Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Old-man Winter Freezes Grevelingen Cup Series

J/35 Ragazza sailing Grevelingen Cup Netherlands (Grevelingen, The Netherlands)- The Netherlands offshore winter series known as the Grevelingen Cup can have awesome, gorgeous days in a mild European winter, or it can just gruesome.  This past weekend, it was decidedly more the latter scenario.

It looked like winter and felt like winter.  With 3.0 C on the thermometer and blowing a solid 18 kts on the whirligig at the top of the mast, it was going to be a bone-chilling cold day! Plus, it was wet and drizzly! 

Nevertheless, being the hardy bunch that they are, the Dutch sailors just tossed on some more layers, wore big hats and warm boots, donned some gloves, and hopped aboard.  Nothing was going to slow them down to brave the elements, and worse, lose a few points to their more brazen (or, crazier) competitors!

The first start sounded at 11 am on the Grevelingenmeer that saw the sailors in good spirits. With 18 knots of wind gusting into the low 20’s, it was a challenge for many to keep their sailboats under control!  Keen observers noted that the wind was quite “dense” (cold + rain) and many sails could not handle it, as evidenced by some shredded in the rigging.

Boat-handling was a key element of success.  The one-design classes wanted to keep warm, so sailed shorter courses.  The larger ORC boats sailed a longer race track (after all they had warm cabins!) and were out about an hour longer than the one-designs.

All in all, it was superb sailing and a great for “character-building” in such demanding conditions (some might say the RC PRO and volunteers might have been a “bit off their rocker” to even be on the water in such weather!).

J/80s sailing Grevelingen Cup NetherlandsAfter the weekend racing, the standings in the ORC classes saw some J/Teams handling all this rough stuff quite well.  In the ORC Inshore 1 class, the J/120 JUST US sailed by H Woudenberg is sitting in third place for the series with a 5-3-1-8-2 scoreline for 19 pts- just four point from 1st overall!

In ORC 2 Triple Number class, the J crews are having a field day.  Leading the class is the J/109 JAI ALAI sailed by JC Bornet with 33 pts total after 12 races.  Sitting in third overall is another J/109, R Bakker’s BIG TIME with 65 pts.  Then, in 4th place is Wessel van der Werf’s J/88 RAGING BULL with 83 pts followed by yet another J/109 in 7th place- the van Beelen/ Krijger team on JACK RABBIT sitting on 98 pts.  Ninth is the J/92S MUSCEL sailed by Remco Otten and in 10th place is Jan Gabriel’s beautifully re-finished J/35 RAGAZZA.

In the one-design world, the J/80s have a great turnout. Leading after 13 races is Laura Vroon’s JOIE DE VIVRE with 25 pts.  Just three points back in second place is Peter Paul de Vries’ LED2LEASE and in third is David van Veen’s nJOY.

The final weekend or racing will take place on Saturday, March 19th, followed by the awards ceremony and a well-deserved feast!!   For more Grevelingen Cup sailing information