After five races off the French coast, it was a close competition in the top five. Team Holmatro was fourth, tied with the J-122 J-Lance 4 in third position. Paprec Recyclage, a brand new A 40, was second. Although Courrier du Coeur was unbeatable for the overall victory, the battle was full on for the other podium spots.
No Room For Error
Holmatro navigator Bart VERWERFT (BEL) explained, 'We could not afford a discard anymore, as we had an OCS on the first day. That means we had to sail a good race without too many risks.'
It started off with about 10 knots wind. 'The left side of the first beat was favoured, but we chose to stay at the inner side more to the middle of the course. That paid off and we rounded the first mark just behind Saga, a Nelson Marek 471. In the second beat, we went to the middle of the course and sailed our own race. The wind started to die, but we focussed on catching pressure. That is how we overtook Saga. We finished first, after which the wind dropped to zero.'
Only 11 yachts crossed the line in time and Holmatro was third on handicap, which pushed the Dutch team to a second position overall. VERWERFT said, 'Prior to the event, we did not really know what to expect. We mentioned a third place as target, but I thought that was a bit too ambitious. After the first day, we knew it would be possible to reach the top four, so this result is great.'