The last day of the race...

Again we got up early -> 8 pm sharp start!

Today we had to get back to the open waters (we were at the "Veerse meer" at the moment). We started to race towards the channel that connected the inshore waters with "de Schelde".
It was blowing force 4 and the racing was very intense. The channels we went through were sometimes only a couple of 100 meters wide, so we had to come of the wire, tack, and go out again quite often!

Once we reached the channel, we had to take the main down and go through it with the jib only. A pity we couldn't race in these extremely flat waters, but if you consider the traffic, it was a logic decision.

By noon we reached "de Schelde". Here we started to sail with the spin and we didn't take it down until the finish on the beach of Duinbergen at 5.15 pm!

These seals we didn't see, too busy with the spin I guess...

Thanks to the organizing club for a great event!

RBSC Extreme - day 2

Day 2 started early... Rigging a cat in the dark with flashlights isn't easy but, ... great when you're sailing with a sunset!

At about 8 am we arrived at the first lock, just before the wind fell... When we came out of the lock, the wind hadn't picked up so we had a paddle start...

After a paddle race of 4 miles the fleet finished and we waited until the wind would pick up... and at about 11 am it did!
We continued sailing on inlakes and creeks... Technically quite challenging and very beautiful! (Holland is known for its waterways).

After another lock we arrived at the campsite about 5 pm. After a short break we still did some racing in the surroundings and finished at 6.30 pm.

Again food and drinks were served and I want to thank the organizing club for an excellent job!

Was it extreme....? Day 1

Finally a report.... Yes I was tired and went sailing with the Blade last weekend so it took a while before I had the time to write something about my extreme experience.

On Friday we (Manu and I; Kathleen preferred not to do this extreme event) met at the beach around 8 am. We still had to prep the boat (Nacra F18) before sailing of to the beach club RBSC (15 min sail).
When preparing I mean adding 'extreme' items to the cat. This went from a rudder system to lock the rudders in case we had to paddle to top lights and a radar reflector for security.

Around 11 am we arrived at the beach for a thorough security check. After that we received a map with all possible way points they could send us to.

At about 2 pm the first (beach)start was given and very soon it became clear we were heading for Holland.

Checking the next way point....

At about 5 pm we finished at the beach of "De Roompot" about 30 nautical miles later (in force 4 to 5).

This is us!

The sun was out and the entire group of sailors (10 cats) decided to call it a day. We enjoyed the BBQ and went for a short rest.... The start on Saturday was planned around 6 am (but we still had to eat, rig the boat and break up the tent...).

RBSC Extreme

No regattas/races this weekend... It has been a long time since we had no sailing planned at all during the weekend, but we'll have plenty things to do.

Next weekend I'm sailing the RBSC Extreme on a F18. Extreme = 3 days of GPS cat sailing.

Start on Friday around 2pm, finish around 8pm. Saturday we'll be sailing from 5am till 8pm and Sunday from 7am till 2pm...

Goal for this regatta: crossing the finish line on Sunday!

I hope we don't get too much wind, but if there isn't enough, you're allowed to paddle!!


Less common competition...


Viper F16

Eagle 18HT

Euro Cats Cup 2008

This is a classic long distance raid not to be missed. Altough... we were very much doubting if we would participate or not. Mainly because every weekend of August had been full of races with lots of wind and we didn't really feel like "surviving the winds" again. BUT Saturday was announced as a lovely summer day, high temperatures and a moderate Easterly breeze. The perfect conditions for this long distance. So we entered. The good conditions showed: we had 80 participants! The club really was alive and kicking. Very nice to see.

And we had great fun. Wind was a bit more than announced, with again high winds of up to 5 BFT, but the sun and the not too big (it still is the North Sea ofcourse) waves made up for this.

For the first time ever I trapezed with the kite up: what an experience! Very mixed emotions: very scared and very excited all at once. But we went fast and didn't really stuff the nose. I am still on the learning curve, I hurt myself a fair bit while falling backwards between the rudders or while hitting the side stay and the dagger board at the same time. But well, once I am more experienced I will have a more stable position and the bruises always disappear anyway :-)

The long distance starts with a buoy triangle race in front of the club, an upwind and a downwind beat and we did very well on this triangle. I think we were between 10th and 15th at that time and we were even in front of some of the better sailors of our club!

Ready to hoist the spin....

Then we were off to Holland, back to the club and then off to Holland again. Finish was in front of the club. We really felt our muscles while trapping upwind! Gill would have really enjoyed a crew who did the main sheet ;-) The downwind legs were very long, with some really big waves in the beginning. And not being used to trapping downwind I felt it!

It was an exciting race, we were close to 2 other club boats and we finally finished between 15th and 20th place.

But... a major but! We got an OCS :-( DAMN! What a pity. We apparently went over the starting line a few seconds early and got disqualified, together with 4 other boats. There was an individual recall but we decided to race on because we were convinced we didn't start early. Well, tough lesson learned. No finishing place for us.

But we know we did good, better than last year. So we are learning and evolving. Great news!

The next few weeks no races scheduled. If the weather cooperates we can enjoy some casual sailing and prepare for the last big race of the season: our Club Championship. To be continued...

This year's flyer made for this race: