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12 June 2005, 09:24 am
SAMAMA and VAN LEEUWEN Break Record
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Zwitserleven Round Texel Race 2005
Texel, Netherlands

On Saturday 11 June 2005, Wouter SAMAMA and Jeroen VAN LEEUWEN (NED) broke all records during the 28th Zwitserleven Rounde Texel Race in the Netherlands. They sailed their Tornado around the Island in 2 hours, 11 minutes and 11 seconds. Approximately 19 minutes faster than VAN TEYLINGEN/MANUEL in the 1997 race and Hans BOUSCHOLTE and Ruurd VAN WIEREN (NED) at their attempt in 2003.
According to the provisional results, Mischa HEEMSKERK and Sander DE BOER won on handicap with their Hobie Tiger.

Participants had a tough day, due to the heavy conditions. During the briefing at 0800 hours local time , the north northwest wind was already force five. The direction in combination with the high surf claimed many victims. Boats capsized by the handful, which resulted into lots of damage to the equipment. Among them were favourites for the victory, like Xander POLS and Sven DE LAAF with their M20. Last year's winners, Team Zwitserleven's Mitch BOOTH and Herbert DERCKSEN (NED), turned over as well and cracked the inside frames of their brand new carbon hulls. The damage was too serious and therefore they could not start the race. According to BOOTH, 'Of course we are disappointed, but what happened belongs to these kind of events. It was close to the limit.' Half of the 547 subscribed teams withdrew prematurely. Finally, 247 catamarans finished. Paralympic sailor Thierry SCHMITTER completed the race as well.

SAMAMA and VAN LEEUWEN did not go through the surf undamaged, but they were able to repair their broken tiller before the start. They started high on the line. SAMAMA recounted, 'We could go over everybody and reached the light house in first position.' The team hit the ground before the VC mark and damaged their rudder. 'We tied it. Our leg towards Oudeschild was extremely fast, after which we saw nobody anymore. I looked at my watch at the southern point of the island. We still had 45 minutes left to break the record and we only needed 20. As we entered the beach, the party broke out. Super cool!'

Five minutes later, Mischa HEEMSKERK and Sander DE BOER crossed the finish line as second team. DE BOER commented, 'Remco KENBEEK and Paul BROUWER were just behind us, until they capsized close before the VC mark. At that point, there were two Tornado's in front of us, but Eduard ZANEN took in his spinnaker earlier. We passed them, after which we tried to stay as close as possible to Wouter and Jeroen.' The Nissan Hobie Pro Team won on handicap. Eduard ZANEN and Willem HOUWING from Texel finished third.

Diana Bogaards. Image, SAMAMA and VAN LEEUWEN :© Annemiek van Kinderen
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