Friday, May 4, 2018

Sunny, Sweet Van Uden Reco Regatta

J/111 sailing Van Uden Reco regatta in The Netherlands (Stellendam, The Netherlands)- The traditional season opener for the Dutch offshore community is the Van Uden Reco Stellendam Regatta, sailed off Stellendam, The Netherlands.  The competition was open to ORC, IRC, J/22 and J/111 one-design, and double-handed handicap classes.

As anticipated, the Friday evening food, drinks, and dance party in the warehouse at the Marina was epic; the band "Back to Basics" rocked the house all night long, warming up the sailors for their exciting races on Saturday and Sunday.  Fortunately, for those sailors a bit “groggy” the next morning, the weather Gods delivered flat waters, light to moderate winds and plenty of warm sunshine all weekend.

J/22s sailing Van Uden Reco regattaThe J/22s enjoyed one of their strongest and largest fleet in years with fourteen boats making the trek from all over the Netherlands, Germany, and France.  In the end, it was Dirk Jan Verdoorn’s JUT EN JUL family crew (including Rosemarijn & Liselotte Verdoorn and Renee Groeneveld) that out-classed the rest of the field by winning their first four races and taking home an 11 pt margin of victory.  While the Verdoorn family could not see their competition in the rear view mirror, it was quite the three-way battle for the balance of the podium.  Jesper Overbeeke’s NED 1514 (Michelle Koopmans, Christiaan Felj, & Carmen Platteeuw), Reiner Brockerhoff’s JAZZY from France, and Ivo Jeukens’ ELAINE from The Netherlands all traded off getting 2nds and 3rds in the eight races sailed.  The final race determined the outcome for this trio.  Jeauken’s crew got a BFD (black flag), so were immediately left out of the running.  Overbeeke’s team rose to the occasion and took a 1-3 in the last two races to grab the silver while Brockerhoff’s team posted a 3-4 to secure the bronze.  Rounding out the top five was Daan Grundeman’s TU DELFT BROACH.

J/111 sailing off Stellendam, NetherlandsSimilarly, the J/111 Northern Europe class had a great turnout of a half-dozen boats from The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, and Germany.  Racing was very close and any mistakes were quite costly.  After five races, there was a tie-breaker for first place!  Paul van Driel’s Dutch crew on SWEENY and Sebastian de Liedekerke’s French team on DJINN both finished with 8 pts each, the win going to SWEENY based on number of 1sts. In a remarkable feat of consistency, DJINN’s crew counted only 2nd places!  Third was nearly another tie-breaker, but Sjaak Haakman’s Dutch crew on RED HERRING was able to toss their last race OCS and finish with 10 pts net.  One point behind in fourth place was Jorg Sigg’s Swiss team on LALLEKONIG, helping them was Wouter Kollmann as “local knowledge” (a past Dutch, European and J/22 World Champion).

J/109 sailing Van Uden Reco doublehanded ORC classOne of the largest offshore classes in the regatta was the 11-boat ORC Doublehanded Class.  This discipline continues to gain more participants that are passionate and J/sailors are often seen as the ringleaders in the rising momentum.  Top J/crew this time in the light stuff was the J/109 FIRESTORM sailed by the English/ Dutch team of Wim van Slooten and Jochem Hamstra; they won the first race handily, but struggled in their next two races (a 7-5) to hang on for the bronze.  Not so lucky was the J/122 JUNIQUE, a team accustomed to winning regattas.  Their team of Chris Revelman and Pascal Bakker took 2nd in the first race, a DNF in the second (a breakdown) and 3rd in the last race to finish in 6th overall.  Of note, they were quite easily leading the fleet in virtually every race boat-for-boat and were contenders for the regatta win.

Three J/109s sailed in the ORC 2 Division, but it was only Alain Bornet’s JAI ALAI that managed to crack the top five, finishing tied on points at 17 each with another boat but having to settle for 5th place on the countback.

One would never guess the 40+ year-old J/24 design would be a rule-beater under ORC handicap measurement.  But, sure enough, Dirk Olyslagers’ J/24 JOOL walked away with class honors in the ORC 3 Division, counting just 1sts in five races!   Follow the Van Uden Reco Regatta on Facebook here  For more Van Uden Reco Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.