Club Championship 2009 - September 19

The end of September is always highlighted in our agenda. After a season of training and sailing and training and sailing we can finally race to our fullest and enjoy the annual Club Championship at our club VVW Heist.

The week leading up to the event was very exciting. The wind predictions were first indicating that it would blow, 6 BFT. In the middle of the week this got scaled down to 4 BFT, ideal conditions for us! By Friday evening though they were only predicting 2 à 3 BFT anymore. And when we got up on Saturday morning there was... NO WIND, bummer!

This led to hours of waiting on the beach, everyone (18 boats registered!) nervously watching the windsock, the predictions, each other... Some were already converting to Beer instead of Sailing, confident there would be a postponement. I sure hoped racing could go on. I felt like racing and the postponement would not come in handy since we were keen on sailing in Holland during the month of October.

Finally at 3 PM a decision was made: we were going to try and race. Everyone out on the water and we managed to race, yeah! The wind was very little (just 2 BFT probably) so it made for 3 very nerve wrecking races. We were literally crawling over the field. If someone made a good decision and found some more wind somewhere else on the field, it could all quickly turn around.

Conclusion of the 3 races: WE WON!! :-)
We scored a 2nd place, a 3rd place and a 2nd place. Due to a DSQ of the team that was just before us, we skipped over them and we won. On a second place team Nele De Somer/Pieter Vandendriessche with their Hobie Tiger. On a third place we had Werner and co on his nice carbon Eagle, very slick boat!

Results can be found here.

Evening festivities were very fun, especially for us, since we got to go home with a beautiful trophy. You can see this special trophy on these pictures.

RBSC Extreme 2009 - the pictures!

For those interested, a more detailed report! :-) And pictures.

First of all a screen shot from Google Earth so you can see were we have been.

The first day (Friday) we started from the beach club in Duinbergen in very heavy seas and winds up to 24 knots. We headed North East and in 3 legs we ended up before the 'Roompot' lock (top of the map where it says Rijksweg 57).

Great picture of a Hobie Wild Cat dealing with the waves and wind.

After the lock at the 'Roompot' we sailed on around 'Noord Beveland' towards the second lock to give us entrance to the 'Veerse meer'.
The leg between the 2 locks was the heaviest of the entire weekend... wind speeds up to 30 knots and the only goal for this leg was to finish, which we did! :-)

Us (Manu and me) in a LOT of wind.

By 6 or 7 pm we arrived at the second lock giving us access to 'het Veerse meer'. Once we were through the lock it got dark and we sailed the last part with our headlights on, cool!

Pulled the main again after the lock.

Oh yeah!

Saturday we stayed on the 'Veerse meer' all day. We saw every corner of the lake in great sailing conditions and a nice breeze of about 12 knots.

The first start at 7 am was just outside the club 'catclub Zeeland'.

The last day was a straight line home. We took the first lock early in the morning and took the canal between 'Veere' and 'Vlissingen'. Since the canal is only 50 meters wide, we couldn't race here. Also to gain time at the different bridges and locks along this canal the committee decided we shouldn't hoist our mainsails.

We pulled the spinnaker without mainsail....

... and used a trap wire as back stay.

Once in 'Vlissingen' we were almost home. A dazzling half wind leg in 20 knots brought us from 'Vlissingen' to the beach club in Duinbergen in only 54 minutes! So fast the committee didn't even have the time to take some pictures...

I wonder where the journey will take us next year....

RBSC Extreme 2009

Wow! Auch!

A perfect summary of my last 3 days of sailing and what the RBSC Extreme is about.

because this race makes you experience sailing in a whole different way,
because we flew the spinnaker in the dark,
because all teams measured 20+ knots on their GPS.

because my hands are not used to 3 (long) days of sailing,
because I feel every muscle I used the last three days (and there a quite a lot),
because sadly enough one team couldn't compete the last day due to a bruised rib.

The concept of the race hasn't changed. You start Friday 12am and 60 waypoints, 27 hours and 282 km's of sailing later you finish Sunday afternoon again on the beach of Duinbergen. In between are 2 nights, great food and fun and a couple of locks to take.

A detailed report will follow when I have some more pictures to show.
Oh yeah, we finished 6th out of 9 boats!