by Ferdi Merks
Medemblik will once again stage the Delta Lloyd Regatta from 21st to 25th May. With the 29th edition of this prestigious sailing event in North Holland, the organisers and Delta Lloyd will be entering a new era. In a post-Olympic year, the Delta Lloyd Regatta is now part of the Champions Sailing Cup where the five largest European sailing events have combined their resources. Delta Lloyd as title sponsor of the only Dutch sailing event with all Olympic classes has committed to another four years through to the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. As a result, Medemblik is also assured of a very attractive global sailing event for the same period.
Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Arjen Rahusen is extremely pleased with the extension and partnership with the title sponsor of the governing body for Dutch water sports. “An organisation such as Delta Lloyd, who is increasing their profile as the insurer for water sports in the Netherlands, is a perfect fit with the ambitions of the Delta Lloyd Regatta. The only Dutch sailing event for all Olympic classes has long been recognised as the most innovative and ambitious. With organisations such as Delta Lloyd and new partner Swiss Timing combined with the extension and support of the province of North Holland, we are continuously seeking improvement of the sailing event. More and more the focus is based on making the event more accessible and enjoyable for the public. In partnership with Delta Lloyd we will be trying to raise sailing to a higher level over the next four years.”
Since 2008 the Delta Lloyd Regatta was part of the ISAF Sailing World Cup. Starting this year, the organising committee decided to take a different approach whereby a number of innovations will be introduced. From 2013, the Delta Lloyd Regatta is part of the Champions Sailing Cup as well as the biggest European sailing events including Faglia Vela Riva in Italy, Kieler Woche in Germany, Sail for Gold in Great Britain and the Semaine Olympique Francaise in La Rochelle, France. The five world class events combine to form an accessible and affordable series for all Olympic and Paralympic classes.
As one of the initiators of the Champions Sailing Cup, the Delta Lloyd Regatta will be introducing a number of changes. There will be some experiments with the competition formats that will make sailing more accessible for media and visitors. In addition, Swiss Timing will develop a platform where people all over the world can follow the races live in 3D.
The new format contains three phases:
Qualification Series: this will be 6 to 8 races.
Final Series: the top 25 from the Qualification Series will progress into the Gold Fleet, the points already won will also be taken forward. The other participants continue in the Silver Fleet where there will also be 6 to 8 races. After the Final Series, the standings will be confirmed.
Medal Race: the top 6 of the standings will qualify for the final. The result in this race - combined with the standings after the Final Series - will determine the final positions.
For Example: 1st in the Final Series and 3rd at the Final race, means 4 points. Non-finalists participate in one more race which also counts towards final positions.
The 29th edition of the Delta Lloyd Regatta is proud to welcome many of the top sailors from around the world. A full strength Dutch team is also expected in Medemblik.
Amongst the Dutch participants will be Dorian van Rijsselberghe, Olympic windsurfing champion. He will be competing against the rising Dutch talent in the RS:X class, Kiran Badloe.
Marit Bouwmeester (Olympic Silver in the Laser Radial in Weymouth and convincing winner of the World Cup in Hyères) and Pieter Jan Postma (Finn) will also be present on the IJsselmeer.
In addition to van Rijsselberghe there will be more Olympic Champions from Weymouth on the IJsselmeer to see: the British para-Olympic sailor Helena Lucas (2.4Mr) and the Chinese Lijia Xu (Laser Radial). The latter defeated Marit Bouwmeester in London last summer. With the top three from the last World Cups in Palma and Hyeres from almost all classes, the races on the water around Medemblik will be bristling with tension and excitement.