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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Solo Nation's Cup at Medemblik, The Netherlands - Day 2

by Will Loy 14 May 2023 00:34 PDT 12-14 May 2023
Epic conditions on Solo Nation's Cup at Medemblik Day 2 © Will Loy

Super Saturday promised to be a memorable, with four races scheduled on a course which resembled a gigantic corrugated sheet, the sailors skill, strength and endurance would be tested at the highest level.

I had already displayed all of those qualities on day 1, and that was just to put my socks on. The breeze, which had been blowing hard through the pretty streets of Medemblik all night seemed to have mellowed but the IJsselmeer still looked daunting and the forecast was for an increase to 20 mph through the day.

Competitors, weary from exertion, alcohol and protein overload, readied their Solos for the competition ahead while in the carpark the Olympic wannabe women were already 3 hours into their morning circuit training. I thought for a moment I saw athletes Dave Lucas, Andy Fox and a few others taking part but I guess they were just watching.

The fleet would launch on to the water for a 10.45 a.m start and so I scuffled with my kit to the jetty to jump aboard my ride for the day, The man mountain that is Nialls and his co-driver were there to greet me, cheerful and friendly, their youthfulness yet to be tainted by the years ahead of global warming, taxation and World War 3. We left the shelter of the harbour into a sea of green frosted icing, the famous IJsselmeer chop providing a ride akin to driving over speed bumps at 70mph and we were still in tick-over. I popped a few pain killers into my mouth for good measure and summoned the last vestiges of spit to help them on their way before fastening my Bainbridge International offshore jacket.

I pulled my NSCA anemometer from the strong reliable pocket, imagining that my crew would be properly impressed and took a reading, "only 6 mph" I announced, before realising I was holding it up in the substantial lee of my body. Nialls looked away, possibly choosing a nice spot of water to drop me off in and gunned the motor.

Race 4 Wind Strength 12-14mph Course triangle-sausage-energy sapping final beat.

Paul Dijkstra nails the pin again with Rich Pepperdine a bit too punchy and OCS, Davenport, Morgan and Roelof Kuipers are all smashing out to the left with Davis, Bakker and Lee. Gillard has started deep off the line and is giving himself plenty to do as the fleet test the resilience of FRP/wood and human muscle fibres up the long first beat.

The left has paid and Davenport rounds first, looking as happy as a pig in mud with Dijkstra, Davis and the unfortunate Pepperdine OCS next. Junior Harry Lucas is excelling and therefore rounds fourth with Morgan on his transom and hungry to improve on his day 1 efforts. Jamie had to fix his kicker just minutes before the start, displaying good seamanship, scouting skills and a level head, he just needs to strengthen his drinking stamina.

The reaches were both exciting and petrifying and that was me on the rib so it must have been a harrowing experience for the less accomplished sailors. The gybe mark did what it says on the tin and claimed some victims though everyone survived the day.

Davenport extended and had 150 metres at the top mark with Dijkstra, Morgan and Davis so close you could throw an undercover over them. Pepperdine still held a moral fifth with Martin Frary, Lucas Junior, Huisman and Brown just behind.

There was no stopping Davenport though, winning by a healthy margin and sending out a strong signal to his nearest rivals with Morgan, Dijkstra, Davis and Lucas completing the top five.

We took up position near the start line and I opened a packet of Skittles, belligerently offering them to my crew, the least I could do after they had earlier handed me a warm apple turnover, fresh from the committee boat. I holstered the rest of the packet and readied my Nikon P950 for race 5.

Race 5 Wind 13-18mph

A general recall brought out the black flag and with 90 seconds remaining we were all alone at the pin end. I ordered the driver to motor behind the line and joined the competitors as they screamed towards us. Ian Hopwood wanted the pin and despite Kev Gibbs efforts to do an Aussie hook made the best start with Tedd Bakker, Morgan and Gillard heading left with them.

There had been a late wind shift to the left and this caught out many of the competitors.

