Tuesday May 22nd the 34th Medemblik Regatta sets of in the Netherlands. With a total of 320 registrations in 8 different classes, there will be 5 days of competitive sailing. The Medemblik Regatta has been on the international calendar for years, no surprise sailors like to come and sail in these waters.
The classes that will get into action this week are the 49er, 49erFX, Laser, Laser Radial, Nacra 17, RS:X Men, RS:X Women and RS:X U19. The participants come from 48 different countries, a lot of those teams have been training in Medemblik a week before the Regatta.
Big fleets in RS:X
Tuesday at 10.30 hour the first races will start with the RS:X Men. This is the largest field this week with 66 registrants. Samuel Sills, coming from Great Britain, has been racing in Medemblik before and is excited for the event: “I’m looking forward to be racing in the big fleet and the challenging conditions that come with it. It’s always nice to come back to Medemblik, the excellent facilities create a good vibe. Looking forward to the whole venue, including some classic Dutch pancakes.”
In RS:X Women the world top will race in Medemblik. The Polish Zofia Noceti Klepacka, Russian Stefania Elfutina and Hei Man Hayley Victora Chan from Hongkong. Lilian de Geus, who is racing on her home water, knows it’s going to be a competitive week. “I’m looking forward to race with all those top women in RS:X. It’s the first time since I’ve participated in the Medemblik Regatta that we have such a strong field.”
On the same course as the women, the RS:X U19 will make their entrance at the Medemblik Regatta.
Spectacular Nacra 17
Another strong competition can be expected in the spectacular Nacra 17 class. They will start with 24 boats, among them the Danish Anne-Line Lyngsø Thomsen & Jakob Faarvang, British Gimson & Burnet and the Spanish Fernando Echavarri Erasun & Tara Pacheco van Rijnsoever. The Danish team has been training in Medemblik for the past weekend, they’re looking forward to race again and can’t wait to start on Tuesday.
Laser & Laser Radial
After his surgery, British Laser sailor Elliot Hansen is going to make his first appearance at the Medemblik Regatta again. He has had a surgery to his ankle, an injury he had for many years. After the World Cup Miami he took the hard decision to have a surgery. “I’ve rolled both my ankles several times when growing up, playing other sports. My left ankle got to the stage where it was ‘chronically unstable. I’ve tried to manage the problem for a number of years without surgery. After the World Cup Miami it got even worse, so I took the decision to have surgery and avoid any further problems over the next 2 years before Tokyo”, Hansen explains. He is looking forward to get back into racing. “I really like the conditions in Medemblik, and it’s always nice to win. But for me it’s all about returning to Laser racing and preparing myself for the World Championships in August. That’s my main focus this year.” He will race against Andres Lage (VEN) and Nicholas Bezy (HKG).
In the Laser Radial eyes will be on Marit Bouwmeester (NED), she just won the European Championship for the second time in a row and she keeps on pushing herself. “Our main focus this year is to race as many races as possible! This week is mostly about training and getting prepared to the Worlds in Aarhus and the test event in Tokyo later this year.”
49erFX & 49er
More medal candidates in the 49erFX with the Dutch Annemiek Bekkering and Annette Duetz. They’ve recently started racing together again after their seventh place at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The Dutch High Performance team has been experimenting over the past year with different selections. Now for the World Championship the team selections has been made final, and Bekkering and Duetz are teaming up again. Bekkering: “After an instructive period with the whole team, it’s great to be sailing with Annette again. We can combine everything we’ve learned over the past year. I’m looking forward to the races!”
Jonas Warrer (39) from Denmark took some time out from the men’s skiff class after a fourth place at the 2016 Olympics. He has been focused on M32 racing. But the chance to partner with 19 year old fellow Aarhus sailor, Jakob Precht Jensen, re-ignited his Olympic dream. Now they’re going to race together in Medemblik as a preparation for the World Championship on their home waters in Aarhus. The 49er class has a strong competition with the Australian Gilmour and Turner, the brothers Lange from Argentinia, Belgium Le Febre and Pelsmaekers and the Spanish Botin le Chever and Lopez Marra.
In 2017 the Regatta organization successfully applied theatre style racing in the medal race for the 49er and 49erFX classes. These physical boundaries on each side of the course, had made the medal race spectaculair to watch and easy to follow. For the sailors it made the competition even more exciting with very close racing. This year all 8 classes will race their medal race in this theatre style, making it attractive for supporters and media to watch, and for sailors to get more close action.