Monday, August 25, 2008

J22 Worlds wrap up...

By Edgar Westerhuys - Two disappointing races on the last day, again incredibly light winds; if only it would have.. but thats sailing, you cant force the wind. We started with a good 14 knots on the way to the start, going down rapidly just before the first start to even as low as 1.0 knot in the last beat to the finish of the 2nd race. The strategy we had was to go right in the beats because of an expected big righthand shift ahead of a front coming through. But again it was Leftchester that paid out, the locals felt or knew because many of them were ahead coming from left in both races.

Congratulations to the World Champion Greg Fisher & team, unbelievably good how consistently they sailed in such difficult circumstances!

35th overall is not where we came for but we had a nice event anyway, we sailed some good races in the 20ies and the 3rd place of race 2 was really really cool of course. We sailed against big names in the World of sailing: Chris Doyle (4th Overall at this Worlds), Terry Flynn (14th), Anthony Kotoun - the team from the Virgin Islands who were 1st in Saturdays Hospice Regatta - (2nd and also the J24 World Champion earlier this year), Bill Hardesty (5th and World Champion 2008 in the Etchells class), Kelson Elam (16th) and Mark Sadler (19th and World Champion J22 last year in South Africa). We learned a lot even though we had sailed and trained already mucho this year. Especially starting and first beat tactics in a group of 105 boats was difficult, I dont think the J22 class has ever before held an event this big with this many boats on 1 starting line.

After the price giving - with hot dogs and all - and de-rigging of the boat, we immediately cruised with our RV back to Canada. That was actually a really nice trip through the states New York and Ontario, we passed through the huge wine and corn fields and through little villages with beautiful houses straight from movies like Forest Gump “Life was like a box of chocolates..” Big pick-ups on the drive way, post boxes on the side of the road, white wooden houses with verandes with big rocking chairs, the yellow traffic lights dangling underneath large overhanging trees… great to see! Passing the customs went a lot faster than when entering the US, we werent allowed on the camper van - park which we had choosen so we just parked our RV on a parking lot close to Toronto and slept like rockets. Early wake-up from Bas who drove us to a small village called Rockport where we had a great breakfast with egg roll and coffee.

We delivered the camper to where Gideon had picked it up. The beautiful girl behind the check-in counter wasnt there unfortunately, so only Gideon will have her in his memory for ever.. Taxi to Pearsons airport where we are now waiting for our flight to leave in a few hours. Amsterdam here we come!

Thanks for following us and thanks for all the messages in our guest book! Thanks again of course as well to our sponsors without whom this event wouldnt have been possible for us:
Technisch Handelsburo Verhoef
MIBA bearings

Next year the Worlds will be in Italy - Lake Garda. Who knows we compete again, it all depends on where our lives have headed in ‘09. In the Netherlands we have some nice events ahead of us this year, with the chance of winning the Year Ranking 2008 as a bonus. Currently we are ranked #1 so we won’t let that one be taken away from us!

JST out. - - - See Photos