Belgian Championship C1 in Oostende

Our hometown was the place to be this weekend. The OSRC hosted the Belgian Championships (BK).

The theme for this weekend was wind; lots of wind. On Saturday we managed 4 races, in 18 knots. Sunday was announced to be less windy (10 knots). But as from 9 o'clock the wind only got stronger.

On Sunday we managed 2 races, in 18 knots again, with gusts to about 22. Very tiring but we learned alot and we sure gained some more confindence on our boat and on our capacities as a team :-)

Now about the race...
20 boats on the starting line (including 4 new Hobie Wildcat) and all very good teams (in our opinion). The first races we started in the second row because we had to get used to the high wind and gusts and didn't feel confident enough to park on the starting line. This meant ofcourse that we gave them already a lead, something they didn't give away anymore. 12,16,12 and DNF (mainsail leech tensioner snapped...).

We were dead beat when we came of the water. But happy! In the past we were almost always suffering in these conditions but now we had speed both up and downwind. In the past I had difficulties keeping the windward hull out of the water with waves and a lot of wind. But this Saturday we stood a lot more to the front of the boat. Weight positioning on this boat is very important. We noticed that with a hull in the water, the Blade wanted to dig the nose in, but once the hull came out of the water a little bit we sailed a steady 10 to 11 knots upwind.

The second day (Sunday) 2 more races were performed. As said before the wind was even stronger then yesterday and this was a good test case to show that a lightweight F16 can be sailed in any condition!

These last 2 races of the weekend we had a better feeling. We could keep up with almost everyone and got in fifth position at the upwind mark in the final race. Also on the downwind tack we could keep up with the F18's. But here and there we oversailed the gate, touched the bouy and pitchpoled (in the last gybe of the very last finish...).

Anyway, we learned a lot this weekend, certainly not to stress if you're sailing in the front pack :-)

Our best result was an 11 and a 13 overall. Thanks to the OSRC for the great organisation and especially for the hot dogs at the end of the weekend!

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