Catclub Zeeland Regatta

The first Dutch 'A' Cat open, since the Worlds, was a chance for friends to catch up and to put into practice what was learned at Medemblik.  Kees Krijger reports.

A-Catweekend at Sea – Vrouwenpolder – Catclub Zeeland.

The A Class Cat 2016 Worlds. Final day, and wrap-up.

The final day was scheduled for 4 races.  The Silver fleet, being unable to race the day before because of lack of wind, were the first off at about 10am.  The wind was a nice breeze of about 10-12 kts from the West.  Not particularly gusty or shifty.  The overcast sky looked like threatening rain, but on the Ijsselmeer that means nothing.  In the end, it didn’t rain as we did or didn’t expect it to. 

The 2016 World Champion

Mischa Heemskerk was crowned ‘A’ Class Catamaran World champion yesterday at Medemblik, Holland.  This is his second title after the 2013 title he won in near hurricane conditioned is Florida.  He takes over the title from Glenn Ashby who won last year in Italy.

The first Gold Fleet Races at Medemblik

‘I understand there may be a 180 degree wind shift at some point today, what sort of time do you think?’ was the question posed to the rib driver, an experienced local sailor.  He just looked at me for a while, ‘This is the Ijsselmeer’ he replied, ‘we have absolutely no idea!’  Such are the conditions of this Dutch lake, that it can sometimes produce it’s own weather that seems to defy the laws of metrology.  It can be raining hard all day on the shore, but lovely and sunny a mile out on the lake – and stay like that all day. 

Second days races at Medemblik

Wednesday, was the same as Tuesday at the Medemblik Regatta Centre in Holland, except that the order was reversed, so it was stronger winds for the morning fleet, light wind for the afternoon races.  The pack was again shuffled randomly and the blue and yellow fleets where assembled with a different content to the day before.

The Worlds get underway.

Today the ‘A’ Class Catamaran World Championships in Medemblik, Holland,  finally started after the first day’s wind was ruled out of class limits.  Monday was 19 gusting 31kts.  A boat with 150sqft of sail, that weighs a mere 75kg, is going to be rather lively at those speeds and, as the new generation of foiling boats has arrived, just keeping them simply in touch with the water would be a struggle no matter how much you yourself weigh.

The Worlds practice laps begin

The 'A' class pits area is starting to fill up now at Medemblik, the attractive little town on the Dutch Ijsselmeer, the huge enclosed area of water at the heart of the Netherlands.  It has the characteristics of both a lake and the sea, fresh(ish) water and a shore all around with no tides, but, as the sea is only over the other side of the wall, it is subject to exactly the same wind conditions.  This makes it a very interesting place to sail.  The wind over the last few days has been rather hit and miss.