On Saturday June 21, 600 catamarans will sail round the biggest Frisian Island during the Zwitserleven Round Texel

On Saturday June 21, 600 catamarans will sail round the biggest Frisian Island during the Zwitserleven Round Texel. It is going to be the 26th time that more than 1,200 sailors will face the breakers at ‘Paal 17’, in order to participate in the 100 kilometre long-distance race. It is a race against the elements and against each other. Perseverance, guts, boat handling, tactic and a good physical condition are the characteristics that participants should possess.

Halfway through the morning a helicopter will give a starting signal, after which hundreds of catamarans will sail into the direction of the lighthouse in the north of Texel. The with sails coloured horizon gives a beautiful view for spectators on the beach. After the fleet has passed the lighthouse, it will continue towards the VC-buoy. Later on, the teams have to sail through a check-point close to the coast of Oudeschild. The harbour of Oudeschild offers spectators enough space to encourage the sailors who push on their race towards the southern part of Texel. Sailing through the ‘Molengat’ in the south, the teams will return to the North Sea for their last reach to the finish at Paal 17. If the wind is sufficient, the first finishers need about 3,5 hours for rounding Texel.

In addition to many recreational teams, there are also Olympic and other competitive sailors among the participants. For example, the Dutch Olympic Tornado team Sven Karsenbarg and Mischa Heemskerk will come to Texel. After their convincing victory last year, they will defend their title. Their fellow Tornado sailors Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen from the Netherlands, will have to make up for their nose dive last year. Mitch Booth got seriously injured, so they had to give up after 20 minutes of sailing. The Olympic 470 sailors Sven and Calle Coster and the 470 ladies Marcelien de Koning and Lobke Berkhout will make their début in catamaran sailing at the Zwitserleven Round Texel. The leading world champion Tornado sailor, Darren Bundock from Australia, will definitely join the race.

During the week prior to the Zwitserleven Round Texel, there will be many activities on the Frisian Island. As of Wednesday 18 June until Friday 20 June the Dutch Open will be organised. This event consists of short races and used by many as a warm up for the big enent. In addition, the Royal Dutch Sailing Federation has officially recognised the event as an Open Dutch Championship. For more information go to www.roundtexel.com.