After almost four weeks of flying in the USA I was driving
our own and the Argentinean Nacra Infusion to Texel with some mixed feelings. I
was really looking forward to race again, but also in the back of my mind I
knew that this was going to be my last event with Gunnar for Team Boskalis for
Finally, after EUROCAT in May we were able to race together
again! Still a bit jetlagged we arrived on Texel the day before the Nacra
Infusion Worlds began. After a quick buildup en check of the boat, with
beautiful sunny weather but no wind, we decided the best thing to do was to
chill out in the Nacra bean bags and save our strength for the upcoming week.
The next day this proved to be a smart move, as there was
quite some wind! The starts went ok, our sailing went ok. But the irritating
thing was that we were constantly not sailing as we are used to because of me,
Sam, was messing things up. I wasn’t sharp, really tired actually. This
displayed itself in a funny way that must have been quite amusing for Gunnar to
watch as I bounced over the boat bumping into the sails, dagger boards, boom,
were it not that we were giving away places with it.
On the last race of the day we were really early off the
line and we felt that the committee boat wrote us down as too early. We decided
to go back and we had to fight back our way from the very rear end of the
fleet. This went quite ok as we climbed back to 3rd position. This turned out
to save our event.
Back on shore we said to eachother as we looked at the score
board finding out we were in 2nd position: ‘Verdomme!!! Tomorrow we are going
to race, focus, go for the kill!’
Our speed, mood and focus turned out to 1000% better the
next day. And with a little luck, a lot of speed, and a huge amount of fun on
the boat we managed to finish first in all the races. Only JUST securing our
first place, with equal points to Coen and Thijs on the Delta Lloyd boat.
The forecast for the next to days turned out to be accurate
with a steady 40 knots blowing away any chance of racing. This meant that we in
our last fleet race event together we became NACRA INFUSION WORLD CHAMPION!!!!
On Saturday the race committee made the best decision ever!
For the first time in history the Texel race was not cancelled due to too much
wind, but moved to the next day. This turned out to be a real good decision
with clear skies and a steady 15 kt breeze on Sunday morning. Our start wasn’t
good but with some determination and a lot of surfing we rounded the lighthouse
in third position. On the Waddenzee we had an intense tacking duel with FRA
004, Coen and Thijs, and Oscar and Karel. I think we tacked about 20 times...
In the end we came out well and built up a two minute lead,
while sailing about 1 minute behind the numbers one Carolijn and Wouter.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Hanneke
Schouten and Boskalis for their fantastic support in every way possible! I
really enjoyed my time at Team Boskalis. I learned a lot and had a blast. On
and off the water.
Also the last two seasons with Gunnar have been great. It is
so nice to sail with and learn from one of the best cat sailors in the world.
And in the meantime building a real friendship and team!!