An International flavour at the Belgian nationals, and a non-foiling Classic proves they are still compitetive.  Michel Warlop reports.

Belgium held its nationals on September 10th and 11th at the lake of l’Eau d’Heure, situated about 1 hour South of Brussels.  Philippe Muyzers was crowned Belgian champion, beating the 14 sailors that included French and Dutch sailors that joined us for a wonderful weekend in a 15-boat fleet.

Weather was beautiful again but lack of wind prevented us from sailing on Sunday.  Luckily, the race committee had actually taken that forecast into account so they crammed a maximum number of race on Saturday so we could have a valid championship.

The first day we saw a beautiful sun with a fresh breeze of about 9-12 knots of wind but quite shifty making it a quite tactical race.  Those shifty conditions made it hard for the foilers to get a good VMG.  It comes as no surprise therefore that the foilers did not have an advantage over the non-foilers in the ranking.

Philippe Muyzers (BEL) won with his Vision, non-foiling, followed by two Frenchies: Andrew Casanova and his non-foiling Bimare V1, and Jean Darnaude on a foiling Dna.  Neither Piet Saarberg, on his foiling Vision, could make a difference in the field.

Philippe has been improving a lot over the last couple of years and after some good results at his sailing club in Zeeland now grabs the Belgian crown. His starts were mostly the best of the fleet and he did not give anything away during the race neither, so a well deserved winner.

In the evening the excellent organisation had foreseen an exquisite hot buffet with Belgian beer, Dutch cheese, French red and Portuguese white wine!!

On Sunday the race committee cancelled the race at 14h as there was no prospect to get sufficient wind coming in for a long enough time to hold a race.  This way the prize giving was held at 15h30 and thereafter everyone was allowed to head back home well in time.

Thanks to the sponsors, all the competitors were entitled to take something valuable back home from the prize table, no doubt a pretty unique achievement.

We thank the generous sponsors that made this event possible: the sailing club SNEH, Les Lacs de l'Eau d'Heure, Wanty, Ruffus, the Walloon government, Catacare and Forward Sailing.