The return of the Texel rating

Overall winners Brouwer/Samama in action - Zwitserleven Round Texel Race 2012
© Laurens Morel
The 36th edition of the Round Texel and the Round Texel Sailing Week will experience changes this year such as the the Texel Rating, trip around the North instead of to the North and use the Z-flag procedure.

Jeroen Romkema, Race Manager since 2012, has news about the days before the Round Texel. 'As Round Texel we are pleased and proud to offer the sailors a unique experience in the days before the Round. This year, for the first time ever, we will sail around the North instead of to the North. Which is really unique.'

During the past winter months the organizing committee of the Round Texel and the local coast sailing associations on Texel all decided to work together in organizing the Texel Dutch Open, the 'Horstocht' and the Trip around the North. Romkema is enthusiastic: ' We will offer the sailors a unique experience by sailing around the North. Which is made possible due to the cooperation with the Coast Sailing Association Westerslag and the Cocksdorper Coast Sailing Association.'

As part of the Round Texel Sailing Week, the Texel Dutch Open will be held from Wednesday 12 until Friday 14 June. In only three days ten races will be held. Due to the use of the Texel Rating (one category till 105, and one counting 105 and higher) the Texel Dutch Open will have two champions.

In 1984, the Texel Rating formula has first been used for the Round Texel race. Before that year, yardstick numbers were used to estimate the expected performance of the various types of catamarans. Since these numbers were derived from existing race statistics, it was not possible to determine handicap numbers for new designs of catamarans. Therefore the Texel Race organization decided to start using the Texel Rating, which is, nowadays, the international standard for races where various types of catamarans compete together.
Back to Basic, pure sailing.

Winners line honours Pols/Dubbeldam - Zwitserleven Round Texel Race 2012
© Laurens Morel

A survey held under participants of the Round Texel last year showed that sailors would like to see a more 'back to basic' and pure sailing approach. A Round Texel with a high focus on quality, fun and safety for the sailors. Race Manager Romkema: 'At request of the sailors, we have decided not to sail with a gold and silver fleet anymore. For both the Round Texel and the Texel Dutch Open the Texel Rating will now be used, which will result in two champions per event.'

The Race Manager and his team have decided to alter the starting procedure for the Round Texel as well: 'We have chosen to start under the Z-flag procedure. Which basically means there will be no automatic disqualification for an early start.'

The Z-flag procedure will allow all participants to race, establish an end time and a placement on the leaderboard. Cats that cross the starting line after the one minute signal, between the triangle of the start buoys and the first gate, will get a 20% score penalty instead of disqualification. 'This is unique for a sail event with such a large amount of competitors,' says Romkema.

With less than three weeks to go the entry list is right on schedule, says Romkema: 'At this moment already more than 200 cats entered and we still have capacity for more participants. They can sign up here.

The Round Texel is very pleased to attract international competitors from Australia, Germany, England, France, Belgium and even Hong Kong. Which, in 2013, makes the Round Texel again the Biggest Cat Race in the World'.