Philip de Koning Gans, trains with his 1986 Börrensen – if possible once every two weeks at Lake Kaag near Leiden, Holland and competes with the NED 160 at the IJsselmeer from Muiden and abroad. At Lake Kaag he has formed a strong team with ‘good old’ Ronald van Vianen as helmsman and young potential sailor Michiel Bakker. Michiel is a promising 15 year old Laser Radial sailor. Sailing in a Dragon team teaches him a lot about tactics, anticipation and consequent boat handling.
Michiel indicating the best incoming wind
The other six participating teams could not believe their eyes that the 32 year old NED 398 was consequently leading the six other Dragons during 7 races and only lost the lead in race 8 just after the last mark to NED 160, sailed by Jan Bakker, Maarten Kimman and Ed van Vianen. The NED 398 has always been a fast boat. And even faster when in the hands of a balanced team with a skilled helmsman, a still strong going senior as middleman and a swift youngster on the fore deck.
Philip still going strong and trying to stay ‘ rustagh’
During Race 3 and 4, NED 380 became a serious opponent for the NED 398. Jacob Roosjen and Erik ten Kley missed their number 3 during race 1 and 2. An ‘old hand’ from the Regenboog Class, 80 year old Henk Noppen, was eager to helm the NED 380. After 55 years in the Regenboog Class, Henk had bought a Börrensens 1974 to enjoy himself in his shed during the winter season and was looking forward to sail this boat with his grandsons. The boat is still in the shed, but Henk now is infected by the Dragon fever. He recently became the oldest new member of the Dutch Dragon Class. Welcome on board, Henk !
80 year old Henk Noppen just joined the Dragon fleet
After Kaagweek 2017, 5.5 class sailor Remy Kok, his wife Caroline and their two kids joined the Aalmeer Dragon fleet with their Petticrows NED 385. This Kaagweek event was their first competition with more experienced teams, like NED 415 ( Jan-Paul van der Meeren ), NED 185 ( Rob Dekeukeleire) and local Kaag team NED 339, Team Bontekoe, helmed by Emil Root and tactician/middleman Leen Rotteveel.
During continuing sub -tropical condition (blue skies, 24 – 27 C, Bf 2 – 4 from WNW – NNE), with substantial time for a lunch break (including apple tart) and free beer on board Philip’s boat after the afternoon race, it was one of the best events to enjoy sailing the Dragon.
Lunch break with apple tart and cool beer and wine on board the ‘mother ship’
The shifty winds, both in direction and strength due to islands and ventury effect between the islands, the optimal use of the lake with different up & down tracks, over 150 boats racing in those congested waters from Opti’s to Dragons and many spectators in motorboats, required maximum alert on the shifts, swift tacks, evasive action and demanding boat handling.
Team NED 398 became the over all winner, followed by NED 380 and NED 160.
The dynamic (international) Dragon calender July/August 2018 with the Dragon Gold Cup in Helsinki, Brugse Zotte and Belgian Open, Austrian Dragon Classic and Neptune Pokal at the Wolfgangsee, together with Kaagweek, frustrated the entries for the class a little bit. Let’s hope that 2019 will bring more Dragons to the historic 99 th Kaagweek, the oldest active regatta in the Netherlands.
With many thanks to the Race Committee and Organising Committee.
Well done Team Kaag !
Pictures via Webshop www.ericvandenbandt.nl