Friday, 24 June 2011

Heemskerk/Tentij take over lead in Texel Dutch Open 2011

Heemskerk/Tentij downwind. Image copyright Thom Touw.

by Diana Bogaards

On the second day of the Texel Dutch Open 2011, part of the Zwitserleven Sailing Week, Mischa Heemskerk (NED) and Bastiaan Tentij (NED) overtook the lead. In the Open class 1 there were considerable more competitors (50) at the start than yesterday. With a south-westerly to westerly wind of circa force 5 they sailed three races. Coen de Koning (NED) and Thijs Visser (NED) climbed to a second position overall, followed by Pim Nieuwenhuis (NED) and Ferdinand van West (NED).

It was a hard day. The sailors had to wait quite some time until the first start, because wind shifts and adjustments of the race-course. Subsequently there were many general recalls and black flags. With only one discard over the whole series it means a great risk. The two leaders know all of it, since both of them already scored a black flag (BFD).


Start. Image copyright Thom Touw.

Mischa Heemskerk: 'The rest of the series are going fine. Good wind, nice sailing and we are also going well. Yesterday we were a bit late with our preparations. By itself you can see that we are in a good rhythm." They don't get it easily though. 'We have a nice battle. In the second race we didn't know how many laps we had to sail and we were in the lead. Then we stopped to see what the others were doing. In the gate we saw Carolijn and asked her. She told us two rounds en was finishing, but it turned out to be three. We looked at Coen and he continued, so we let them pass to do it right."

On Texel it is about the Dutch championship catamaran sailing by handicap rules. That's different from the class F18 with more or less equal cats, explains Heemskerk: 'Normally you can take it easy when you're in the lead, but with the handicap rules you have to continue pushing. The F18 seems to go down one point every year, for whatever reason. We started with a rating of 105 and this year we already have 100. When I started sailing the Tornado had 100 and that boat was really fast. The F18 class rules haven't changed, but the handicap keeps going down." The lower the rating, the faster the boat should perform compared to cats with a higher rating.

Love Sailing - Fight Cancer

The two sailors aren't only competing for prizes, but also for support for KWF, the Dutch organisation to fight cancer. Heemskerk: 'We sail for the cancer fund. For this Round Texel Race we try to get the biggest possible fleet against cancer on the water. Everybody who participates can get a special sticker and we in return ask for a donation for the KWF. No fixed amount, just what someone wants to give." Asked about the reason, Heemskerk answers: 'It is an ugly disease and you can see people around losing the battle to cancer in a short time. The more research they do, the better." He doesn't have a goal regarding the total amount of donations. 'If everybody is aware of it and we can donate a fine contribution, we considered it successful." Next to stickers there are also bracelets and posters.

'This is why one does it"

The numbers two and three of the temporary rankings also enjoyed their mutual competition. 'We had a beautiful day", says Thijs Visser. 'We won the first two races, because we didn't take that many risks at the start. We weren't in the lead, but had to fight our way forward. We had a very nice battle with Mischa and Willem (Geijssen) and that's the reason one does this." Pim Nieuwenhuis yesterday started the championship with an OCS (early start), but concluded today with a win. 'It went well", he finds academically. 'The sailing conditions were superb."

Record attempt failed

The Bouscholte brothers hunting for a new record around Texel. Image copyright Thom Touw.

Today there was also the first attempt to beat the record around Texel. Hans and Ronald Bouscholte (NED) prepared their Nacra carbon 20, as the Brits William Sunnucks en Oliver Elan threw in their M20 Vampire. On the Wad (the water at the east side of the island) the wind was too southerly, which caused them a lot of tacking. In the end both teams came 11 minutes short to break the record of Herbert Dercksen en Mark Bulkely. This record, set in 2009, is 2 hours and 7 minutes.

Top five Texel Dutch Open 2011 after five races and a discard

1. NED - Heemskerk/Tentij, 9 points
2. NED - De Koning/Visser, 14 points
3. NED - Nieuwenhuis/Tentij, 22 points
4. GBR - Piggott/Garcka, 25 points
5. AUS - Beattie/Leitner, 26 points

Top three Open klasse II (7 contestants)

1. NED - Pool/Van der Duim, 6 points
2. NED - Alfred de Jong, 13 points
3. NED - Van Asselt/Bakker, 13 points

Slalom Windsurfing Worlds

Bernd Flessner on fire. Image copyright Thom Touw.

The windsurfers have completed 8 elimination rounds so far. 'Tomorrow, the skippers briefing will be at noon, because we are going to party tonight", says Dorian van Rijsselberge, Dutch RS:X Olympian and speaker at these Worlds on his home island Texel. Bernd Flessner from Germany is still in the lead, followed by Kasper Larsen (DEN) and Damien Le Guen from France.

Zwitserleven Sailing Week 2011

The Zwitserleven Sailing Week brings together multiple championships and races. The entire event commenced on Monday, June 20 with the Nacra Championships, including the official 2011 Nacra Infusion Worlds. The Nacra races lasted until Wednesday morning, because that afternoon the Dutch Open Catamaran Championship begins. The Dutch Catamaran Champions will be crowned on Friday, June 24. In addition, the Shorttrack Races will take place on Friday. For the recreational sailors there are tours on Thursday and Friday. The Slalom Windsurfing Worlds have their finals on Saturday, June 25, the day on which hundreds of catamarans sail around Texel.

The entire Zwitserleven Sailing Week is to be followed via the website, Facebook and Twitter.

Besides the title sponsor Zwitserleven, the Round Texel race is also made possible by the following sub sponsors VVV Texel, Paal 17 events, Treffers / Kappa, Teso, W&H Leibherr, TNG Watches and Mondriaan Onderwijsgroep.

Zwitserleven Sailing Week