After the recent Swiss nationals, Mischa Heemskerk has offered a few quick comments and observations on the new DNA F1 from his current posting in Rio, where he is coaching the Olympic team and flew straight there from the last race in Maccagno.
He said that, whilst testing, they didn’t sail against any other boats. The first race was at a regatta at Hellevoetsluis and the results were very promising. The first time two boats met on the racecourse was at the A cat regatta in Medemblik. Fellow Dutchman Roeland Wentholt had not sailed since getting off his boat in Punta Ala back in September, and had put it up for sale - always an indication that something is in the offing. He had picked up his brand new boat just before the regatta, and as the platform is ready to race, with all the systems ie. continuous mast rotation line, cunningham take up system, traveller line take up and synchronized daggerboard rake system all factory pre-installed. So he just needed to plug on his rig and go to race.
‘The coolest moment for me,’ says Mischa ‘was that he was instantly fast in the sort of weather he usually hates - drifting winds. He was performing well and enjoying himself!’ Mischa also had a good time too. ‘The DNA F1 has a great gliding performance. Something we aimed for when designing and very rewarding to see that our great efforts had worked.’
The Swiss Nationals was their first chance for a proper test against Team Scheurer and their new boards they developed over the winter. ‘The first race was one in very light drifty winds,’ he says ‘ and me, with my 94kg, was ahead of the rest of the fleet until I missed one puff and let Sacha Wallmer pass me, but was still in second till they abandoned the race.’ This is clearly a good light wind boat.
The next day had more wind, about 12kts but with 5kt holes and 16kt gusts. Mischa says that the DNA F1 handled it all well and allowed him to race whilst keeping the boat going fast. All the other F1 sailors – Roeland, Pieter Jan Dwarshuis and Paolo Penco also did well. ‘So compared to the previous version we improved the light wind performance, it has easier handling and reduced aero drag for better top speed and/or better angles.’
The next big test will be the Spring Regatta at Arco Del Garda at the end of this month.