The Hague, Wednesday July 24 -- Today was an excellent day of racing at the Nacra 17 Worlds just off the coast of The Hague.
Yesterday the blue fleet managed to sail two races, the yellow fleet none. So in order to get five results in each fleet the yellow fleet today had to sail five races and the blue fleet three. That was a challenge for the race committee, as well for the sailors in the yellow fleet. They had to stay focused all day and race five times.
But everything went well. There was enough wind, between 15 - 17 knots, all day. The committee started race after race. So at 6.30 PM all the boats were back on the beach. Tomorrow the 65 teams out of 24 countries will be sailing three races in the Gold (top 25) and three in the Silver fleet. First start will be at 10.30 AM.
The most trying part today again was the current, which at some points was about three knots. Not many sailors are used to this kind of current and struggled to beat up against it. After five races the Dutch team Mandy Mulder and Thijs Visser are in the lead with seven points. French Billy Besson and Marie Riou are in second place, also with seven points, but in the last race they were third and Mulder/Visser first.
The practice race of the Nacra 17 Worlds today started out with superb conditions. At the start at 2 PM there was a medium sea breeze and sunny conditions. 65 Teams out of 24 countries registered for this new Olympic multihull class.
Today was only one race. Twice there was a general recall, because to many teams crossed the starting line to early. Partly because the current pushed them too much forward, partly to 'test the racing committee' as the sailors call it. At the third start the committee hoisted the black flag, which means that the teams who cross the line to early are then disqualified. Tomorrow the competition really starts, so the results of today actually don't count. That's why a lot of teams choose not to finish. Superstition tells them that a good result today will turn against them the rest of the week.
French Billy Beson/Marie Riou
That also counted for one of the favourites for a podium position fresh F18 World Champion Billy Beson (FRA) with his new crew Marie Riou. 'It was good racing", tells Riou. 'We were fourth the whole race, but we also didn't want to tempt fate, so we crossed the finish line at the wrong site. Most important for us is that we have fun and pleasure during the races at all week. Also results of course. We are aiming for the Olympics in Rio and going for a medal at the Worlds here. We train a lot and especially I have to learn a lot. This is my first year in a multihull, I used to do match racing. Sailing a Nacra 17 is not the same. The game is totally different, and the speed also. But I have a good skipper, who taught me a lot. We plan to sail very fast this week."
The Dutch teams will be very keen to win on its home water, taking advantage of an early start of the road to Rio 2016. Renee Groeneveld and Karel Begemann had a difficult start, but caught up with the rest of the leading pack. Groeneveld: 'The speed was good and we chose some good sides with the current, because we know this water pretty well. We can handle the ever shifting sailing conditions of the coast of The Hague. Current and waves change everyday. We have good faith that we can sail pretty fast this week and compete with the top. Just like the rest of the Dutch teams. We also didn't finish today, but that's part of the game. If you win the practice race you're doomed."
Soft decks are not a death sentence for your old boat. It took me a few hours to re-bond the inner skin of the deck to the foam core to repair the soft decks. It took longer to refinish the deck than to make that structural repair. The repair isn't difficult, but it does take some feel to get right. The old Hobie decks have a thick outer laminate, a foam core, and a light weight inner skin. In my case, this inner skin came away from the core and I glued it back together. Here is the short version of how it's done before I give you a full step by step description.
It sounds easy, and it is if you take it step at a time. Read through the directions several times. Do all the preparation work you can before you mix epoxy, and don't forget to chock the trailer wheels if the boat is on a trailer (Free lesson number 1. Yes, I chased the trailer around the garage.) The size of the hole we drill is determined by the size of the syringe tip we use to inject the epoxy.
Required repair tools-
drill motor, #17 drill bit, tape, rubber gloves, permanent marker, 20cc syringe, rubber tubing, mixing cups, stirring sticks, paper towels, shop apron, #8x1 sheet metal screws, small instrument screwdriver.
- Best attended cat nationals of the year -
The Hurricane5.9SX comes home to Brightlingsea SC. ‘The Church of UK Catamaran sailing’
The 25th edition of the Hurricane Nationals could only be held in one club. So on Sept 27th 28 teams returned to Brightlingsea SC in Essex, to compete as part of the 3rd ‘RegFest’ celebration of UK cat sailing, in the place where it all began with Reginald White MBE.
Just reading the roll of honour surrounding the club bar is a jaw dropping story of Olympic and World Championship glory.
The last six National Champions were lured by this mouth watering prospect. Defending 2011 Champion Richie Hanmore and clubmate 2 time Champion Neil Connelly with his Shearwater crew from 1976, nice one! Sail maker, former National & European Champion, Olympic Nacra dealer and ex-Tornado squad member Grant Piggott, crewed by a very accomplished Simon Farren, were back to avenge a narrow defeat in the 2010 edition. Also in attendance, two time winner John Ready, with a very handy ex-49er GBR Development Squad sailor Jamie Bolingbroke.
Every fleet has its dark horses, this year they came in the shape of the Charlesworth brothers who turned out to be blisteringly fast in a blow and the recently reunited team of Bawden and Wass with their very tasty red and white Hurricane, which would prove to be smashingly fast....
The fleet also included; a youth team, six mixed crews, six brothers and two father/son teams, drawn from Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Central and Southern England.
In recent years the classes coaching programme and uniquely detailed, freely available tuning guide has done much to raise the bar.
So just who would take the title at the church?