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20 September 2002, 10:25 am
Light Winds and Teasing Shifts at Opening Day of Open Dutch Championships
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Open Dutch Championship
Medemblick

The annual Open Dutch Sailing Championship for Olympic & Paralympic Classes started yesterday at Medemblik, The Netherlands.
The event is a new initiative to bring together the Dutch Nationals for Olympic & Paralympic Classes in one big event at the Dutch main sailing venue, the International Sailing Centre, Medemblik.

In contrast with Medemblik's Spa Regatta earlier this year, where Olympic Classes competed in very stormy weathers, wind showed itself too friendly in strength, and almost too teasing in shifts on this first day.

"Today's circumstances were very difficult for sailors and Race Committee as well" said Edwin Lodder, Organizer of the event. "The second race of the 470 class had to be withdrawn due to exceeded time limits. During afternoon's races at the Star, Yngling and Sonar class course, the same problem almost occurred, which fortunately could be avoided. The skills of the Race Committee were tested by necessity of changing position of the marks caused by shifting winds."

For many Olympic sailors the Open Dutch event counts as a final event after this year's heavy event schedule. For Europe and 470 Class Olympic sailors, who have just come here a few days after their World Championship, the event isn't just a matter of showing skills, but also a test to their endurance.

Due to the close meeting of major Mistral and Tornado events, the participation of these classes at the Open Dutch have been cancelled, just as the absence of Dutch Sailing Team's Laser Class sailors who finished the Laser Worlds in the USA yesterday.

For the Paralympic 2.4 Metre and Sonar Class sailors, the event is the perfect preparation for the IFDS World Disabled Sailing Championship starting next week at Medemblik.

Medemblik allows spectators for the first time to follow the races at the most spectacular spots on large floating pontoons at start and finish.

Racing continues today with two races scheduled for each class. The event will conclude on Sunday.
Rick van Wijngaarden/ISAF News Editor
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