loose you several positions. Simon and Katie took the first race followed by Thomas and Hylke. Second race was won by Jesper and Merle followed by Jacub and Teresa. Third race took three starts and a black flag to get off the blocks. This time Jacub and Teresa getting in the win followed by Thomas and Hylke. The last race Jesper and Merle secured their overall win taking third, Jacub an Teresa ending their strong day in second taking second ovrall. Bruno and Edith disappointed to be taken ou of the race after a strong first leg due to a black flag. They still secured a third place overall fending off Peter and James in fourth overall. Peter and James ended the day on high winning the last race. Fifth overall were Simon and Katie with a consistent series and always in the mix for top postions during the weekend.
For me and I think all competitors it has been a great racing weekend with close battles and tactical sailing. Thanks to Sacha and crew for their race leadership and to Marieke and team for the hospitality and Thomas for the organisation.
Coming up in few weeks are the Open Dutch Skiff and the German Open Championships, last of the Eurocup Series. Next year Bruinisse will be the venue for the Rs500 Worlds (see website).
Bruno Goris, NED 1660