Difficult choppy waves at the first day of racing

Difficult choppy waves at the first day of racing

Photo: Laurens Morel

The Dutch Youth Regatta officially opened today with a welcome from chairman Mike Paardekooper and a flag parade with all 33 countries present. Strong gusts of wind came over during the opening, 20 to 25 knots. When the sailors went out to race, the wind dropped to a stable 16 knots. 

Over 900 sailors went out and sailed in big waves and choppy conditions. With 33 different nations on the water, we see some sailors coming from really far. Several Australian teams are racing here, and also some Brazilians, Americans and sailors from Singapore. In the 29er the Australian Archie Cropley and Max Paul are here because of the strong competition. 

“We have fewer boats in Australia to compete with, all the best boats at this moment are racing here at the Dutch Youth Regatta. For us, it’s good to race here and practice for the Youth World Championships later this year.” The Australian duo had a good day of sailing, now in a second position, only two points behind the French team with Aristide Girou and Noah Chauvin, winners of the event last year. “Today was pretty choppy with 16 knots of wind most of the day. It was cool racing, we did alright today.” Paul tells they’re pretty all-round sailors, the lighter winds on Friday don’t scare them.

Working on the starts in the Cadet
In the Cadet class, the Belgium teams are off to a strong start. Thibaud Dirix and Thomas Winand: “We had a good day, the wind was perfect, not too strong for us. The first two races our starts where good, at the third start we couldn’t find a free spot. But we managed to climb to the front during the race.” Dirix and Winand are only sailing together for 6 months now. “We want to get to know each other better on the boat, that’s part of the goal this weekend”, tells Dirix. “The competition here is strong. I think it’s going to be close racing in the top 5 this weekend.”

Perfect day for RS Feva girls
Imme Rijk and Bente Zuidema had a perfect day in the RS Feva: “We finished first in all races today! We had strong winds and big waves, but for us that’s ok. Luckily the wind was strong but stable, very nice.” With lighter winds on Friday, the Dutch girls hope to keep their lead and aim for a podium spot.

Difficult waves for Nacra 15 sailors
Rebekka and William Johannesen start with a strong first day in the Nacra 15. “The weather was nice, pretty windy. And the waves were pretty difficult downwind and upwind, but we sailed pretty good, with very stable results.” Only the last race they ended out of the top 3. Racing went well for Arnaud Grange and Marie van der Klink from Switzerland. Due to the UFD in their second race, they drop to a 12th place overall for now. Second-placed are Belgium Lucas Claeyssens and Gauthier Verhulst, third Jesse Lindstädt and Lisa Rausch (GER). 

Close racing in the Optimist
The Optimist is divided into five fleets because of the high number of entries. Numbers 1 to 3 all finished their first races in the first place. Two Danish sailors: Vitus Masoumi Sandberg and Magnus Heegaard and Martin Atilla (LAT) share the first place after this first day of racing. In the Benjamin class, the French Raphael Allain is leading the fleet after three races.

Dutch sailors strong in the Laser classes
Dutchies are leading the fleets in the Laser classes. With Ties Wijbinga in first place in the Laser 4.7, behind him, we see Colin Faas and in third place the Swiss Anja von Allmen. In the Laser Radial, we have a complete orange podium after the first day with Willem Wiersema (NED) in the first place, Paul Hameeteman second and Thomas van Ofwegen third. 

World Champion Splash blue leading
Current World Champions Mark Immenga (NED) starts off with a steady day (3, 1, 2) in the Splash Blue, but Dutch girl Hanna Cromwijk is following him close, only two points behind on a second place.

Racing on Friday
On Friday, racing continues with the first start at 9.55 hour. Wind conditions will be a bit lighter with an average of 12 knots. Perhaps more changes for the lighter wind sailors.