Tuesday, June 5, 2012

J/111 Wins North Sea Regatta

J/111 Xcentric Ripper sailing North Sea Regatta (Scheveningen, Netherlands)- The Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta in Scheveningen had a brilliant start on Friday, May 25 under a clear blue sky with more than 250 yachts ready to go racing. The sailing conditions were perfect, although the strong, gusty northeasterly played many tricks on the sailors. With gusts up to 27 knots, there was a lot of damage to several boats-- sails torn, genakers and spinnakers blown out, big shots broke booms and blocks ripped off decks!  Yes, a lot of carnage on day one, but a lot of fun sailing for those who could handle the spectacular, sunny conditions.  However, the perfect conditions persisted for just one more day, with the last day being "fogged out" with little wind for any of the fleets.  In the end, John Van der Starre's J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER dominated IRC 2/3 Class.  In the J/22s, it was Kolleman Wouter's team that ran away with top honors.  And, in the J/24 class it was Erik Jeuring's team that also ran away with the gold.

J/109 under spinnaker at markFor the first day on the IRC 2/3 course, the gang on the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER made it known they were going to be a factor in their twenty-one boat class, by far the largest and most competitive offshore class at the North Sea Regatta.  XCENTRIC's skipper John Van der Starre immediately led the team to two bullets today. Co-captain Robin Verhoef said, "We had some dangerous situations at times.  We hit 13-15 kts at times as we simply flew away from the rest of our fleet.  We practiced a lot in April at the SPI Ouest Regatta in La Trinite-sur-Mer and learned a lot. There we sailed one-design class and we learned how to be more competitive and much faster sailing against other J/111s.  We discovered the very subtle differences, e.g. in the settings of the mast and the boat and sails to extract maximum performance.  It helped us a lot!"

J/22 one-design sailboat- sailing North Sea RegattaFor the J/22 class, it was a day with more and less wind pressure across the course. In a field of eleven J/22's, Kolleman Wouter's team ran the table, getting two first places.  It was difficult sailing, especially because sometimes the waves came from all sides. "It was a sloshing wave," says Kolleman. "This increased the difficulty. We do like a lot of wind, so we had no problems. But because he always had massive changes in wind strength, you had a lot of pressure and then suddenly no pressure. Usually we sail on inland lakes, but we are quite used to power sailing."

After the first day of sailing, it was quite the festive closing.  Entertaining musical performances by the bands "Kissing the Girl" and the "Crazy Pianos" with great spinning of disks by "DJ Ruben" later in the evening.  The sailors played late into the night enjoying the beautiful weather and a festive atmosphere.

J/109 class winnersThe second day of inshore races were characterized by nearly perfect sailing conditions.  There was less wind than the day before, so there was less damages too! During the day the wind averaged 5-15 kts and was very shifty.  For the offshore classes, the second day was traditionally an offshore course around the buoys.  But, with lighter wind conditions that could die-off, the RC decided to hold only inshore races around the buoys.

For IRC 2/3, the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER continued to dominate their class.  And in the one-designs, the J/22s saw Wouter's J/22 team rattle off a few more firsts to also consolidate their lead.  And, in the J/24 class, Erik Jeuring also posted some more firsts to extend their lead in their fleet.

One of the highlights of the second day was the J-Class RAINBOW visiting Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta.  This forty-meter classic sloop went sailing Sunday, May 27th with guests from the Delta Lloyd North Sea Regatta.

J/24 one-design sailboat- class winnersOn the final day of sailing, the shores were dense with fog hanging over the Hague without a breath of wind, forcing the RC to cancel sailing for the day.  As a result, the regata results for the first two days that included seven races counted for the final results.  Congratulations go out to the J/22 team of Wouter and the J/24 team of Jeuring for near perfect scores, winning their classes by significant margins.  Congratulations also go out to a phenomenal performance by the J/111 XCENTRIC RIPPER team led by John Van de Starre and Robin Verhoef, winning the most competitive IRC division by a whopping 10.5 points, counting five 1sts in their scoreline.  Kudos also to the J/109 CAPTAIN JACK sailed by Bert Visser.  For more North Sea Regatta sailing information