News from Laurent Verbeeck
During the weekend of 5 and 6 October, the Belgian Nationals were sailed at Sycod in Oostduinkerke. Weather forecast didn’t looked good in advance, but still 50 catsailor teams showed up Saturday morning! The fleet was divided in C1 and C3, and from those general results, the F18 and F16 ranking will be extracted.
In the F18 fleet, the battle was full on between the Belgian, Dutch and British sailors.
After the Belgian teams took home Gold and Silver at the Dutch nationals earlier in September, the Dutch father and son team Van Dam were eager to take a Belgian title home. Simon Northrop from UK won the Belgian nationals in 2015 and hoped to repeat this performance.
Saturday we got a very shifty off shore breeze, making it very difficult to pick the right side of the course. The sailors who managed to keep their eyes outside of the boat did really well! Youngsters Philip and Filip were leading after 4 races, just ahead of Belgian team Patrick and Gilles. Third were father and son Van Dam and in fourth position came Simon with Caleb. All very close in points, they had all to play for in the second day!
The forecast for Sunday looked very windy, especially in the afternoon. RC did well by advancing the first possible warning on Sunday to 10h30. After 3 races in rainy wonderful conditions between 14 and 17 knots, the fleet was send ashore. Again very good call as we got hit by 35+ knots after hitting the beach!
Great weekend with very close racing!
Patrick and Gilles (C2/Goodall Design DS) take home gold medal, just one point ahead of Philip and Filip (C2/Goodall Design DS) and Simon and Caleb (Edge/Northrop DS) which ended with equal points respectively second and third.
Patrick said: “The conditions might not have been very attractive with the rain and cold we got, but the close racing we had with the other F18’s made it all more than worth it!” Gilles: “It was hard work, but the close battle made it one of our most memorable regattas of the season. Great to be fighting for every inch around the course.”