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8 April 2005, 10:35 am
Danish Victory
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Optispring 2005
Stellendam, Netherlands

Over 200 boats where in Stellendam, Netherlands last weekend to take part in the Optispring 2005. Young sailors from Denmark and the Netherlands dominated the event taking four of the five top places and eight of the top ten.
The regatta, held 2-3 April, attracts an international audience and is organized by the Dinghy Optimist Class Belgium (DOCB). This year the regatta was open not only to Optimists but also the Europe and 420.

The Optispring sailing regatta (sponserd by t-interim, and Ecover) was sailed under a clear blue sky and winds from 15 knots down to a few knots for everybody's taste.

The DOCB hold the event in the Netherlands because of the lack of proper inland regatta sailing areas for big fleets in Belgium and the North Sea with it's strong currents is often a hostile place for optimists and younger sailors this time of the year. For the last two years the event has been held in Stellendam.

With 158 optimists (from six different nations), 29 Europes and 20 420's the DOCB had to manage an international fleet of over 200 dinghies with the accompanying ribs. For both the Belgian and Dutch optimists this regatta was a trial for European and World championships. On the first day there were four races in 7-14 knots of wind whilst the second day saw one race in winds of five to six knots.

In the Optimist Denmark's Magnus KÆLDSØ topped the leaderboard at the end of the regatta with his consistent finishing giving him a single point victory over Maarten DAGELET (NED). DAGELET had a terrible start to the competition finishing 18 in the first race. However as the day went on he improved taking a bullet in race three. Victory in Sunday's race was enough to give him second place on the podium just two points in front of Dirk BENNEN (NED).

Geert Coppieters (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Maurice Slap
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