Huysman 3-Nations Cup, a spectacular season’s ender in Ostend

Huysman 3-Nations Cup, a spectacular season’s ender in Ostend

Actually 6 different nations competing for this first event in Belgium from 9th till 11th October. 26 boats out of 30 that entered may be considered as a huge success and a boost for the class in the low lands.
The results reflect the same mixture with 2 Brits, a Dutch, 2 Irish, a Belgian and a German boat in the top 7. Our Russian friends finished 15th, but in the testing conditions and being the newbies in the class, they showed sailing skills that will take them much higher up the ranking in future events.

9 races were asked for and 9 races we got.

The first race on Friday started in 15-18 knts easterly winds from the mainland. Not much waves but tricky windshifts and gusts that gave good planning conditions. NED 3471, Belaserd lead the whole way, closely followed by NED 3441, E-Quale showing that the Dutch like these windy conditions. BEL 3502, North Sea One took advantage of local knowledge and was able to get back from 11th to a 3rd place by gybing  at the right moments.

The Richard’s and Charlie on Here comes Bod, seemed happy with the increasing wind and blasted away from the field on the down wind legs, winning the 2nd race after gybing just inside North Sea One at the last mark. Paul Gast and his E-Quale team in a steady 3rd place.
Race 3 was the most testing one of the day, and with over 20 knts blowing, saw a very mixed field and changing positions throughout the race. GBR 3057 Balloo crossed the line first, followed by Bertrand Stuyts on BEL 3512 and NED 3446 from Jorrit Beekman in 3rd place.

A huge cloud put the only shadow over the series with pouring rain entering the harbour and lightning flashing as we started the first barrel of  Brugse Zot in a very enjoyable atmosphere at  the clubhouse.

Saturday started off  in 18 knts SW winds, increasing up to 25 knts, which supplied waves up to 6 feet high. The SB3’s showed their seaworthiness upwind and everyone had stories that day of very exciting downwind legs. Race 4 was for Richard Hall closely followed by Ben Willamson’s Black Box, both displayed their boat handling skills and the will to win this event. Finitor came 3rd. Dunno if we can call that surprising or is that usual, considering the alcohol cloud that was following The Beard and crew.

The Irish boats of Dave Cheyne and Gordon Patterson sailed steady near the top the whole day, and GER 3295 Razmatazz was also more at ease in these exciting conditions. Richard, Ben and Edd on the Black Box kept their pace going with 2-1-3-3 results, it promised to be close with GBR 3021 that resulted 1-8-6-1. But NED 3441 was not counted out, having very steady and good results the whole series.

Some took the free Brugse Zot from the après-sail straight to their dining table for the crew dinner. A very pleasant evening, that had a highlight with a lottery for some great SB³ prizes offered by Sailcenter from Holland. We must thank all the sailors on behalf of the restaurant personnel, they enjoyed serving such a group of friends. Tine, Isabelle and especially Prudence, are looking forward to see more of you in the future.

Sunday was the fastest day. SW 18- 23 knts and Finitor 7 finishing the first race once again in 3rd place, just before E-Quale and following GBR 3510 and 3021. So it all came down to the last race ! Dave Cheney finished his series with a bullet followed by NED 3441 and 3471. The Black Box was doing so well, hanging on to 4th being chased hard by Here comes Bod right up to the finish line…where they broached. So GBR 3021 was able to overtake Ben Williamson and his crew, making it a tie on 19 points, after deducting their 2 worst scores.

Everyone enjoyed the sunny blast at over 15 knts going back to the harbour. Craning went smooth allowing us to have the prize giving at a convenient time.

The first Huysman 3-Nations Cup is for Richard Hall & McAdam and Charlie Whelan breaking the tie by having 4 first places, which is better according the RRS than the very steady top results of the Black Box. Paul Gast, JW Van Leeuwen and Arno Boot in 3rd are the Dutch Champions 2009.

The complete race results and more pics can be found on www.rnsyc.be . We are looking forward to repeat this event in 2010 and hope that many more will come and sail the North Sea in these exciting boats. Our sponsors and the RNSYC will provide all the good times you can take, both on and off the water !

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