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|8||961||NED||Rolf||de Jong||Miriam||de Jong|
|9||1332||NED||Hylke||Sasse||Bart||van den Hondel|
Der offizielle Sieger der Dutch Open wird erneut in Loosdrecht 14./15. Okotober gesucht. (Es wurden keine vier Läufe an zwei unterschiedlichen Tagen gesegelt.)
After having great five month in Norway with a lot of hiking and traveling next to work at university (and sailing once on the Trondheim Fjord), I was looking forward sailing FJ again. Luckily, I had to wait less than two weeks for the Dutch Open. The centreboard and rudder of the 364 still needed the final painting and the boat was still placed in its winter storage so that I was looking for an alternative option to sail in Hoorn.
Heike hadn't a crew for both days and Gudrun and Norbert could offer a seat in their caravan. When we arrived on Thursday afternoon (the hottest day of the year in Germany) a summer thunder was saying 'Hello' to us and cooled us down to normal temperature. The rain gave us enough time for lunch and coffee and cake. Afterwards we could explore Hoorn without expecting to see so much of the city on the next days as well.
The FD's started their Dutch Open on Friday. But half an hour later the first light wind teams already came back to the harbour. Theo was spontaneous adding a few kilos to one of these teams, but they needed to return as well. The conditions were too challenging for uncoordinated new-formed teams they said. The wind kept on increasing up to 7 bft, with the sad and unlucky result of 3-4 broken FD-masts and 80 percent capsized boats. Dear FD-sailor, who sailed the new carbon-fibre mast just for this day, cheer up!
Unafraid Michael with me as a 'crash-test dummy' as crew sailed out of the harbour for checking the wave and wind conditions for FJs. Later he told me that he wasn't afraid until I told him - just in the moment we reached the waves in front of the harbour - that I have no experience in staying in trapeze with heavy waves. But we managed our 15-min test-trip with two safety tacks and went back, because all FD's and rescue boats had already returned as well.
On Saturday, all sailors had great respect for the wind and mast breakages, so that just two FD's and seven FJ's were thinking of going out with their boats. We made a group decision to postpone the start for three hours. Therefore, we had time for some culture program with a group of FJ-sailors: We went into the city again and with Theo as a tour guide we saw some more nice sights and got some ice cream. Sharing a huge ice cream cone with Michael evolved into an unexpected highlight for all other sailors...
Back at the harbour the wind had raised even more and an evening regatta could not be implemented, but more than a handful of FJ's went out a bit later checking their skills and the boat steadiness. Most of us with a fender at the mast top as a buoyancy body in case of a capsize (thanks Theo for organizing them). My strength for Theo's second boat with its main sail sheet and kicker system as well as my experience on deep FJ's wasn't big enough to handle this wind. Oh yeah, due to my lack of crew experience we had already decided that Heike is taking this job. Hungry as animals we were glad to get an amazing BBQ at the harbour restaurant :)
With this new energy, some of us were ready for the evening volleyball game with the FD's, we had fun, even though that they didn't believed in our sailing and volleyball skills. In mixed teams we could fight that out, but the crowd was strongly supporting the mostly smaller younger FJ(-girl)s who mostly beat the stronger taller but older others on the field :P
During dinner Heike and I had also decided to take another boat for the next day. Thanks to all helpers who made it a fast job to pack up the one and build up the other boat :)
After having more than the one planned beer in a bar in Hoorn-city (again) and having late discussions about our class development, we fall into our beds, when team NED 1332 was still checking the opening hours of the harbour bar.
Finally, there was a regatta taking place on Sunday (with comparatively light winds). After a restrained start, we went far left hoping for wind there. Good decision, more than a handful boats behind us at the first mark. Same tactic in the second round: as good the choice was in the first, as double as worse was it now. We rounded the windward mark closely as the last boat. We could overtake GER 312 on the downwind again, but it was me who threw it away again at the final mark.
Just on time the strong wind came back for the second start. Two FD's capsized with our one minute signal and we saw the stump of carbon fibre on one of the boats just after start. So, our decision was made, let’s keep the boat upright. After rounding the first mark, we saw Hylke/Bart, Bert/Jori swimming and Matthias and Janne jumping to the other side of their boat without a chance to change their destiny. How was it possible that we were still sailing upright? Keeping it safe and Jelle's boat alive we decided to skip this race. On our way to the harbour rain and even more wind came, so we felt confirmed in our decision. The wind decreases just when we arrived the harbour. Was this just the wind shadow of the forest?
- Pee break -
'Okay, let’s check the conditions again', even though one motorboat driver wanted to hold us up. Just at the harbour entrance a bunch of boats came in, saying we will miss the third race and a fourth race will not be started. But anyway, we went out having fun on half wind courses. A nice finish of our weekend :) Special congrats to Martijn and Jade (the new strong wind team?) for their third place in the final results, just overtaken by Guido/Hugo and Michael/Katharina.