by Diana Bogaards
The last day of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta 2013 showed a repeat of last year, when a persistent sea fog made an early end to the competition. This time it was a lack of wind that happened to be the game breaker. After two hours postponement, the breeze filled in a little bit and the marks were laid out. However, before the first classes had raced half a mile, the wind dropped again and the boats drifted backwards with the current. As a result, all further racing was cancelled. That leaves the outcome of Sunday unchanged.
This year's conditions at the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta were variable. From a rainy, cold and windy Friday, to a sunny Sunday with a good breeze, to a windless and wet Monday. During the Whitsun weekend, the ORC and IRC measured yachts for the Yeomen Challenge Trophy (result of the inshore races) and the overall prices in the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta (results offshores and inshores). The Soulmate of French Rodenburg won the cup of the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta, the overall price of all classes.
IRC1: Searching for the right setting with new sails
On Sunday, the Il Corvo (Grand Soleil 43) of skipper Astrid de Vin took over the lead of the Elke (First 40). The team won both the Yeoman Challenge Trophy as well as the overall price in the IRC1. 'On the first day, we had some start up problems', tells De Vin. 'We raced duo handed in the offshores and this weekend with a complete crew, so we had to get used to that again. In addition, we have a new set of sails and we were searching for the right settings. On Friday, we didn't get the boat going. Besides from tricky waves, it Not only was the wave power tricky, it was different sailing with the new sails. However, with three matches a day you get into the groove quickly. The second day went already better, as we scored two bullets and a second. Yesterday, we added three wins. We have been sailing together for two years now. We know each other well and that makes a difference. We are very happy with this price. The competition is huge in this class. It is always close racing between the first four.'
Javelin Dutch Champions 2013 crowned. Image copyright Sander van der Borch
Javelin: We have made some stupid mistakes
The Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta counted as the National Championship in the Javelin class. The best Dutch were Olav Kerssemakers and Marten de Groot, who finished second behind the Germans Jens and Jan Schlittenhard. 'The whole fleet stayed close to each other,' said Kerssemakers. 'The competition was fierce, but it remains difficult to defeat the Germans. The two brothers have been racing together for 30 years. Their boat handling is marvelous. We have been a duo for two years now and we are not dissatisfied. We are improving and there's still progression. We have made some stupid mistakes during this event. In the first race there was a misunderstanding whether we had to make two or three butt. Many teams did three, some only two. We thought they would be disqualified, but they turned out to have it right. So we did an extra lap and still finished as 8th. In yesterday's last race, we were leading for two laps, when the spinnaker got stuck under the boat. We were just a little too late with dropping and if the kite hits the water, you go from top speed to a standstill. We lost a quarter of an hour, but managed to overtake five boats. There's plenty of room to improve.'
Other handicap classes
The victories in the other handicap classes went to the Havoc (IRC2-3), Soulmate (ORC 1), stone-curlew (ORC 2) and the Schaap Shipcare (ORC 3 - 4).
One Design Classes
The Expecto (J109), Peak (Melges 24) with Olympic silver medalist Marit Bouwmeester, Van Uden (Swan 45) with Bouwe Bekking, Bronenosec (Swan60), Fraporita (J22), Merk Meester (J24), Ygg-Dra-Sill (Yngling), MXTC (Maxfun 25), Rivium (SB20), Non Plus Ultra (Efsix), NN (Contender) were crowned in the One Design classes.
Kite surfing and catamarans
The Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta presented two new classes, the Olympic Nacra 17 catamaran and kite surfing. The Nacra 17 sailors will be back this summer for their first Nacra 17 Worlds, to be held from 20 to 27 July off the Scheveningen coast. The Dutch national team members Groeneveld and Begemann took this weekend's victory. Heemskerk/Tentij won the F18 battle, Vercouteren/Pieters in the F16, Van Gorp/Van Gisbergen in the Dart18 and Zwager/Schraven in the Hobie16.
The only official racing for the kitesurfers was on Sunday with ideal conditions. A total of 21 competitors lined up at two starts. Rolf van der Vlugt won the course raceboarders, an Olympic course, and Bram de Jeu took victory in the slalom races.
Gazprom Swan 60 in action. Image copyright Sander van der Borch
The Russian team Bronensec (Gazprom) and the German team SGM were competing with each other to promote the Swan 60 class in the Netherlands. According to Tommaso Chieffi, tactician of the winning Bronensec, the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta was a good start to the season. 'It's an opportunity to train the new team members and to try other things. We won the eight races, but the Germans were getting better and became a growing competitor for us.' The German crew led by Tim Kröger (Whitbread and America's Cup veteran) is a project for young German sailors to be trained for offshore sailing, in the so-called German Youth Offshore challenge. They only started sailing together four days prior to the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta. This was their first event, leading up to the Gazprom 2013 Swan 60 World Championships in July in Cowes.
For the final results per class, please surf to http://www.nsr.nl/results-all.