Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Final Shakedown - iShares Cup practice races

by Helen Fretter on 19 Sep 2008
The iShares Cup Extreme 40s in Amsterdam will be up close and personal, racing in the IJ-Haven right next to the seawall Vincent Curutchet/DPPI/OC Events

The iShares Cup fleet had their final shakedown before the final of the 2008 series today, with three practice races before the serious business of deciding the overall champions begins tomorrow.

The 10 Extreme 40s took to the IJ-Haven canal, a narrow strip of water just a few minutes away from Amsterdam city centre, off Java Island. Cheered on by scores of school children who lined the dockside to marvel at the Extreme 40s whizzing past just inches away, the iShares Cup skippers all put on a show by flying a hull and waving to the cheering spectators.

The home crowd had plenty of local sailing stars to cheer for — with ten Dutch sailors on board the Extreme 40s, a quarter of the top quality fleet are from the host nation. Herbert Dercksen skippers the all-Dutch Volvo Ocean Race crew, and helped develop the Extreme 40 class specifically for this kind of sailing in the city. 'It’s great that you can fly a hull in such a small space, it’s really good, just what the boats are designed for. It’s all excitement, we had an entire school on the side of the canal cheering for you and they even know the team names — what more you could you want!'

'We hope to do really well here, and put in a good performance. It’s going to be a great venue, a lot can happen. If you’re last then you could still be first, and if you’re first then you could suddenly be last, so a lot could happen!' he added.

The iShares Cup fleet were joined today by four Dutch Olympic medalists for the informal afternoon of racing. Marcelien de Koning, silver medalist in the 470 class crewed onboard iShares, whilst Herbert Dercksen stepped aside from his usual position on the helm of the Volvo Ocean Race Extreme 40, as the team were joined by Mandy Mulder, Annemieke Bes and Merel Witteveen, who have just returned from winning silver in the Yngling sailing class at Beijing.
'I had to do the hard job!' joked Herb, as he moved from the tiller onto the mainsheet winch. 'I had two of the Yngling girls who won a silver medal at the Olympic Games, they steered the whole day and did a fantastic job. Mandy’s ready for helming one of the 40s that’s for sure.'

'It was really, really cool! We weren’t the fastest, we have to practice a little, but we need a girls’ boat next time!' said Merel after racing. 'It was wonderful sailing,' added Mandy, who helmed for the day — including a tricky spinnaker start. 'The downwind start was a bit difficult to begin with – there were boats everywhere and Herbert was saying ‘Go between them!’ and we were saying ‘No, we can’t!’.'

There was plenty more Dutch interest in the fleet as Olympic sailor Marcelien de Koning joined the iShares catamaran for the day’s racing, having won a silver medal at Beijing in the 470 class. 'What an awesome experience. I’ve heard a lot about these boats, but have never been on one, so to have the chance to sail today with iShares in Amsterdam was too good an opportunity to miss. I’ve had such a great time, I hope to come back over the weekend and cheer the team on.'

The bright orange Holmatro catamaran is also flying the flag for the home country. Skipper Andreas Hagara was looking forward to having plenty of supporters at the iShares Cup final: 'We are going to be really busy with a lot of guests because Holmatro is a Dutch company and half our crew is Dutch.

'Amsterdam is a fantastic place to have the final. Racing this close to the harbour walls will be exhilarating for both the teams and the spectators. I can’t wait for the first start tomorrow.'

Tommy Hilfiger skipper Randy Smyth and his team got things off to a good start today by winning the final practice race, while Shirley Robertson on JPMorgan Asset Management again showed her skill in light and shifty winds to take the first of today’s races.

The Amsterdam venue could well be one of the trickiest so far, with light winds, sudden puffs and shifts, and an ultra-small racecourse to contend with, but it didn’t phase Randy Smyth. 'Actually we kind of like this stuff, it’s like we have a really short attention span!' he joked about the continually changing places.

