Nacra Infusion Worlds 2011 was held during the Zwitserleven Sailing Week, from Monday 20 June until Wednesday 22nd.
Beattie/Leitner battling with De Koning/Visser without jib - Nacra Infusion Worlds 2011
Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser from the Netherlands won the first Nacra Infusion Worlds. They dominated the fleet and took the victory with an eleven point lead after nine races. Dutchmen Gunnar Larsen and Sam Frank maintained their second position overall, followed by the Australians Adam Beattie and Jamie Leitner. The weather forecast showed strong and building winds for today, but the conditions in the morning were not that extreme. The fleet sailed with a south-western breeze of about force 4-5.
The Nacra carbon 20 sailors decided to stay ashore and save the boats for the rest of the week, so there are no changes in podium positions. Mitch Booth (AUS) and Olivier Witteveen (NED) take the overall win. In the Open Class only one boat showed up for the start. Pierre Meermans and Oscar Brommer (NED) proved to be true winners and won the whole series.
One team competed without the jib and it turned out to be the leaders Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser. According to the forecast the wind would build more and more. But was it a successful experiment? De Koning with a smile: 'It depends on how you look at it. We have learned something but we were not faster. We practiced with it beforehand and we tried it at the North Sea Cup in Belgium, but there we had flat water and it was blowing. We did not win or lose anything without the jib, but I had the feeling we needed more practice. Today the breeze would increase as well and we had pretty big lead over the runners up, so it was time to experiment. Nobody else will do it, so if you don't try, you never know. But we only had 15 knots in thr first race and it was hard to sail against the waves.'
As a result De Koning and Visser finished fifth and fourth today, which was still enough to win the title with a lead of 11 points. 'That feels good', says De Koning. 'There were a few strong teams. Until now we have had some issues this season and we were slowly improving. But, so far, we haven't performed so well against the competitors.' Visser does not really realize that they just won their first World title of 2011: 'The day is not over yet. We have to get ready for the Open Dutch Championships, starting this afternoon.' De Koning about their strategy: 'We will hoist the jib for sure.'
Beattie/Leitner battling with Geijssen/Van Asselt - Nacra Infusion Worlds 2011
Leitner and Beattie on fire
The Aussies Jamie Leitner and Adam Beattie were on fire today and climbed again two places on the leader board, as they won both races. 'It was good', says Adam Beattie. 'We like this wind. It's the same as home, although it's not so cold out there.'
In spite of their wins this morning, they couldn't beat Gunnar Larsen and Sam Frank in the final results. Leitner and Beattie are third overall, three points after Larsen and Frank. Beattie: 'We came one race short. We didn't perform well on the first day and missed some important points there. But that's racing. Beforehand we did have a chance of winning the worlds. We beat all the competing teams before at the Dutch Open in May but at least we're in the top three and that was our goal. It was a good regatta, with perfect conditions.'
Larsen and Frank in action - Nacra Infusion Worlds 2011
Larsen and Frank maintain ranking
'We're second overall', says Gunnar Larsen proudly. 'We're very happy with that. The first race of today didn't go well, the second luckily we sailed better.' Larsen and Frank finished sixth in the first match. Larsen: 'We expected more wind, so we were a bit surprised. According to the forecast and the actual sight of the sea, we thought it was blowing harder. We tacked a bit too early to the sea and lost several meters to the other teams. We came in sixth, which isn't a good result for us. The second race we did better and finished third. We started at the pin end and were immediately up to speed. We raced conservatively, only focusing on keeping our second ranking overall and now it's over. We are very satisfied with our silver medal.'
Geijssen/Van Asselt best mixed crew
Dominique van Asselt (NED, 15 years) is not only the youngest competitor, she is also the best female sailor and mixed crew of the 2011 Nacra Infusion Worlds. Willem Geijssen and Dominique van Asselt finished fourth overall. Her eyes light up as the Olympic Games of 2016 are mentioned: 'Yes, I do have ambitions for sure.' These Nacra Infusion Worlds are her first F18 racing experience. 'It was fun', she says. This afternoon she will switch back to her own Hobie 16 as helmsman with Ingrid Bakker as crew. The girls will compete in the Texel Dutch Open. Geijssen will continue with Gilles Tas from Belgium.
Top five Nacra Infusion Worlds 2011 (33 entries) after nine races, including a discard:
1. NED - De Koning/Visser, 17 points
2. NED - Larsen/Frank, 28 points
3. AUS - Beattie/Leitner, 31 points
4. NED - Geijssen/Van Asselt, 33 points
5. GBR - Piggott/Garcka, 37 points
The Zwitserleven World Championship, Nacra Infusion and the Int. Nacra Open Championships can be followed via the event website and Facebook.
The Nacra Championships 2011 are made possible by: Zwitserleven, Provincie Noord-Holland, Paal 17, TNG Watches, Lazy Jack, Ultrasun, LensExpress.nl, KS Tools, Boskalis, Maasstad Ziekenhuis, Schouwstra Transport B.V., KZV Westerslag, Watersportverbond and Nacra.
Nacra Championships website