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Netherlands, Spring Cup 2009

KZ & RV Hollandia, Medemblik

30th April - 3rd May

Report by Neil Goodhead

‘Going Dutch with the Chuckle Brothers’

Following the trauma of a ferry trip from Dover to Calais and 8hrs trapped in a car with our Class Chairman (luckily Mike has a great car apparently), we arrived along with 9 other British sailors at one of Europe's premier sailing venues, Medemblik. Located in the Northern part of the Netherlands, it is essentially a vast lake, but to the unwitting observer could be mistaken for the sea, as you would struggle to spot the opposite shores with the naked eye, but there are several inlets joining it to the North Sea, all making for an ideal venue for the annual Spring Cup. This regatta is a prestigious event on the International OK calendar and this year was extended to four days from the 30th April – 3rd May.

Day 1 got off to a slow start with there being very little wind at the advertised start time, all 34 competitors from 7 countries (America, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Poland and Sweden) were forced to wait until the postponement was lifted, racing eventually commenced at 1400 hours. All three races were held in light and variable (force 1-2) winds, giving some fairly inconsistent results for most except for Karsten Hitz (Ger) who scored firsts in all three races.

Day 2 started even more slowly than Day 1, even less wind meant yet another postponement which was eventually lifted at 1200 hours with little response from the less than enthusiastic competitors, there seemed to be not a breath of breeze across the racecourse. Eventually Neil (Homer) Goodhead (GBR) spurred on by his success on day one broke ranks and launched to go in search of wind, reluctantly followed closely by the rest of the fleet. This of course came to no avail as this only led to another 2 hour wait on the water. The wind eventually starting to fill in, race 4 got underway, and Karsten wasn't going to get it all his own way today, as Goodhead’s eagerness paid off as he won race 4 and Tomasz Gaj (Pol) winning race 5. Race 6 saw a building wind of about force 3-4 but this turned out to be short lived and promptly died back to a force 1 by the end of the first beat. Terry Curtis (GBR) took advantage of this breezy start and found some form going on to win this race. The fleet eventually got ashore at 1930 hours for a few well earned beers.

Day 3 started with a little more promise as there was a small amount of breeze as the fleet cast off for the 10.30 start. Unfortunately the wind promptly died as the fleet approached the race area and then kept filling in from various directions causing another indefinite postponement with everyone being sent back to shore. Racing recommenced at 1430 hours in a building breeze, causing some very tricky conditions on choppy water. Terry Curtis went on to get his second win of the series. With the breeze now a nice force 3-4 race 8 commenced, with a well deserved first going to Oliver Gronholz of Germany. Only 2 races were sailed due to the very late start, with the third race of the day being the scramble to get back to Cafe Brakeboer for the wonderful Indonesian meal put on for all OK sailors by Jack the bar's owner. Some of the fleets youngsters went on from there to the Black and White club and kindly allowed grandfather figure Mike Edwards to join them, a good night was had by all.

Day 4 came complete with a lovely force 3-4 forecast to strengthen later. This allowed us to start race 9 at the advertised start time of 1030 hours. Several boats were noticeably absent (perhaps it's just coincidence, but the helms of these boats were back rather late from the Black and White Bar). With both Karsten and Oliver being flagged OCS, Tomasz Gaj achieved another win. With Race 10 starting soon after, Karsten went on to take his 5th victory of the series, making him the well deserving winner of this years Spring Cup.

Thanks must go to RYA Hollandia for an excellently managed event under some trying wind conditions. With Medemblik being proposed as the venue for the 2010 International OK European Championships, everyone will surely be delighted to return to this wonderful town and premier sailing venue.

Spring Cup 2009 - Results
1GER 744Karsten Hitz14,011125422OCS1
2GER 717Oliver Gronholz30,0212834241OCS6
3GBR 2118Terry Curtis31,0491223711342
4POL 1Tomasz Gaj31,066610193414
5GBR 2126Mike Edwards63,013258141871495
6POL 27Jakub Kania63,022173113101110510
7GER 731Thomas Glas64,015820221538663
8DEN 1361Rene Johansen64,0815104117912314
9GBR 2125Neil Goodhead70,0942120DNF1891413
10GER 737Thorsten Schmidt72,03111591611142127
11GER 727Jürgen Splieth73,05311162165201518
12GER 711Ralf Mackmann73,01051966862513DNC
13GER 750Ralf Tietje88,07272318126225711
14SWE 99Hans Elkjaer98,011194198211517168
15GBR 2101Julian Burnham102,0121671222152026119
16GER 656Daniel Gröschl114,0161091591226DNF17DNF
17GBR 2123Andy Turner121,01413162023DNC23131012
18GER 747Andreas Pich123,0DNCDNCDNC71351288DNF
19POL 11Darek Kras128,017182124191421111216
20GER 665Peter Stephan140,01921132121201015OCSDNC
21GER 607Christian Heinze146,0252518517192716OCS21
22GBR 2122Jon Fish148,02023dns271013137DNCDNC
23GBR 2117Alex Scoles151,0267241326171919DNCDNC
24GBR 2059Pete Turner161,0181417141822DNCDNC23DNC
25GBR 2129Alan Atkin165,0212622172425161822DNC
26BEL 220Ronny Poelman169,023242525253017221815
27BEL 214Paul Verrijdt179,024221430272625322120
28GBR 2065Simon Shaw181,0282027OCS282324231917
29GBR 2130Deryck Lovegrove201,027302929292429242019
30GER 649Kai Wehmhoerner223,030292832312732292524
31GER 728Karsten Kath229,02928262630OCS2827DNFDNC
32GER 651Heinz Ridder230,0DNCDNCDNC31322830282422
33GER 567Jan Beckmann249,0DNCDNCDNC 283329313127DNC
34GER 690Brad Johanson252,0DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC33302623