Raf Verhaeghe Challenge 2010 @ SYCOD Oostduinkerke

The Raf Verhaeghe Challenge is a 2 day race in Oostduinkerke that has been on our "want to do" list for ages. Finally this year we could schedule it and we were really looking forward to it. Unfortunately the weekend before the weather gods didn't cooperate so our Club Championship @ VVW Heist was postponed to the Sunday of the Raf Verhaeghe Challenge! Dilemma...

We couldn't keep away from our Club Championship, moreover since we were the title defenders. But we also didn't want to stay away from the Raf Verhaeghe. So we decided to take it all and sail the Raf Verhaeghe on Saturday and the Club Championship on Sunday. This meant of course that we would need to trailer the boat to Oostduinkerke on Friday, set up, sail and then on Saturday evening break everything of again and trailer back to Heist. Let's say we now know how to rig and de-rig our Falcon very quickly :-)

We are very happy we chose this option, because we had a great weekend. We really feel we stepped up our level again. On Saturday we scored a 3, a 3, a 5 and a 4 and ended 4th overall after day 1. Our boat speed was amazing. Boat handling is also getting better and since we bought a TacTic compass we now also start to play the wind shifts more. So overall we are still improving :-)

We had 4 races in different conditions. The first 2 races we had high winds (force 4-5) and going upwind we faced long waves. Race 1 started with a pin end favored start line so we started on starboard and we managed to cross the fleet! Great feeling. We would have been 1st at the upwind mark if we got the mark right, but we had to make 1 extra tack. This put us in second position at the upwind mark. A short spreader and a quick spin hoist and than off to the gate. We had to do 3 laps each race and since there was a lot of wind we really were totally beat after race 1. But we were also very happy since we finished 3rd! The French Black Moon sailors, Joel Lefèvre & Erwan Griziaux, called our Falcon "la bombe", how cool is that!

After the races Gill took interested sailor Bert Desmet along for a test sail on the Falcon. Bert was really impressed with the boat and back on shore we also had some more interested people checking out the Falcon and asking questions. Very nice!

The day ended with a tasty paella served at the club and a good night of socializing with the SYCOD sailors. Great bunch of people!

The final results of the 2 day event are not yet available. As soon as we receive them I'll update this post. We also have some nice pictures shot on Saturday, so I hope we'll get them too.


Anonymous said...

I confirm ! You had a great speed on the water that week end. We will be in Belgium in 2 weeks at l'eau d'heure.

Hope to see "la bombe" ther !

Erwan Griziaux

Gill said...

Hi Erwan,

How many boats are expected at L'eau d'heure?
We have been to the season's opening this year, but the race was cancelled...


Anonymous said...


We are waiting between 15 & 25 boats..;
For sure it won't be cancelled.