The Open Dutch Skiff Trophy is always near the end of the season in september at the well known location of Aquavitesse in Bruinisse.
It’s an event we always look forward to, because it’s fun, social and has some very good racing and once you’ve been there you keep coming back every year. Actually the first time I ever stepped onto a RS500 was at this event three years ago, so I will always have special memories of this event. And luckely they are not only about the amount of swimming I did there the first year.
Richard and Marieke and the Aquavitesse team always do their very best to make it a fun event for every competitor and succeed in doing so every year! Therefore it’s no surprise the RS500 fleet has been growing in numbers here for the last few years with a stunning 20 boats this year! Like the opening event the French Open Skiff all different kind of skiffs are welcome, but unlike the FOS it is possible to get your own start if you have 10 or more boats registered. Something the RS500’s (as you allready read) easily managed.
Racing is held on saturday and sunday with three races scheduled on both days. The Saturday started out with….. postponement, due to too much wind! Some one and a half hour later the wind had dropped (a little) and only measured 20 kts on the course…..
The fleets were released and we all started with some healthy enthousiasme and anxiety. It still proved a bit too much for crews or boats. Some crews decided not to race in so much wind. The Britisch team Peter and James Curtis broke a mast before the first race, but managed to join the second race with a spare mast only to break their trapeze hook. They still finished that race in a good fifth position!
In the first race local boys Thomas and Richard Rot dominated the fleet with a good strategy to go right after the start and go for the flat water instead of pounding the waves in the middle or left. They finished well ahead of the rest followed by the Dutch favourites Michiel Geerling and Hilde van Susante (The best Dutch team in the worlds this year with a very nice seventh place), Marleen Blomsma and Jody de Jager in third.
Frank van Leeuwen and Lennart van den Dool had a very good start of their season with finishing fourth in both races of the day. It was the first time their boat saw the water this year…
The second race was just as exciting. Thomas and Richard went right again, but the wind had dropped a little leaving more pressure on the left of the course. Both sides were fast and after a complete split of the fleet, we all met at the topmark. Thomas and Richard rounding first followed by Marleen and Jody. Untill their daggerboard went up on the half wind leg to the outer loop, something Michiel and Hilde had the race before. Thomas and Richard would probably have won that race had they not have some daggerboard problems of their own. They lost upwind speed and were overtaken by Michiel/Hilde and Marleen/Jody.
RS500 Nationals at Parkstone Yacht Club
After the first day everything was still open with only two points difference between the number one (Michiel/Hilde) and number three (Marleen/Jody). Peter/James and Frank/Lennart would also still be a threat especially after a discard.
Forecast wind for sunday was superb! Steadily building breese from eight to 18 kts during the day and sunny!
Peter/James were eager to get back in the competition and managed to do so after winning the first two races. Barend Kol and Chris Tuckett proved once again to be very competative in light winds with a well done second place in the second race. Marleen/Jody kept steady second and third places.
Michiel/Hilde and Thomas/Richard had trouble finding their mojo finishing further down the fleet and loosing important points on Peter/James and Marleen/Jody.
In race five Marleen/Jody got their so needed first place followed by Peter/James, but there would be an all deciding last race (the fourth of the day). Thomas/Richard found their mojo (just a little too late) and won it, making them fourth overall. Marleen/Jody came in second and secured the overall first place and Michiel/Hilde had a third place and an overall third as well. Peter/James came third and with the 2 first places finished second overall.
All the results can be found Here
The 2013 ODST proved the RS500 is no longer a baby class in Holland any more. The level is getting higher each year. And more and more boats join our ranks.
I would like to make a special mention to Karlijn van den Boogaard and her new helm Dries van den Boogaard who had amazing upwind boat speed, rounding the topmark first once. Well done, hope to see much more of you! To Marloes Rot and Marieke Gijzel who had sooo much fun on the water and first all female crew! And to our foreign competitors who toke the effort to make the journey to Holland: Chris Tuckett, Annabel Cattermore, Bryony Bennet-Lloyd, Peter Curtis and James Curtis.
Thank you to all the competitors for making this event fun again and a BIG thank you to Aquavitesse and Arky our race officer for making it possible!!