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36th Round Texel Race commences this June

by Simon Keijzer on 6 May 2013
Round Texel Race 2012 Laurens Morel
On June 15, 2013 the 36th edition of the legendary Round Texel will commence. The international race for catamarans is known as 'the Biggest Cat Race in the World'. The Round Texel is the culmination of a week of festivities organized along the beach at ‘Paal 17’. For the 36th edition, the organisation has dug up the original logo. This logo symbolizes the origins of the early Rounds; a sailing festival for sailors.

Circumnavigation of the island: the Round Texel itself remains the most important race of the Texel Sailing Week, during which a number of other inspiring challenges will be organised such as the Texel Dutch Open, the Horstocht and Tour around the North. These last two races being of particular interest to recreational sailors.

In 2013 a number of new measures have been introduced to meet the wishes of participants. This as a result of a survey held in 2012:

1. reduction of the registration fee
2. 20% discount on the TESO ferry
3. sailors village, exclusively for participants and supporters
4. abolition of gold and silver fleet (continue with Texel rating)
5. close cooperation with coastal sailing clubs De Cocksdorp and Westerslag

In 1977, Martin van der Wal and Henk Koopman of the Coastal Sailing Club Westerslag (KZVW), were the first to take on the challenge. With a Hobie Cat 16 it took them more than six hours to round the island. It was a great performance.

Following this, the members of the KZVW decided to organize the first Round which took place in 1978, for which the original logo was developed. It was a great success from the onset. At that first race 84 catamarans appeared at the start, from which only 68 crossed the finish. Nowadays the start sees up to 500 boats, with the record standing at 2 hours 7 minutes and 7 seconds.

The original logo has been adapted to the needs of the present; just like all other aspects of the Round Texel. While the organization still cherishes the history of the event, it strives at the same time for even greater quality, safety and enjoyment of sailing for all involved.

Dirk Pool (68) has not missed one Round Texel since it started. This year he will compete for the 36th time. Pool is very happy that the Round Texel race, even during these difficult economic times, still goes ahead and that the focus is back on the competitors again. Pool won the race in his class in 1999, and in 2009 he was second.

'This new approach, including the Texel rating, makes me happy. Now I can again win a prize in a small boat. And I think I can say, on behalf of all sailors, that we are very pleased that the Round Texel continues and that we go a bit back to the basics. Of course we cannot turn the clock back completely. But we should hold on to the best of the past. It is therefore good to see that the original logo has been brought back. The tide may be against us at the moment, but for the Round Texel things look promising.

As per 1st May, the 2013 Round has already seen registrations from more than 100 entrants, from four different countries. At this stage, this is already more than the same period in previous years. It is an encouraging sign for the organization. Registration is found at Round Texel.

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