They say you need a certain amount of luck when you race yachts on a lake. The wind may arrive suddenly, or change direction, or not come at all.
Some of the European Championship racing – which concluded last weekend at Lake Attersee in Austria – had to be abandoned because there was not enough wind for the boats to finish the course. At other times parcels of katabatic wind tumbled from the mountain tops like boulders, to arrive from an unexpected direction and deliver their knock-out blow.
The event was won by German pair Lutz and Beuke making them European Champions this year – Norway took second, and Sweden third.
We at Victron Energy always like to follow our sponsored Dutch teams – how did they do?
Well, we may be biased but in many ways the most remarkable performance came from the Dutch sailors. Why? Because when in the early days of a six day competition you are trailing in the bottom half of a forty boat line up, what normally happens is that you give up. But that’s not true of our fighters. Double-World Champions Bekkering and Duetz made a quite extraordinary come back, after a horrible start to the competition, to finish a few points off the podium in fourth place. (Ahead of – we can’t help observing – the current World Champions, Echegoyen and Barceló of Spain.)
Dutch teams Offerman and Ruyter, and also Karsenbarg and Janmaat both achieved ‘First’ and ‘Third’ places in some of the eleven heats which made up a highly volatile competition. Even Bramervaer and Siewers who will be disappointed with their result can take heart that they finished half their races in the top ten.
Amongst their results Bekkering and Duetz achieved a ‘First’, three ‘Seconds’, and a ‘Third’ – but in conditions of light airs which don’t play to their advantages these performance were dragged down by finding themselves in Eighteenth, Seventeenth and two Twelths – positions to which they are unaccustomed.
Congratulations to all Dutch teams for keeping their heads down and fighting even when the odds seemed long.