A fleet of 27 Dragons, among which 11 NED’s, GBR’s, GER and of course the hard core of the BDA, three vintage Dragons included, were ready to race in Ostend for the 2017 Belgian Open. As ever all ingredients were there to enjoy a superb championship. Unfortunately a Low with a series of squall lines generated too much wind and consequent rough seas on day one and day two. Hence two days ‘ No Sailing’
No sailing today
However, day 1 became a great day to do some improvements on the boats, to meet new Dragon friends and to enjoy the hospitality of the BDA, and in particular the hospitality of the Vaneste family, owners of the Brugse Zotte Brewery. A visit to this unique down town Brugge Brewery and Beer Museum of six generations of family brewers, was a premium for the participants.
BDA Secretary with brewers roots Anne Vaneste
Day 2 resulted in a delay and final cancellation at noon as well. Hence the scheduled ‘Pontoon Wine & Beer Party’ started before siësta time.
Dragon Friends meet during the Brugse Zotte Pontoon Beer Party
Day 3 promissed a rough start for race 1. Stiff breeze, some showers, still waves up to 1 meter and tide moving to spring was to be beaten in the first place.
The local Belgian fleet showed their skills on their home waters and outperformed the many Dutch sailors who come from one of the lakes in Holland. However, during the day the wind dropped a bit, waves calmed down and the Neddies got more into the groove.
Three races were concluded. BEL 80 and BEL 79 leading, NED 258 third. This Dutch team of Pim ten Harmsen van der Beek and his two sons Mart and Koen had participated in the Tune Up in Ostend. Was this their reward ?
Pim & Sons showed excellent skilles in Ostend with a well deserved 3rd place for this promissing team
During the final day it was summer sailing at sea at its best. Nice breeze, small friendly waves but a killing strong tide, especially at the relative short finish line during the first race of day 4. Good Old Heike Blok observed chaos, shouting, red flags, penalty turns, winners and loosers from the finish yacht. Boats that aimed for the finish mark were pushed outside; boats that aimed for the middle of the finish line had to anticipate a “Bretonne” to prevent touching the mark; boats the were the smartest and had opted for more room further into sea, sailed happily over the strugglers. It was how NED 258 won this race during the final beat and consolidated the 3rd position.
Relaxed start on day 4, however heated moments during the finish of race 4.
Ben van Cauwenbergh & Team (BEL 80) became the Belgian Champions 2017. Team Alex Helsen (BEL 79) second. They were just a bit stronger than routiniers like Team NED 309 Furie ( Guus de Groot, Richard van Reij and Hay Winters) , defending Belgian champion 2016 Jan Bakker & Sons and routinier former IDA President Rob Campbell ( who participated for the 30th time in Ostend)
Afterall the Dutch fleet performed increasingly better. Next to the ‘bronze’ for the NED 258, three other Dutch boats were in the top ten: NED 422 4th; NED 360 5th; NED 374 9th.
A big thanks from the Dutch fleet to the BDA, the superb Race Committee lead by Dirk and his team and the excellent and friendly catering staff of the Royal North Sea Yacht Club.
We look foreward meeting many of our Belgian , British and Germand Dragon friends in September in Muiden for the Dutch Open.
No Zeilno Naam Punten12345
BEN VAN CAUWENBERGH7,02122(9)
2BEL 79PRINCESS SOFIE
3NED 258JAN WANDELAAR
MART TEN HARMSEN VAN DER BEEK14,036(8)14
5NED 360BRAVE HENDRIK 16
7GBR 788QUICKSILVER VI
8BEL 88WHITE PEARL
LAURENS VAN SWAAY37,0(21)18685
GUUS DE GROOT50,01(ufd)155dnf
PETER DE GRYSE50,0(19)591818
17GBR 753FIT CHICK
18BEL 69CHAPTER VI
MICHEL VAN CAUWELAERT59,02317(24)712
20NED 389MAD MAX
22NED 398PIR QUADRAAT
PHILIP DE KONING GANS71,02492315(dns)
23NED 380SILVER SWAN
JACOB J. ROOSJEN71,017(ufd)161919
HANS R. BEHR84,025161924(dnf)
26BEL 33PURPLE CLOUD
CHRISTIAN VAN AUDENAARDE104,02623(dnf)26dnf