On Wednesday November 10th, Carolijn Brouwer (NED) and Sebbe Godefroid (BEL) won their first race at the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta.
They climbed to a third position overall. Team Larsen/Pols is still leading, but Hans Bouscholte and Ruurd van Wieren are chasing them.
This morning, the sky was cloudy and it rained. By the time the boats had to be rigged up, the sun came out and the blew ocean colours were back. The onshore wind was about twelve knots and there was a nice swell. Two races were scheduled.
"I am surprised by our peformance"
, said Sebbe GODEFROID (BEL) after he won race seven with 16 knots wind. He pointed at Hans Bouscholte and put a smile on his face: "He let us go first."
The two teams were in close competition until the finish line. Godefroid about their win: "We had a good start, but Hans was chasing us. We made a little mistake with estimating the lay line of the gate, so he passed us. In the last down wind lap, we were very close. We both choose a different mark in the gate and we could just beat him on the finish line."
Bouscholte and Van Wieren won the race six, followed by Richard Allen and Simon Farren. The wind was less strong, so Brouwer and Carolijn had more speeds problems. Godefroid: "I could not use trapeze while flying the gennaker, so we found it difficult to find pressure. It was also hard to mantain the speed in these waves."
They finished in fourth position. Larsen and Pols were third twice. The gap between the leading equipes Larsen/Pols and Bouscholte/Van Wieren is only four points.
Atlhough people were thrilled by today's beautiful sailing conditions with wind and waves, it was also tough racing for some competitors. As a result, the equipment suffered a great deal. John Beech and Andrew Brett (GBR) jumped through the main sail of their Spitfire. Rodolphe Gautier and Axel Meyer (SUI) hit the port hull of Gunnar Larsen and Xander Pols during a jibe. Both teams had damage, but only the Swiss had to go back. Larsen/Pols continued with extra liters of water. Pols: "It must have been thirty to forty liter, because we could hardly pull the boat on the beach." Two local teams crashed into each other.
In October, Yves DETREY from Switzerland won Act 3 with the Alinghi. This week, the pit man crews for Michael VAUCHER on the Ventilo F20. Detry: "We have time off until March, so this is my sailing holiday before skiing starts. Normally, I sail the Ventilo just for fun on the lake."
They are the best Swiss team in 20th position. Detrey: "We are always ahead of the other Swiss guys, so we are doing allright. We missed two races, due to damaged equipment and we have a bad rating."
The Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta is a whole new experience to Charls DEVANNEAUX and Daniel JACQUES from France. Devanneaux: "This is our first catamaran regatta ever. In June, we decided to participate. We bought our 18 foot Alada a month later. We only practiced three times, before we had to pack the container."
Normally, they sail keel boats. Jacques: "But this is great. I really like the speed."
The French sailor, living in the Netherlands, are in 28th position after four days. Devanneaux: "And we have finished all races. That was our target, plus not becoming the very last."
The Aruba Heineken Regatta is sponsored by the Aruba Tourism Authority, Heineken, Hapag Lloyd, Holiday Inn, KLM, TNG, Magic Marine and Does & Cadushi, Setar, Diamonds International, Palm Tours, Tropical Bottling Company, Antony Veder, Kodak and Coca Cola.
Top five after 7 races and one discard:
1. Nacra F18 / NED - Larsen / Pols, 11 points
2. Tornado / NED - Bouscholte / Van Wieren, 15 points
3. Tornado / NED - Brouwer / Godefroid, 24 points
4. Spitfire / GBR - Sproat / Burke, 28 points
5. Tornado / NED - Morret / Smissaert, 38 points