Hugh Styles and Ryan Crawford (UK) scored two bullets on the first day of the Texel Dutch Open 2007 in the Netherlands. The British sailors shined at boat speed with their Nacra Infusion and ‘simple sailing’, as they called it. Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij, also on a Nacra Infusion, finished second twice in a fleet of 46 competitors. The British Spitfire team Chris Sproat and Georgina Burke are in third position overall. Last year’s runner up of the Zwitserleven Round Texel, Hans Primowees on a 27-year old Prindle 15, is leading the nine small cats in the Open Class II. After a few hours of postponement, the conditions were close to perfect with a southwester force 4, waves and clear skies.
At about 17:00 hours local time, the AP-flag went down and the first starting sequence commenced. After all the waiting, the sailors in the Open Class I were too eager and therefore early over the line with a general recall as result. At the second signal, they were all clear. Hugh Styles: “We pushed very hard with the French guys and we went straight over the line. We were the first to tack and we were leading after the second tack. It was close racing.” A long time before the first start, Styles and Crawford went out for a training session. “We have practised for about 1,5 hours, since we had not sailed together since May”, explained Styles, who combines the F18 circuit with the Extreme 40 iShares Cup onboard Team iShares. The British could not keep up with the speed of the prototype 20-foot Volvo Extreme with Herbert Dercksen (NED) on the helm. The M20-based carbon cat took the line honours. In the second race, Styles and Crawford had to deal with another M20, sailed by the Dutchmen Xander Pols and Tjiddo Veenstra. Both M20’s were leading for a while, but the British took over the lead after Pols/Veenstra went for another lap and Dercksen/Mcintosh had some problem in the last downwind. Crawford: “We were not the fasted boat on the course, but knew what we wanted to do and we kept it simple.”
In addition to Zwitserleven, the Round Texel Race has been sponsored by TNG Swiss Watches, Repeat Sales Promotions, W&H/Liebherr, Yamaha Nederland, Nissan, Teso, VVV Texel, de Mondriaan Onderwijsgroep, Rabobank, de Meeuw, Zeilen, Texeler, Stiehl Entertainment and Paal-17 Events.