#1 2017-09-19 08:11:59

Registered: 1991-01-06
Posts: 15

The 2017 Dutch Classic Yacht Regatta. Report from CLARA

Dutch Classic Yacht Regatta, 27-30th July  2017

The most enjoyable feature of this year’s DCYR was the daily dinner. The organizing committee had engaged an extremely gifted caterer, who offered an excellent evening meal for only nine euro. Since the weather was bad almost every day, at least dinner was something to look forward to. Applauded by the audience, the caterer promised at the end of the regatta to be back next time.
The start of the regatta however had been pretty good. It usually starts a day before the real regatta with the so called “funrace” from the small fortified town of Willemstad to Hellevoetsluis. Yachts gather the day before in Willemstad. We found ourselves moored alongside a seventy two year old 24 ft wooden van de Stadt design  (same age as it’s skippers wife). She had been built as an employment project by van de Stadt himself, during the Second World War. The day of the funrace offered sunny skies and a gentle wind, which backed during the race, thus limiting tacking. All participants sail in one class in this race. Yachts ranged from a 15 ft wooden dinghy with a dipping lug rig to a Nicholson 55. With so many different boats, the start may turn out to be chaotic. And chaotic it was, but without damage thanks to a light wind.
The fun of the “funrace” is mainly to be able to find your way amidst the shallows in the Haringvliet, as the former estuary is called. We did so without trouble and finally ended up as twelfth, out of 46 yachts.

The next day was a different story. In the morning there was blowing a 4 to 5 Bf wind, in the afternoon increasing to nearly force 6. Apparently the weather which had kept English potential participants from crossing the North Sea had finally reached us. Ninety yachts were sailing in different classes. In our class we found ourselves amidst a variety of yachts, among them a couple of Nordic Folkboats and some Vindö’s, one of them a 45 footer. We furthermore happened to have one of the most severe ratings within our class.
In the morning as well as in the afternoon an upwind-downwind track was laid out. We didn’t do well, particularly not on the upwind part of the track, heeling too much and thus making far too much leeway. I blamed Chuck Paine for his  “imperfect classic design”. The following day during breakfast, which is served with lots of scrambled egg and takes place in the large tent which can house all participants and crew, cancelling of the races was announced because of too much wind. This offered lots of time for contemplation. Could anything be improved? We went for a walk around the fortified part of Hellevoetsluis, admiring the surroundings, especially the historic dock and the white capped Haringvliet, meanwhile discussing our sailing practices.
On Saturday the morning races were cancelled again, but in the afternoon the 6 Bf had eased a bit and two short races were announced. This decision of the race committee was much appreciated and gave us the opportunity to try out some improvements. While walking the previous day the insight had dawned  that when we had been sailing up and down with mainsail alone between the first two races, we had not made much heel at all despite the fresh breeze. I apparently still had to get used to my first roller reefing genoa. I only installed that foresail this year’s spring. So in the Saturday afternoon races we reefed our genoa a bit more and then did a little bit better (sorry Chuck). The second Saturday race was sailed in a deluge, which continued into Saturday night. The regatta tent could only be reached wearing Wellingtons. Besides we ended up eight out of ten in the overall classification of our class, but another delicious dinner, “Coq au vin” this time, lively conversation with fellow competitors and live music warmed  our hearts.
Sunday was the last day of the regatta, but unfortunately again without racing, due to another Bf 6 forecast. The party was over and in the afternoon we sailed deep reefed to Stellendam, the entry to the North Sea, and the next day the 55 miles to IJmuiden, in excellent conditions.
Despite the less favorable weather our second Dutch Classic Yacht Regatta again was an attractive one. The racing committee did a good job, fellow participants offered lively conversation and (too) good a competition and, as said before, the food was excellent.



#2 2017-10-09 06:36:58

Committee Member
Registered: 2003-11-23
Posts: 167

Re: The 2017 Dutch Classic Yacht Regatta. Report from CLARA

Thank you for posting your activities from overseas.  CLARA looks perfectly balanced in one of the pictures so I have to wonder how much responsibility is down to the designer, and how much to the helm!  Better luck with the racing next year.


#3 2017-10-09 13:18:37

Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 92

Re: The 2017 Dutch Classic Yacht Regatta. Report from CLARA

Nice report and beautiful pictures too!


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