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13 November 2017 om 09:15

With the ice just melted in Holland and great calm training conditions Pieter Heerema had offered the Dutch fleet to share his vast Dragon and sailing experience with six regular Dutch Dragon teams who are preparing themselves for the Grand Prix Aalsmeer starting 31st March. It were NED 1 (team Pfeiffer), NED 339 (Team Bontekoe) NED 375 (Team Keulemans/Dekeukeleire)  NED 415 (Team Zuidwijk) NED 416 (Team Van der Meeren) and the ‘almost new’ NED 432 (Team Van Dis).


The teams were given a warm welcome at the premises of Marc Blees in Aalsmeer, owner of the Code Zero Brand and Dragon sailor himself. Free parking , craning, coffee, beer, snacks and easter eggs were all part of Marc’s hospitality which was highly appreciated by the participants.

On Sunday 25th March the teams  NED 22 ( Robin de Jong) and BEL 66  (Team Wylleman) tuned their boats as well at the Westeinder for the coming serie, however not interfering with Pieter’s clinic.

All manouevres and exercises were filmed /photographed by the GoPro of Reinier de Jong from the rib and with cameras and even a drone from Huib Bannier’s Grand Banks motorboat with Jan Bakker, Roald Plantinga and Philip de Koning Gans on board.

The Dutch class must be proud to observe all this stimulating energy at the beginning of the season.

Pieter stipulated – among many other tips and individual feedback – the importance of

  • focus on the race as opposed to tourists behavior during a race
  • set realistic targets and agree as a team about targets and goals
  • good boat handling prevents a team from loosing a race; however winning a race needs more skills
  • good airflow on the sails is key. Listen to the sails. Active trim during light airs is essential.
  • Opt for a ‘no headache’  boat with not too many trim lines. Keep the boat as simple as possible. Set markers for standard settings and specials settings on (principal) trim lines.
  • racing is a team approach with joined responsabilities for all members. From preparation to sailing out and from racing to evaluation afterwards.
  • while racing: communicate your (required or intended) actions to /with team members. Call trim actions and wind observations to team as a whole so everyone can anticipate an action.
  • helmsman must to be looking forward, not backward or around
  • evaluate each race and train intensively to improve manoeuvres
  • opt for hoisting the spi (kite) from the cockpit by closing the spi trap. It prevents a lot of water on board, wet spi’s and weight in the bow, damaged spi’s and retriever lines under the boat. Be aware of remeasuring / re-weight after removing the tube from the trap. (Class rules)

From his rib, assisted by Reinier de Jong, Pieter instructed the boats  with practical exercises and short races, whilst coaching individual teams during these two days.

A fantastic way to start the season and many thanks to Pieter for his provided high quality training which he enjoyed himself as well.
And another big hand to Reinier de Jong and Marc Blees.