Thursday, November 29, 2012

JOIE DE VIVRE Sails Perfect Benelux Championship

J/80 Benelux sailors- Laura Vroon and team sailing to win!(Gravelines, Belgium)- This year's Open Benelux J/80 Championship saw a champion crowned with an unprecedented series- 7 1sts in seven races.  Laura Vroon and crew sailed their hearts out and simply established themselves at the front of the fleet like no one could ever imagine.  Girls Rule!!

It was a beautiful battlefield with hard, stormy winds, perfect race committee work, good organization, excellent sportsmanship and fair play at a very competitive level for the entire field of sailors. Participants spoke of the best regatta ever. The Regatta Jury had no objection to being needed as there were no protests lodged whatsoever-- everything on the water was handled by self-imposed "criminal circles", as all competitors seemed to judge by one another fairly.  The fair play award went to Henk Everwijn, who after a port/ starboard situation at the finish, withdrew without a protest.

The "fair play" amongst the fleet is even more remarkable given the compactness of the field.  A single error immediately took many places, tactical situations were the norm, and this meant the difference between position 2 and 6.  This was not the case for JOIE DE VIVRE Team, their first place was a serene one without one challenger. JDV took every race from the start line. Sailing fast and high with superb boat-handling and superb sail-trim, JDV was first at the upwind mark virtually every time.  After which their lead steadily extended every time, so they cashed-in after the seven races for the gold.  An amazing performance for Laura Vroon and crew!

Just behind them was quite a battle for second in this epic regatta.  JUUL's Bernard Holsboer, who sustained some damage in the stormy 32 kts winds on the first day were pleased with their performance, despite dropping from 2nd to 3rd overall. Dueling it out for the balance of the podium were the defending champion JALAPENO- Erik Scheeren and JUUL.  After a storm-tossed first day and a match-race for second, it was JALAPENO that took the lead to take second overall. JUUL was third.  NJOY's Coen van Veen sailed well to take fourth and fifth was MENTAQUILIBRIUM's Christopher Savoy.

Of note, it was nice to see a new J/80 sailor learning the ropes and improving race-to-race over the course of the season.  The "Rookie of the Year" had to be Eric Hogervorst sailing QUICK & DIRTY, displaying a remarkable increase in his speed boat and tactics, taking 8th in the regatta.  More next year, we promise!  For more J/22 Netherlands/ Benelux sailing information.