This year the battle of the coast was a 2 event. First a short technical course inside Haarlem on Friday night and Saturday the Beach Race which is Holland biggest Beach race and also a qualifier for the ISA world Championships 2015.
I arrived in Holland in the morning with the first race starting in the evening. Even with a one day stop in London I still had some jet leg in my system and a slight cold too.
I felt kind of fit but knew I would still feel my crossing from 2 weeks ago if I would race at a 100%. So I hoped for the best and my inner drive.
I was using a All star 12’6 x25.5 I tried the sprint just before the race but with the many buoy turns and waves bouncing of the walls I felt more comfortable on the All start with the wider tail.
The first qualifier heat for the final went fine. The start was OK but Ricardo Haverschmidt had been training hard and that paid off. He was faster off the blocks and was just ahead of me until we got to the first buoy. There I just left a little gap between him and the buoy, enough for me to make a very tied turn which put me along side and slightly ahead . At the next buoy another tied turn and I was ahead. Starboard team mate Ike Frans also got Ricardo at the next buoy turn. The All Stars were fast right up to the buoy and with the now slightly wider tail very easy to step to the back and turn on a dime.
We all made it to the finals.
In the Finals my long time friend Martijn van Deth also joined us after the other qualifier heat.
The start was better this time with me in the lead and Martijn, Ike and Ricardo behind me. Just before the first buoy I made the mistake on the strong paddling Martijn coming alongside on my inside. At the first buoy he got the inside and the faster turn. We all piled up and I got away second with Ike on my heals. Martijn made tight turns and I could only keep up with his pace but not get him back.
1. Martijn van Deth (Starboard)
2. Bart de Zwart (Starboard)
3. Ike Frans (Starboard)
4. Ricardo Haverschmidt (Fanatic)
Saturday was the beach Race with more point counting to the overall and 2 qualifying places for the ISA worlds an important race.
A 5 lap technical course with 6 bouys and a beach run every lap a tough 12 km course.
I got away good as well as always starting well Ricardo and Martijn. Martijn though fell on his board with paddle and with his first stroke board the shaft. Ricardo came along my side. Ike following close behind.
The conditions were pretty flat which made the race very close. I got to the buoy first and directly a nice little lead. Ike also overtook Ricardo and was right behind me.
We knew Ricardo was a good runner and so we needed a little lead every lap to make sure he didn’t catch up with the run.
The first lap (about 15 min) we were still very close together after the run Ricardo connected again but to for long and it became a race between Ike and me. Ike looked strong and I felt my body aching. At the end of the 2nd round Ike over took but I could still follow and keep the same pace. The race was still long so I planned to hang in there and attack again in the 4th round. But it didn’t come that far Just before we got to the beach again he went for the wrong buoy although I tried to warn him I was so in him self and focused on this buoy and only realized to late. I quickly spoke with don’t risk being disqualified turn now and we already and such a gap he could still make 3rd today and become 2nd overall. So he did. Form then on I went on y own pace. Fast but steady just controlling the distance behind me with Ricardo and later Ike who did really well to come back into 2nd place. After about 1 hr 15 I finished in 1st with Ike only couple of minutes behind me and Ricardo a few behind Ike. A big bravo for Ike who worked really hard and fought his way back.
Beach race and overall winners
1. Bart de Zwart (Starboard) qualification to the ISA worlds 2015
2. Ike Frans (Starboard) qualification to the ISA worlds 2015
3. Ricardo Haverschmidt (Fanatic)
4. Andreas Svenson (Naish) Sweden
Emma Reijmerink (Starboard) qualification to ISA worlds 2015
Pics by Brendan Bank