A massive entry of 280 boats turned out for last weekend's Splash/Flash regatta in Holland last weekend
A strong international entry from England, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium pushed the numbers of boats entered up to 280 for the Dutch end-of-season regatta and festivities at Grou, Friesland on 2-3 October.
The weather was just right for the event, with south-westerlies providing ideal sailing conditions for each of the fleets. Due to the size of the entry the fleet was split into seven fleets, racing taking place on the Piksmeer and the Wijde Ee
Racing started promptly at 1100 on Saturday, with the Flashes going off first. A local TV film crew were filming the Flash sailors for the production of a documentary film on the boat; and with bright sunlight and winds of Force 3 gusting to 5 by the end of the day.
The expert group of Splash sailors were next off, David Jessop (GBR 1758) was round the windward mark first (he was to repeat this again). Just after this first mark, which was close to the windward shore there was a large hole in the wind under some trees, which caught out a number of sailors. The fleet then reached into the Wijde Ee through a narrow channel down to the next mark. David Jessop dropped to fifteenth in this section, then pulled back until he was lying eight at the finish.
The second race was again led by David Jessop at the windward mark, who held this until the next windward leg where he dropped to eighth place but pulled back to sixth at the finish. The wind had increased for the third race, gusting up to Force 5 on occasions, David got a good start, but was finding it difficult on the beats with his chartered boat to get the rig flat enough in the conditions; however he persevered and came fourth.
He repeated this performance in the final race on the Saturday, again finishing fourth. The evening closed with a dinner and disco for the 300 youngsters and a more sedate dinner for the supporting families.
Sunday started dull with a south-westerly, which changed to a westerly after the first 4 fleets had been started. After a short delay races were resumed smoothly on a different course.
The final race started with slightly more breeze, gusting to four and very variable in parts of the lake. The day finished with some team racing in Flashes between teams from Holland and Friesland, followed by the prizegiving.
1 NED 2063 Rinse Ubbink
2 NED 2062 Remco Hoeffnagel
3 NED 1790 Mark Bonsink
4 NED 1912 Jelle Jutjens
5 NED 1980 Hielke Dijstra
6 NED 1247 Steyn Schiltkamp
7 NED 2100 Igor van Zalinge
8 GBR 1758 David Jessop
9 NED 1161 Jorne Knegt
10 NED 1477 Rik van Loo