Dutch-based US expat and cat sailing pro John Casey continues to provide lots of fresh and funny original content on his great little site, from record setting runs on Extreme 40s to throwing up on the sidewalk after sampling that Holland delicacy; raw herring. Here’s his report from the recent Dutch F-18 National Champs.
We opened the weekend with a bang, leading the first lap and ending up in 4th after the second lap in a seriously dying breeze, when I thought they would finish us at the top mark. The race was thrown out as time expired. We stayed out for another two races on the first day in less than perfect conditions for our speedy cats.
On day two, we saw anywhere from 10-14 knots in cool conditions with the sun peeking out every now and then. Most of the underdressed crews were huddling for warmth. Of course, I’m from Florida, and I should have worn my Magic Marine 5/3 or dry suit (who have a pretty cool Extreme 40 sweepstakes to win a ride on a 40 going on right now), but I’m not that smart I guess. Of course, when the racing starts temperature means damn near nothing.
It was a great battle at the top. After day one, Darren Bundock was leading with 4 points, showing major consistency both days. Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij were second with 8 points and Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser were third with 12. A battle insued with consistency being the key. The left was favored so much most of the day, leading to a train to the corner, with an emphasis on good starts and a pressure lane to the top mark. An early tack out to the right meant certain death. Backes and Jarlegan from France (Capricorn) showed incredible upwind speed! (Backes is an olympian and Jarlegan is a truly incredible crew who actually mistook me for Bundock after the racing for all the wrong reasons….Why do most people here think I’m Australian?) Anyway, they bulleted the last three races.
In the end, Mischa and Bastiaan put the Wildcat in the 1st position and won the “mini worlds” with consistency and smart sailing. Darren Bundock and crew came in second giving the Hobie a 1-2 in this tough fleet! Congrats to the top three teams! The Wildcat is getting faster and faster, with more potential once sail design gets fully sorted out. Here are the full results.
Photo from Sailshoot.com