Texel Dutch Open 2011 rough start

Flying De Koning-Visser - Round Textel - Zwitserleven Sailing Week 2011
The Texel Dutch Open, part of the Zwitserleven Sailing Week, had a rough start along the Texel coast in the north of the Netherlands.

On Wednesday, June 22, 2011 the southwesterly wind freshened to force five/six with high waves. Only 36 teams out of the 93 registered boats faced the elements on the race course. The British duo Northrop / Willett is in the lead of the Open Class One, on equal points with the Dutchmen Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij. Jorden Veenman and Frank de Waard from the Netherlands are third overall.

Northrop-Willett in action - Round Textel - Zwitserleven Sailing Week 2011

'This is the highlight of the week,' laughed Simon Northrop (GBR). The Englishman and his crew Charles Willett made a flying start at the Texel Dutch Open, the official Open Dutch Championship Cat sailing. The duo commenced the competition in the Open Class I (< 105 rating) in third place and finished the day with a bullet. They are on equal points with favorites Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij from the Netherlands, who scored a one and three.

Northrop: 'We were really pleased with the third place in the first race. We are going well upwind. We are quite heavy, so this breeze suits us. In the second race we just did everything right, certainly upwind and we held it downwind. Coen over stood slightly the lay line and we tacked early on him, so we got him.'

The new Nacra Infusion World Champions Coen de Koning en Thijs Visser didn't get off the starting blocks as well as in the earlier race. The golden boys of the morning submerged twice in the afternoon at the Open Dutch championships. They sailed to a ninth and second place and are fifth overall at the moment. De Koning: 'It wasn't exhaustion - we just made stupid mistakes.'

'Almost everyone dropped out,' says Ingrid Bakker (NED). She refers to the Open class two, the boats with a rating over 105 (the smaller cats). Finally only three of the ten registered teams did start. Bakker and her helmsman Dominique van Asselt did fight the elements boldly.

'We capsized three times. The third time the rudder cam flipped, so we sometimes had to both hang onto the rudder when we were bearing away', she laughed.

The two girls are third overall. Alfred de Jong is in the lead with his Nacra 17, followed by the local favorites Dirk Pool with Anna van der Duim.

The 45 slalom windsurfers had again perfect conditions for their exciting racing. Three elimination rounds were sailed instead of the scheduled four. Bernd Flessner from Germany won three of them and leads by seven points. Damien Le Guen (FRA) and local Adriaan van Rijsselberghe are respectively second and third on equal points.

Van Rijsselberghe: 'It was great. I have two seconds and a fifth. At the end of the day there was more wind, so fortunately we had three and not four eliminations. You can also see everyone with red, tired heads. It was hard.'

Slalom windsurfing - Round Textel - Zwitserleven Sailing Week 2011

Top five Texel Dutch Open 2011 after two races:

1. GBR - Northrop/Willett, four points
2. NED - Heemskerk/Tentij, four points
3. NED - Veenman/De Waard, six points
4. GBR - Piggott/Garcka, 10 points
5. NED - De Koning/Visser, 11 points

Heemskerk-Tentij in action - Round Textel - Zwitserleven Sailing Week 2011

Zwitserleven Round Textel website