|ISCYRA Regatta Report|| |
Tue Aug 25th, 2015 through Sun Aug 30th, 2015
Winners Hubert Merkelbach and Frithjof Kleen.
| Presented by the Royal Dutch Yacht Club and
the Dutch Fleets|
Report by Hein Dijksterhuis NED 8350:
With surprise I look at the scale and realize that our championship is over before it started. I checked a lot organizing the event but our combined weight sneaked through. So I will be full-time regatta chairman, not the position I anticipated.
The practice race is cancelled due to too much wind, all sails are measured and I am happily surprised that my boat is only 1.5 kilos overweight: a bottle of coke. We have a nice opening ceremony: all 11 countries raise their flag while their national anthem is played and we keep the talks short. Food and drinks are there in abundance.
Thursday: we share at the skippersí meeting that we will sail the West course. A lot of wind is expected and this course is closer to shore and easier to get back quickly in case of thunderstorms. Reinhard and Uli (already 59 but who would have guessed that, piece of dynamite in the boat) take the bullet with favorites Hubert and Fritjof second and Emilios and Antonios third. The Greek team lead the second race of the day. Their tactics are simple and effective: start full speed at the pin end, sail to the lay-line, tack and be first at the windward mark. High boat speed is realized by raking the mast a bit more, get the kilos over the side and go. But the race is cancelled during the beat. We are urged to go back to the harbor: almost 30 knots of wind and thunderstorm clouds above Amsterdam, only a few miles away. Better be safe than sorry. But itís already too late for our friends from the States who loose their second (!) mast.>p> Lasagna is waiting in the harbor. Josje Hofland gives a presentation at 20:00 about her experiences being an International Judge at the Americas Cup: great video footage and a remarkable story.
Friday: three races today and we will take the East of Pampus island course. Weather is good, some sun and the wind between 8 and 15 knots during the day. Denis and Dmytro from the Ukraine win the first race after several general recalls. Johnny and Frederik from Denmark are second and the German favorites third. The wind is extremely tricky today: in speed and direction. Itís surprising to many that this vast amount of water is so hard to sail. Third race is won by Hubert and Fritjof, Henrik and Jan from Switzerland are second and the new formed Dutch team Haico and Erik third. Theyíve found good speed in these difficult circumstances. The Race Officer starts the third race of the day right after the finish of the second and does a great job. Weather mellowed a bit and the teams get used to our IJssellake. With Ulrich and Karsten we have again another team who gets the bullet. The Greek are second and GER 8450 third.
We have some time to dress up for our formal dinner. Halfway the Lucia Marthas Institute of Performing Arts surprises us with a Hiphop performance by many children in between the tables. I state that these children train more in a week than any sailor here in the room has ever done. So what can we learn from their dedication? How to make our sport as attractive to them as dancing? Table conversations continue (but are disturbed again by the tombola in which prizes are handed over to lucky winners).
Saturday: two races on the West course. Light winds today, sun and 26 degrees. The Stars live up to their reputation, the Race Officer: "I have never seen such a great start: all boats in a straight line full speed over the starting line. Beautiful!" Hubert and Fritjof take their second win. Thomas and Ben are second in their new boat and Emilios and Antonios prove they can sail as well with less wind and take the third spot. Sjaak and Marko lead the fifth race and although at one point the wind is almost gone, they take the bullet. Thomas and Ben have again a second and Hubert and Kilian go for third.
In the harbor the SUPís are waiting. Jochen is the hero of the day: he paddles his board most often to the castle at the other side of the harbor but Frederik is unbeatable: champagne for him.
Sunday: last day of racing and Hubert and Fritjof have already secured the championship. But 2nd-7th is still for grasps. Spectacular day again: 25 degrees and 15-18 knots of wind. We take the East racing area and course 3. The jury intervenes for the first time and the yellow flag is raised. The Dutch team goes from third to 13. Emilios and Antonis take the bullet after being disqualified the day before (room or no room thatís the question). Ben and Stuart have found speed with their third mast of the championship and are second and Ulrich and Karsten go for third.
The President of the Dutch Watersports Association and past winner of the Volvo Ocean Race hands over the prizes after congratulating all, and especially the 28 volunteers who have made this event possible. I had not realized during my sailing career how many people are involved to make it possible for me to race. I am grateful I could do something back as regatta chairman and make it a special event for them as well.
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