'It’s funny, last year we had eight boats and it was kind of crowded, but this year there’s 10 boats on the same sized body of water but what you can really see is that we’re all sailing the boats better. All the teams are experienced and they can predict each others’ moves, so it’s not as hair-raising.'

Racing takes place tomorrow from 1.00pm, with a parade of sail along Java Island before races in the IJ-Haven, Amsterdam.

http://www.isharescup.com
Wildwind 2016 660x82Mackay BoatsHelm Events 660x82

Related Articles

Hotting up at the Star Sailors League Finals
Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Three light airs races were held for the penultimate day of the Qualifying Rounds in Montagu Bay Nassau. Getting a good start and having the boat speed to hold a lane was paramount today.
Posted today at 9:38 am
America's Cup - Tech Tuesday - AC50 One Design sails by Norths + Video
North Sails are making all the soft sails for the 2017 America's Cup fleet. North Sails are making all the soft sails for the 2017 America's Cup fleet. In this Tech Tuesday feature, Oracle Team USA shows the sails being made as a batch at North Sails facility at Minden Nevada.
Posted on 1 Dec
America's Cup - Video tour of an AC45S by Artemis Racing
Crew member Francesco Bruni gives an exclusive tour inside the cockpit of the team's first development boat, Turbo 1 Artemis Racing crew member Francesco Bruni gives an exclusive tour inside the cockpit of the team's first development boat, Turbo 1. Skipper, Nathan Outteridge, provides an update on the state of play with less than 8 months to go to the finals of AC35, and Loick Peyron provides the inspiration to a squad of young aspiring sailors in Toulon
Posted on 1 Dec
Sailing World Cup Final brings the best to St Kilda
Thirty-six nations have registered sailors across a combined 22 Olympic and Invited classes for next week’s World Cup Competitor numbers are predicted to reach 800 across the two competitions - the final stage of the international body World Sailing’s six-part Olympic class international circuit that will come to a head at St Kilda for the 11 classes, and the 11 Invited classes.
Posted on 1 Dec
Volvo Ocean Race - Future Fibres furling cables on board 8-boat fleet
Volvo Ocean Race has chosen the latest generation of Future Fibres high performance furling cables Volvo Ocean Race has chosen the latest generation of Future Fibres high performance furling cables for the fleet of eight one-design yachts in the thirteenth edition of the gruelling race around the world starting in October 2017. Each of the eight identical boats will use Future Fibres TorqueLite 2.0 furling cables in their seven-headsail inventory, ranging from a 29.7 m2 storm jib up to a 420
Posted on 30 Nov
Battle commences at Star Sailors League Finals
The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist The early exchanges confirmed the amazing quality and depth in the fleet, which contains no less than 16 Olympic medallist among the skippers alone.
Posted on 30 Nov
Volvo Ocean Race - Southern Spars export first batch of masts
Southern Spars is forging ahead on the first batch of new masts, scheduled to leave their Auckland factory in early 2017 As the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s undergo refits in Europe, Southern Spars is forging ahead on the first batch of new masts, scheduled to leave their Auckland factory in early 2017. There are currently four more build slots available for early next year which will fill up as teams continue to commit to the race. Completing a full set of rigs will take the company's tally up to 46 masts for Volvo
Posted on 30 Nov
Volvo Ocean Race - Team AkzoNobel arrives home after 2,000km sail
Skipper Simeon Tienpont and the team AkzoNobel training crew arrived in the Netherlands earlier this evening Skipper Simeon Tienpont and the team AkzoNobel training crew arrived in the Netherlands earlier this evening following a four-day delivery from Lisbon to The Hague onboard their Volvo Ocean 65. The journey of nearly 2,000km was the first opportunity for Tienpont to put his potential crew through a series of offshore training tests ahead of the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018.
Posted on 29 Nov
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
Predictwind release improved racing and cruising routing function
PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach PredictWind has released a major upgrade to its Routing function, taking a much more graphic and interactive approach to what has been a black art of weather routing, used to chose the fastest route for racers or most comfortable route for cruisers.
Posted on 28 Nov