Three days of qualifying regattas brought out the best of the sailors. Some were brilliant in the lighter conditions others preferred the heavier conditions of yesterday. Some are progressing all the time.
One thing is sure: the Northsea weather is very hard to predict and this week we'll get no presents. For those who come from far, it's really unusual - after all this is a tourist region with a lot of beachlife….
The physical battle fought on Wednesday was quite impressive and a lot of sailors could use a day of rest now!
After the first two days almost everyone would have voted for Scott MORRISON from New Zealand after his four wins. Not just wins but demonstrations… In heavier wind Scott seems more vulnerable! It was the same story for Grzegorg NADOLNY from Poland who lost control in the heavier winds. The most consistent were David JESSOP from the United Kingdom and Jorne KNEGT who are in control in every range of wind.
Belgium has some strong contenders too but they lost some ground in the heavier wind… only Yannick LEFEBVRE and Alfred LACHAPPELLE did well. Alfred scored the first Belgian victory in a heat and Yannick places three and five which means an average of four on all races.
This shouldn't really be an issue in this article but if the weather gods decide to make it a physical battle it becomes one! Laura MAES was placed fifth before the wind struck but lost nine places to become 14. She is now preceded by Anneke BOUWMEESTER from Holland who takes ninth place.
It is too hard to say which country will run off with the title at this stage as there are nine nationalities in the top ten. Great Britain has one big challenger, the Dutch have more, the Kiwi's are very strong and then the outsiders: Zack KELCHNER from the USA won two out of four on the first days, Alfred LachAppelle and Yannick LEFEBVRE coming through in tougher conditions or the Polish sailors who make their way very quietly…and what about the swiss?
Flash Eurocup 2004
The Flashfleet knew a strong Dutch domination but on the windier day Pieter ASSELMANS made his point by winning both heats and going up the rankings to place fourth. Joep Van DOODEWAERD is the dominant leader before Jessica CRUL and Auke VAN DER WERF.
A special mention goes to Bart Jan KNEGT who brought his boat next to a rib in order to help an exhausted Splash sailor who gave up after a fierce physical battle with the sea. True sports- and seamanship! Bravo Bart Jan!
We wish all the competitors good luck in the next races and although we only speak of gold fleet we are in admiration for all the sailors who showed this marvellous spectacle on sea!
Complete results for both classes are available on the event website via the link below.