Every 21st of July (Our Belgian National Holiday), we race to the nature reserve 'Het Zwin' and back. Today we had lovely sailing weather, a nice breeze (7 to 11 knots) and sun all over the place!

There were 50 boats in total, divided in two groups (C1 - 21 boats and C3).

Our first start was great. We had clean air and started third from the committee boat. We have been practising on our upwind sailing and in this race we had all the settings right. The result was that we were 2nd at the upwind mark!
Downwind we lost just a little and could make up for it on the second upwind.
After this we had a long upwind stretch along the coast. Because the wind came from over land and we were close to the coast it was very unstable, so we had to work it a lot. Eventually we finished in third position and we were thrilled.

During this regatta we also stop to eat. We beachlanded and ate 'frieten and stoverij'

When we headed out on the water again for the second race, the wind picked up to 15 knots. We changed some settings to the jib because of this increase. In the end it was clear we shouldn't have done this...

Our start was not as good as the first one and we were in the middle of the pack. We could tack away but still had no clean air. The ones with clean air sailed faster and higher, something that would we difficult to make up for.
Halfway the first upwind run we had room to tack and finally got clean wind. However we couldn't keep the speed up as in the first race. We had moved the jib out on the track and now we had difficulties to maintain a good heading. F#@&!

After 2 loops in front of 'Het Zwin' we had the same stretch along the coast towards the finishing area. Again difficult sailing, but we managed to overtake some boats eventually. 2 cats had a blasting start and were waaaay ahead of everyone. We fought with about 5 cats for third place.

During the race the wind started to decrease to about 8 knots in the end. I guess we were too late to trim the boat for lighter wind and couldn't keep up with the first two boats of our pack. After a very close finish we came in 6th. This made for a final score of 4 for the day. Very happy with this result! Next time we'll make sure to be in the Top 3.

Overall a great race that assured us of our upwind settings and mostly that we shouldn't alter them too much... :-)

Up to our next race which will probably be the F16 Dutch nationals in Zandvoort, Holland.


1 comment:

Kathleen said...

And we were more than happy to finish 3rd in the first race, just 2 places after Patrick Demesmaeker, who came in as first Belgian (and 21st place overall) in the Gold Fleet at the F18 Worlds in Duinbergen :-)