News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery : Final Shakedown - iShares Cup practice races

Final Shakedown - iShares Cup practice races

'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.

by Helen Fretter


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

4:03 AM Fri 19 Sep 2008 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

News - USA and the World

Team GBR’s Sparky on the Road to Rio (Part Two) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,

Team GBR on the Road to Rio (Part One) by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,

Sailing World Cup Hyeres- Top sailors to face off as Gold Fleet Racing
Anti-boating legislation debated in Florida House
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 Laser images by Franck Socha
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 Nacra 17 images by Franck Socha
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Mitakis lead reduced on day 2
Will late spring thaw spell trouble for boaters?
Byte CII Worlds and YOG Continental Qualifier at Riva del Garda
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Battle continues for U.S. sailors
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Qualification stage comes to a close
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 2 images by Franck Socha
ISAF SWC Hyeres - Nacra Silver medal debutantes continue to improve
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Cheers on the dock
Spindrift 2 criss-crosses the Bay of Biscay
45th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's record circumnavigation
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Sailors tweet about opening day
49er Blog: Glorious racing to kick start Hyeres World Cup
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Continuous close racing
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Fluttering flags whet sailors appetite
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Race 4 images by Jude Robertson
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Day 1
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 Nacra 17 images by Thom Touw   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 Laser images by Thom Touw   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Ioannis Mitakis leads Finns after day 1   
RC44 Cascais Cup - Fresh faces join the line-up   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Excellent racing on opening day   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Images by Yvan Zedda and Franck Socha   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres - Day 1 images by Franck Socha   
Hyeres World Cup: Kiwis lead but Outteridge Jensen back in 49er fray   
Belcher and Ryan lead from the start in Hyeres   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Race day 1 ready for lift off   
Clipper Round the World Race 11 - Tense match downwind racing on Day 2   
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta - Day 3 an absolute gem   
Quantum Key West 2015 dates confirmed   
Flying Tigers 'Psych' - on Lake Lanier they pronounce it Zhik   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres: Anticipation intensifies as start nears   
Clipper Round the World Race - Race 11 start images by Chuck Lantz   
27th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 2014 - Big breeze on the butterfly   
Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - Pryde and Joy for Hi Fi   
Clipper Round The World Race - A flying start on Day 1 of Race 11   
Cammas on Caudrelier – different styles, same objective   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.