Sailing is a wonderful sport to do. The fight against the elements. The freedom on the water, the friendly competition with your opponents. For months you have only been able to train for this Open Dutch Championship and today, 8 October, is finally the day. Hundreds of driven sailors report in Medemblik for the first day of the Allianz Regatta, but…. there is a lot of fog and very little wind. About half of the sailors get into action after a long wait and the rest stay ashore and enjoy themselves, as if it were a reunion of long-lost friends.
Hurry up and wait
The NOS headline this morning: ‘From Brabant to Groningen, The Netherlands under a blanket of fog’. The participants have all known that. Still, they hurried from home with their boat behind the car to be ready on time, rigged and all. But the fog was stubborn and it took until the afternoon before most of the boats were allowed on the water. No wonder that the noble sport of sailing is also known as ‘Hurry up and wait’.
Sailors can do that. Waiting. Enjoy themselves. They are used to it from an early age: too much wind, too little wind and, in this case, fog. Annemijn Verbeek (15), Lisa Brand (15), and Lydia Grimbergen (15) from the Braassem and Kylian van de Akker (14) from KWVL entertain themselves with a game of table football. These ILCA 4.7 sailors have done a lot of training but little racing. “We really missed it, sailing races,” says Annemijn Verbeek. “We’ve trained really hard and there are a lot of competitors. Kylian wins with table football but we win with sailing,” concludes Lisa Brand.
Laser in action
Adriaan Ouwekerk sails in the ILCA 7 and came 12th today. Ouwekerk explains. “I was injured for eight months and did not race for a long time. Normally I sail the 49er but I didn’t have a crew now so I stepped into the Laser. From August I train again but it is great to race again. We had to wait a long time today but we sailed a race. It was worth the wait.”
It is almost a tradition at the Allianz Regatta, the ‘hellinghap’. For all more than 500 participants there is a paper box with delicious pasta bolognese at the end of the day to satisfy the first hunger on the way to the long missed drinks and sailor talk. Most sailors can be recognised by their moving hands with which they try to explain their successful or less successful actions on the water to their friendly opponents.
Tomorrow, hopefully more wind and less fog. One thing is certain, the ‘hellinghap’ will be nasi goreng.
See here the results of day 1