Friday, 11 June 2010

Team Boskalis gears up for Zwitserleven Sailing Week 2010

Team Boskalis. Image copyright Thom Touw.

by Diana Bogaards

Team Boskalis (NED) gears up for the 2010 Zwitserleven Sailing Week. Three out of the four duos will also compete at the Nacra 2010 International Championship, to be sailed from Monday June 14 up to and including Wednesday June 16 along the Texel coast in the Netherlands. The Team's mission is to score two podium finishes. On Saturday June 19, the entire Team Boskalis will start in the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race 2010.

'Since we don't have an accurate weather forecast for that day yet, it is difficult to say anything about goals at this stage", says Team Manager and helmsman Gunnar Larsen (NED). 'However, it is going to be a good speed check for the 2010 F18 Worlds in France, in July. We will push as hard as we can for a top position."

Only Hugh Styles (GBR) and Ferdinand van West (NED) will miss the Nacra 2010 Int. Championship. They will join their fellow teammates on Tuesday, the day before the start of the Open Dutch Championships Cat Sailing, part of the Zwitserleven Zeilweek.

Over the last few months, Team Boskalis participated in two major events: Eurocat in Carnac/France and the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta in Scheveningen/Netherlands. Due to damage to the equipment, the quartet could not meet the expectations in France. Couple of weeks later, three Boskalis Nacra Infusions raced in Scheveningen and they were back in the front line. Gunnar Larsen and 2008 World Champion Jeroen van Leeuwen lost their podium spot on the final day and finished fourth in a fleet of 50 competitors. Ferdinand van West (NED) and his occasional helmsman Adam Piggot (GBR) ended up in 9th position. Christa van Helden (NED) and Wilco van Stavenuiter (NED) were 13th, as second best mixed crew.

'We have had a different preparation than in 2009, but I can see the potency of this year's formation. I recognize some points from 2009, which was an exceptional season for us", comments Larsen. 'I am impressed with the steep learning curve of Olivier Witteveen, crewing for Andrew. Hugh Styles and Ferdinand van West have been training hard last week and Christa and Wilco are also showing good progress. Yes, I am satisfied so far."

Renewed Team Boskalis
Following the successes of 2009, Team Boskalis announced a few crew changes in April 2010. In order to proceed with its master/trainee concept, new talents were given the opportunity to develop their skills in catamaran sailing. Olivier Witteveen is Andrew Macpherson's (AUS) new pupil. Wilco Stavenuiter (NED) exchanges the Olympic 49er for the F18 catamaran. He crews for Christa van Helden (NED), who returns at the helm. Gunnar Larsen (NED) and former World Champion Jeroen van Leeuwen (NED) join forces and share their experience and expertise. Their fellow teammates Hugh Styles (GBR) and Ferdinand van West (NED), bronze medallists at the 2009 F18 Worlds, continue their rewarding co-operation.

Team Boskalis