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29 April 2003, 04:07 pm
First Event Sees Big Winds
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Optimist Action

United 4 Series - Event One
Muiderzand

Many ambitious sailors in International classes looked out for the start of the United 4 Sailing season at Muiderzand, last weekend. As a multi class event, being held over a number of weekends, the Olympic classes have ISAF Grade 3 status.
The first day of racing on Saturday started with light winds and rain. Three races were scheduled for each class of which unfortunately only two races could be completed because of a dying breeze at the Southern part of the Ijsselmeer, better known as the Markermeer.

Sailors waited on the water for a long time hoping for some wind to come up as predicted.

Sunday, saw the opposite. Winds of approx. 15-18 knots. and some sun now and then provided conditions for excellent racing. During the morning, winds increased giving some very spectacular sailing. While several classes were still racing and 470s were finishing, even stronger inland winds came up, pushing up breaking waves. For the race management on all courses, this was a reason to abandon all ongoing races and send the struggling dinghies back to the harbour giving a full time job to all, but sufficient available rescues.

Although only 3 races on both days could be completed for most classes, all sailors experienced some very good sailing under all conditions and a lot of social activity.

United 4 Sailing is an annual series of four weekend events through the year with participating classes 470, 420, Cadet, Optimist, Europe, Splash and Lasers 4.7/Radial/Standard. All events take place on open water at different venues in the Netherlands, under authority of professional race committees.

For participating Olympic Classes, 470, Laser Standard, Europe Women, all four weekend events have the ISAF Grade 3 status, which enhances the opportunity for mainly starting Olympic talent to obtain their first World Rankings position at local, but International regattas.

During this weekend the Splash class debuted in the United 4 Sailing series. The single handed youth centerboard class, which has its origin in The Netherlands, has mainly earned its position within United 4 Sailing because of the popularity with sailors that leave the Optimist.

The Dutch 420 and 470 Class have joined forces and develop more shared interests with Belgian and German sailors, resulting in a growing participation of these neighbouring countries. Sailors from abroad not only participate to share the fun of International sailing, but also the status of this event series that is used by many as part of their own national ranking series.

The next United 4 Sailing event is 10-11 May in Workum. As many Olympic sailors will be back from Hyères, some even more stronger racing will take place.
Rick van Wijngaarden
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