On Sunday November 7, Gunnar LARSEN and Xander POLS from the Netherlands started strongly at the fourteenth Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta.
Last year's winners were victorious in both races with a northeaster force five to six. The British competitors Stuart GUMMER and Gillian POWER followed with their Spitfire on the second place. Christopher SPROAT and Georgina BURKE, also from Great Britain, are in third position in a field of fifty-four catamarans, representing five countries.
"It went very well",
was the enthusiastic reaction of Larsen. "We have sailed conservatively, which gave us a good position to start with."
Many teams capsized under genaker and lost their races. According to Larsen, they did not push their Nacra F18 to the limit: "We did not want to start with a discard."
They are again the men to beat. Today, the performance of the Spitfires was remarkable good with four teams in the top ten.
The Olympic sailors Carolijn BROUWER (Europe / Netherlands) and Sebbe GODEFROID (Finn / Belgium) competed on a Tornado, recently bought from Mitch BOOTH and Herbert DERCKSEN. After the first day, they are in seventh position. Brouwer: "We did extremely well in the practice race, but everything went wrong in the openings race. Sebbe started about to undress: his trapeze harness unclipped and he lost his shoes."
But they managed to round the first upwind mark in leading position and to finish as sixth team overall. Brouwer: "This regatta is like therapy for our Olympic disillusionment from Athens. Aruba is the best place for that. It is great sailing here."
Seven Swiss teams entered this year's Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta and all of them sail a Ventilo. The builder of this Swiss catamaran, Christian FAVRE, is amongst them. Pierre GOTTREUX: "We are here for holiday, but also for testing the brand new 20 feet Ventilo in stronger conditions and flat water. The boats are built for lakes, so we need practice with more wind. I am sure we will improve our skills during this week."
The best Ventilo team, Fischer and Gianola, ended up in 20th position.
Ten course and long distance races are scheduled for the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta. The event ends on Friday November November 12 at the west side of the island.
The Aruba Heineken Regatta is sponsored by the Aruba Tourist agency, Heineken, Hapag Lloyd, Holiday Inn, KLM, TNG, Magic Marine and Does & Cadushi.
Top five after two races:
1. Nacra F18 / NED - Larsen / Pols
2. Spitfire / GBR - Gummer / Power
3. Spitfire / GBR - Sproat / Burke
4. Tornado / NED - Moret / Smissaert
5. Dart 18 spi / AUT - Thomasch / Hankart