At the top mark it was Morgan from Davenport and Dijkstra with Gillard and Huisman right on their transoms. The reaches were glam, dramatic steering angles required to stay on the waves as they danced erratically towards shore. Morgan took off like a scalded cat with Gillard making the most of the downhills to move into second. Davenport had lost some ground but would be relishing the upwind struggle as the fleet prepared for more pain. Dijkstra, Huisman, Peter Kyne, Brown, Frary, Lucas and Fox were all enjoying the conditions though you could not tell from their expressions.

At the gun and after another scary run and energy sapping beat it was Morgan with the bullet, fist pumping the air but not with the authority of a Tiger Woods major win, there is, after all, five rounds to go. Davenport, who had been gaining on Gillard lee bowed him 200 metres before the finish, forcing Gillard to the right and when they next crossed Davenport was clear ahead and took second with Dijkstra and Frary completing the top five.

I wiped the spray from my Nikon and surreptitiously sneaked some Skittles into my mouth for sustenance, the apple turnover so graciously given, just a fading memory in my mind.

The next moment we were flying down towards the harbour, full bore and with me hanging on for dear mercy. Peter Warne, who had capsized was lying atop his craft like a Seal taking in the morning rays. The mast was stuck fast and though I looked concerned and caring, I was secretly craving to get back to watch race 6. Twenty vital minutes passed and with Peter back in the boat I thought we would get back out to the race area but Nialls was now in full-on safety mode and we spent the whole race shepherding dinghies back to the sanctuary of the harbour. My Race 6 race commentary is then, slightly brief.

Race 6

It was windier, the waves were steeper and Davenport took another win with Morgan, Gillard, Matthew Frary and Chris Brown completing the top five.

I re-booted my aspirations and looked forward to getting International Sailing's equivalent to an Oscar for the footage and photos I was about to get, the Sun was in its perfect orientation, the breeze was at it's most powerful and most importantly, I still had battery life in the Nikon.

I pulled my trusty water wicking cloth from my rucksack and wiped the moisture from the lens in readiness, It was at that exact moment that my driver whispered "we have to go" and floored it.

Grabbing the mounting point with my one free hand we tore off towards the middle of the course as the fleet lined up for the start sequence. I was then subjected to the sort of physical test only jet fighter pilots undertake, the G force nearly ripping the skin from my face. Fortunately, the Bainbridge International fastenings held strong otherwise I swear I would have been butt naked. Clearly, Nialls was on a mission but there was already a safety boat in attendance, It then dawned on me, he must have seen me eating the sweets and was getting his own back.

We lashed onto the other rib, I, with my back to the team, pulled the Skittles out and openly ate the lot.

It was only after several minutes that I turned around and realised that there was a sailor onboard with a large gash to his head. An OK sailor, he had been hit by another OK mast as it capsized. Did I feel bad.

We screamed into the harbour, Nialls mastery of rib driving was impressive and an ambulance was at the scene in minutes.

After that we were on rescue duty for the remainder of the day so race 7 goes like;

Race 7 Windier, Wavier, Sunnier

Davenport wins from Dijkstra and Gillard after the two of them had a good scrap. Morgan and Menno Huisman completed the top five.

The fleet returned to shore after four exhausting races and in the evening enjoyed a wonderful BBQ and free beer, courtesy of the Dutch Class Association. Magic Marine provided some great prizes and tomorrow we look forward to lighter winds and a three way battle for the title.

Davenport, Dijkstra and Gillard are tightly bunched with only a few points and three scheduled races between them and glory.

