Warsash Finn Sailors take a trip to the Netherlands and deal with a fleet of 60 Finns.

Three Warsash SC sailors set out on Friday, May 3 heading to the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club on the Ijesselmeer to the north-east of Amsterdam. 

Tim Carver, Nick Craig and Martin Hughes took on 60 of the very best European, Finn sailors at the Dutch Finn Masters in Muiden. In difficult shifty conditions of between 6-11 knots, the three sailors performed very well. The three sailors ensured at least two of them finished in the top five in each of the three races on Saturday. Tim took line honours in the final race of the day leaving him in second place just behind Nick.

Sailing was followed by free beer and the Dutch favourite of Bittenballen, which preceded a very needed dinner, with more free beer courtesy of the Finn Club Holland. At 20:00 all sailors participated in a Dodenherdenking, the Dutch remembrance of the dead in armed conflict, in preparation for liberation day, the next day on 5 May, when the Netherlands was liberated from the Nazis. 

Sunday dawned to 8-12 knots from the south-west with a forecast for the wind to drop and become more westerly. The conditions became more difficult as the day progressed as the wind backed and veered with the clouds and the warmth of the day. Maintaining pace through difficult choppy waves was critical to good consistent finishing. Of the three races, Nick took line honours in the final race whilst Martin took two 5ths and Tim two top 15 places. 

In the final reckoning, Nick finished in second place overall with Martin in 4th and Tim 5th. All in all, a very successful weekend on a very tricky Ijesselmeer with a very strong Dutch and Belgian contingent. Congratulations, to all three for being consistent throughout the event having worked so hard in training so they can sail easy at big fleet international events. 

The Dutch Masters is now held at Muiden over the first weekend of May every year. A good early season event to attend for some fierce competition and big fleet starting practice.

Report by Martin Hughes


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