Twenty SB20s headed to the Netherlands for the Dutch Grand Slam, part of the North Sea Regatta, powered by Delta Lloyd (May 13-16, 2016).
The forecast was for big breezes on the racing area of Scheveningen, close to The Hague, and it didn’t disappoint. Strong winds and large waves dominated the first three days, together with strong tides to further challenge the sailors.
Although on Saturday the weather was too extreme to allow for racing, eight good races were held with a closely matched tussle at the front between Marco van Driel on ‘MXTC’ (NED), French ‘Ocean Team’ of Johan Ravier and British visitors Jerry Hill and ‘Sportsboatworld.com’.
Hill commented: “We’ve had some very challenging conditions which were a test for many of the fleet, but the downwind legs with boats sailing at more than 20 knots will be remembered for a long time!” They also helped produce these superb images from event photographer Sander van der Borch.
Hill and the ‘Sportsboatworld.com’ team shared the first day honours with ‘MXTC’, each scoring a win and a second place. On day three Johann Ravier’s French squad had a solid day, winning two races and finishing all others in the two three to put together a very consistent scoreline.
Hill went on to win another race on the last day, but van Driel had scored two more race wins and discarded a fourth place to earn an all-podium results list and win the event. The final race of the event was won by Adrian Peach with ‘Uber’ (GBR). Ravier was second overall and Hill third.
Other visiting nations included teams from Ireland and Germany in this second European Grand Slam of the SB20 season. Off the water the teams enjoyed the atmosphere of the largest Dutch sailing event, which attracts around 2,500 sailors each year, as well as a bowling competition on their enforced layday (thanks to the Damen-sponsored crew) and an excellent class dinner at the yacht club (also thanks to the generosity of the OceanTeam crew!).
The next Grand Slam event takes place at Cowes, during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, from August 6-9, 2016.
1st NED 3714 Marco van Driel 2 1 2 1 -4 1 2 3 12,0 pts
2nd FRA 3034 RAVIER Johan -9 4 1 2 1 2 3 2 15,0 pts
3rd GBR 3475 Jerry Hill 1 2 -7 3 2 3 1 7 19,0 pts
4th NED 3441 Paul Gast 3 7 (ocs) 4 3 4 7 6 34,0 pts
5th NED 3702 Martijn Buitenhuis 5 -6 5 6 6 6 6 5 39,0 pts
Full results available at http://nsr.nl/results2016/