Penultimate event of the 2017 Melges 24 European Sailing Series brought the Melges 24 fleet to Medemblik, the Netherlands, where during the Delta Lloyd Open Dutch Championship also the Melges 24 Dutch Champions will be found out over the weekend of September 15-17. Hungarian FGF SAILING TEAM (HUN728) with Robert Bakoczy in helm did not leave much chance to the competitors winning all three races on the first day of the event.
When the forecast for Friday was quite sad with lots of rain and quite chill temperatures, then the sailors were happy to see that the reality was not as forecasted – the sun was shining since the morning and the SW wind was picking up with every race held reaching up to 19 knots with gusts during the third race of the day. Pretty flat waters with such wind delivered great conditions for Melges 24 boats making them surf the waves and achieve the speed the boat is really made for. Some rain at the end of the day did not ruin much the feeling of the wonderful racing day.
Nine boats from five countries made it to Medemblik for the fifth event of the series and even the number of the boats was small, the competition was great and sailing was close on the same race course with SB20s, Ynglings and J22s. Two laps on the windward-leeward course were sailed to complete the race of about 45-minute-duration.
According to the 2017 Melges 24 Worlds’ ranking list the strongest team in the fleet was Hungarian FGF SAILING TEAM (HUN728) with Robert Bakoczy helming. Being sixth at the Worlds in Helsinki month ago they were strong and consistent enough to win all three races, and the second one with a huge gap ahead of the competitors. Local team of Eelco Blok, TEAM KESBEKE/SIKA/GILL (NED827) with Ronald Veraar helming – the Corinthian European Champion 2013 from Medemblik – finished two races as second and one as third, is second with seven points in total now. Miles Quinton’s GILL RACE TEAM (GBR694) – 2017 Worlds’ second in the Corinthian division, with lately crowned SB20 World Champion Geoff Carveth in helm, scored today 5-3-4 and is on the third position just one point separating them from Akos Csolto’s Seven-Five-Nine at the moment.
Local team of Eelco Blok, Team Kesbeke/SIKA/Gill (NED827) with Ronald Veraar helming finished two races as second and one as third_ is second with seven points in total now.
The racing will continue on Saturday with three races scheduled. For tomorrow less wind but more rain forecasted.
photo (c) Jasper van Staveren