Texel Dutch Open win for Heemskerk and Tentij

2011 Dutch Champions Heemskerk Tentij
The Texel Dutch Open has been won again by Dutchmen Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij. They claimed their Dutch catamaran title with three bullets. Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser from the Netherlands take silver and Australians Adam Beattie and Jamie Leitner take the bronze.

Tomorrow, the 34th Zwitserleven Round Texel Race will start and the entry list has 440 registered teams.

As the favourites for line honors prepared their racing machine on the Texel beach for tomorrow's racing, Heemskerk said 'It was a very nice day. After the starting debacle (black flag) we wanted to make sure to be master of our own destiny. We only started on the safe side and searched for the ends of the line, rather be at the least favourite side of the line. That worked out fine.

'In the first race we were in third position when we saw a beautiful cloud coming at the right hand side. We went for that and that worked out well.'

That was the pair's first bullet of the day. In the last match it became really thrilling.

Heemskerk: 'Jason Waterhouse turned just before us around the offset mark. I thought he had made the full turn, but suddenly Bastiaan yelled and I looked around him and saw the Aussie hanging in a wave and we were speeding into him. I could just steer up to stay clear of him.

'Luckily we didn't sail into his boat, that would have been ugly. We had some 20-21 knots of speed (38 km/h).'

Asked about their chances in the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race Heemskerk said confidently 'If the wind tomorrow is like today, then we're on.'

After his gold medal earlier this week the silver of today is some less sweet taste for Thijs Visser (NED). 'It was okay', he reacts carefully. 'But we couldn't pass Mischa. At the last start we had some bad luck. There was a boat blocking our way and there was no room for us. We had to fight our way forward.' After a second position twice today Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser concluded the championship with a fourth place, which brought them a second position overall.

Visser is satisfied about the whole series. 'We lost quite some places in the first race due to equipment failure. Then our cross bar broke and we lost rudder use. We lost some time so that was a pity. And Mischa also had a black flag yesterday. We were almost equal until the last race.'

Silver medalists De Koning en Visser - Texel Dutch Open 2011 - Zwitserleven Sailing Week

The Dutchmen Pim Nieuwenhuis and Ferdinand van West could not afford another discard, as they had an OCS in the first race. However they scored a nineteenth in race seven, so they dropped from the podium. With one more match to go, the Britons Piggott and Garcka were winning bronze. The Aussies had to beat them with three boats between them to take the bronze, which they did.

Adam Beattie: 'We had to make up on Grant today. We were not match racing him. We just had to beat him so we did our own thing.'

Jamie Leitner: 'It was tough racing. This morning it was a bit lighter and it built in the afternoon. The condition of the waves was hard but we had a lot of fun. We are pretty ecstatic to have won a bronze medal.' Their performance is a direct result of their sailing at home in Australia: 'We haven't stopped sailing. I think that is paying off', says Beattie.

Bronze winners Beattie en Leitner in actie - Texel Dutch Open 2011 - Zwitserleven Sailing Week

The Texel team Dirk Pool and Anna van der Duim won the Open II class for catamarans with a rating of 105 and more. The all girl team Dominique van Asselt and Ingrid Bakker climbed to a second place, followed by Alfred de Jong.

Around 14.30hour three teams began a record attempt around Texel. Mitch and son Taylor Booth on the Nacra carbon 20. Xander Pols and Sascha Larsen on a similar boat and William Sunnucks en Oliver Egan on the M20 Vampire. Still sailing on the North Sea the two Nacra's had to withdraw after they both bore unmercifully hard into a wave. The spinnaker poles broke. Tomorrow they will be back and on the hunt for line honours again.

Booth family in troubles - Texel Dutch Open 2011 - Zwitserleven Sailing Week

Sunnucks and Egan in the end, were only two minutes away from setting a new record sailing around Texel. They finished in two hours and nine minutes, so the fastest time is still held by Herbert Dercksen and Mark Bulkely.

Although Sunnucks and Egan set a new record for this year's Zwitserleven Sailing week, the TNG record is what they aimed for. 'We're p*** off,' reacts William Sunnucks straight from the heart. 'Only two minutes!' The Brits had to stop four times in their record attempt, which obviously slowed them down. They are indeed good candidates for line honours.'

Sunnucks en Egan hunting for record - Texel Dutch Open 2011 - Zwitserleven Sailing Week

Olympic sailor Herbert Dercksen and Mark Bulkely (GBR) are stealing the show this week in the pit lane. Their Zwitserleven red wing sail is an innovation in the world of beach catamarans and blown over from the America's Cup.

Dercksen: 'We wanted to see if we could have the first beach cat with a wing sail to go through the surf out on the sea. It took us six months to build it. Each day you find out new things. So yes maybe the Round Texel Race of tomorrow is a bit too early. But if you're not trying, you will never know. If the wind is stronger, it's actually easy. We have already noticed that. With light breeze we're still searching. But the proof of the pudding is the eating. Our goal for tomorrow is to finish in one piece. If we come to that, the experiment actually is successful. So it is the question whether the line honours are at hand.'

The weather forecast for tomorrow is a lot more positive than last year when the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race couldn't be continued. On Saturday June 25 there will be a strong breeze with a increasing south to southwesterly wind. That wind direction causes less problems in the surf and provides a spectacular start between 12.30 and 13.30 hours.

Top five Texel Dutch Open 2011:

NED -Heemskerk/Tentij, 11 points
NED - DeKoning/Visser, 21 points
AUS -Beattie/Leitner, 38 points
GBR -Piggott/Garcka, 39 points
NED -Nieuwenhuis/Van West, 48 points

Top three Open klasse II (Seven contestants):

NED -Pool/Van der Duim, 13 points
NED - VanAsselt/Bakker, 21 points
NED -Alfred de Jong, 44 points

Wing sail in preparation - Texel Dutch Open 2011 - Zwitserleven Sailing Week
© Olivier Schilling

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