Aruba, November 10th 2005
A submarine as possible surprise
British teams dominated on the fourth day of the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta. In the morning race, Stuart Gummer and Gillian Power (F18, GBR) beat Chris Sproat and Georgina Burke (Spitfire, GBR) by just three seconds after calculation. The Dutch Tornado sailors Eduard Zanen and Mischa Heemskerk won the Gaastra long distance race in the afternoon, followed by Gummer/Power and Allen/Farren. With one race left, Gummer and Power are unbeatable, so they can start to dismantle their F18 Capricorn.
"We had a good race with Mischa", told Richard Allen in the morning. "We were up to three laps in the lead, when he took it over. We caught them back and we rounded together the last gate, but we both choose another mark and Mischa finished just ahead of us." After calculation, Allen and Farren got a 7th position and Zanen and Heemskerk a 6th.
Bad start for leaders
Stuart Gummer and Gillian Power, the current leaders, did not win the eighth race because of a good start. Power: "We were too conservative. We rounded as fifth Formula 18 the first upwind mark. It was a terrible feeling to see all the Tornado’s and then the F18’s in front of us, but in every downwind reach we caught one up and we ended as first F18." Chris Sproat and Georgina Burke came very close to victory with their Spitfire in the morning race. Sproat: "We had a good start at the committee boat, so we had clear air. We zig zagged through the middle and reached the mark just behind Stuart. We increased our speed downwind, so we seemed to do very well. It was a good day for us so far."
Capri speed wanted
James Power and Marcus Lynch finished as second F18, which put them in third position on handicap. Power sailed a Spitfire last year, but he enjoys his Hobie Tiger (F18) now: "It sails smoother and you can push it much harder, but we want to have some ‘Capri speed’ upwind." The British sailors had two bad results, due to a broken jib and an OCS. After eight races, the second result could be discarded and that is why they came back in third position overall.
After a lunch, the competitors sailed out for the traditional Gaastra long distance race. The conditions were good with a nice seabreeze of force three to sometimes four and lots of sunshine. Event’s organizer Edwin Lodder at the briefing: "There is sometimes a surprise in the lagoon, as a submarine could come up all of a sudden. But don’t worry, we communicate with them and will warn you." Fortunately, it did not appear of the surface of the Caribbean Sea. Gummer and Gillian were first at the upwind mark. Gillian: "We put up the gennaker and ended up going to Venezuela. We went back and our spin block broke, so initially we couldn’t set the gennaker. The fleet caught up on us, but I fixed it and put the spi up again. On the downwind reach, Stuart said to me: "Don’t let it flap." It was just great and we made up for our loss, as we were first F18 over the water." Sacha Larsen and Albert van Houdt (NED) finished as second F18 and fourth boat after calculation. Van Houdt: "Finally we had a good race, we have had so much bad luck this week. We sailed the perfect course in the long distance, as we went inshore close to the islands. We entered as sixth or seventh the lagoon. In the last sausage, we caught a few more boats by going to the left." Eduard van Zanen and Mischa Heemskerk (NED) took the line honours, followed by Richard Allen and Simon Farren (Tornado, GBR), who got a third position overall. Farren: "We smoked. We were the fastest boat downwind." Jurgen Kerstens and Paul Smissaert (F18, NED) had a good day as well. They climbed to the third position overall, after a fourth and fifth place today.
Top five after nine races and two discards:
1. GBR " F18 " Gummer/Power, 8 points
2. NED " Tornado " Zanen/Heemskerk, 16 points
3. NED " F18 " Kerstens/Smissaert, 34 points
4. GBR " Tornado " Allen/Farren, 37 points
5. GBR " Spitfire " Sproat/Burke, 39 points
In addition to the head sponsors Heineken and Aruba Tourism Authority, the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta is sponsored by Hapag Lloyd, TNG Swiss Watches, KLM, Holiday Inn, Does & Cadushi, Magic Marine, Coca Cola, Gaastra, AWA, Anthony Veder & Co, Aruba Watersports Center, Kodak, Palm Tours, Pelican Watersports, Seaworld Explorer and Aruba Bank.