Results after Day 2:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7N
1 GBR 6061Oliver DAVENPORTNorthampton‑744121113
2 NED 673Paul DIJKSTRAKWS11334‑7214
3 6021Thomas GILLARDSVSC421‑1133316
4 NED 642Menno HUISMANKWS‑12106676540
5 6057Martin FRARY 86‑20959744
6 NED 670Jelmer KUIPERSARENZV3858138‑1645
7 6064Jamie MORGANRutland sailing club‑252119212449
8 5914Paul DAVISLymington Town Sailing Club‑235184810853
9 GBR 6074Chris BROWN ‑2713910105956
10 5953Matthew FRARYNorfolk Broads Yacht Club9121712‑3741165
11 GBR 5652Michael John GIFFORDSHSC53215‑28221966
12 NED 669Roelof KUIPERSARENZV107161415‑171274
13 5746Harry LUCASGrafham water‑3526115919676
14 594 5942Richard PEPPERDINE 141710‑7012111478
15 6058Pete KYNEBrightlingsea sailing club29‑372176121085
16 NED 637Hans DUETZWVF21813‑29202427104
17 NED 649Ted BAKKERWVR622821‑301829104
18 6051Dave LUCAS 2414‑3922172517119
19 GBR 5909Andy FOXLeigh & Lowton S C3023‑4618112315120
20 GBR 5911Nigel DAVIESDraycote Water SC132072427‑3330121
21 GBR 6045Steve EDE 151522‑35232720122
22 GBR 6067Chris BUNNLady Yacht Club44‑461420161325132
23 043Keith MILROY 20312419‑322618138
24 5922Piers LAMBERTBrightlingsea Sailing Club17‑432927311421139
25 GBR 5897Ian HOPWOOD 4911‑6013212126141
26 NED 627Michiel de BOERKWS213226‑36261622143
27 5744Iain McGREGORSalcombe YC373537171415‑42155
28 NED 668Roel den HERDERWSVG19955231836‑70160
29 NL 623Arnd WOLVETANGARENZV2234‑7034242923166
30 GBR 6043Kevan GIBBLargo Bay Sailing Club26‑403331363913178
31 NED 654Jan Pieter BRAAMWVR1839284122‑7031179
32 NED 541Sijbrand JONGEJANSZVDO3929‑4228252834183
33 5524Kev HALLNorthampton SC3830‑4825332039185
34 NED 636Andries de MUIJNCKARENZV4024‑4740393028201
35 NED 630Martijn KUITERTKWS48‑523437293124203
36 NED 664Maurice BAKKERWVR332512‑70703733210
37 NED 553Pieter Jelle JONGEJANSZVDO3151‑5726194340210
38 NED 646Gilles de COMBEWVB2819321647‑7070212
39 GBR 5745Robin PAGEBrightlingsea Sailing Club‑56332549354232216
40 GBR 6006Mark LEELymington Town112827‑70345070220
41 5747Roger LUMBYSalcombe YC53‑613039483535240
42 NED 678Robert WITGWVDVB344723554438‑70241
43 NED 676Christian RAAWVB513645324632‑70242
44 GBR 6046Nigel ORKNEYLargo Bay S C595715383840‑70247
45 NED 663Roel BAKKERWVR434438454344‑70257
46 NED 594Ties van BRUINESSENWVB5048414241‑5137259
47 NED 643Chris MIEDEMAKWS543836564941‑70274
48 GBR 6002Doug LATTAHayling Island SC3242563045‑7070275
49 NED 661Simon REES vanWVDK161635‑70707070277
50 5703Stewart WORTHBrightlingsea574140514048‑70277
51 NED 675Bas de REGTHJC‑70707033423436285
52 560Len VERDELWVB46‑584458584941296
53 NED 67Elaine TURNERWVB3650504450‑7070300
54 563Huud OUWEHANDWSV de Kreupel‑61605952564638311
55 6056Peter WARNENorthampton Sailing Club4549544651‑7070315
56 NED 641Marc DIEBENWSVG6056434353‑7070325
57 NED 542Bert VASTENBURGGWVDVB626261475545‑70332
58 NED 545Armand de la RIEWVDK472749‑70707070333
59 NED 605Paul de GEUSGWVDVB42455254‑707070333
60 GBR 5721Grahem WILSON 5255515057‑7070335
61 5967Patrick BURNSRYA415431‑70707070336
62 531Anne Richard SCHAAFSMAKWS5553585752‑7070345
63 NED 629Ed van DALENWSVG‑70707048544770359
64 NED 625Rien MATERS 58595353‑707070363
65 NED 648Vincent SPEELMANZVDO63646259‑707070388
66 NED 408Jeen SMITKWS‑70707060707070410
67 NED 588Floris EIJSINKWSVG‑70637070707070413
68 617Arnold JIPPESKWS‑70707070707070420
68 NED 537Jaap BORRAWWSV‑70707070707070420

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