Old acquaintances, surprising participants and young talents

The Open Dutch Sailing Championship (ODSC) is traditionally sailed in the third full weekend of September. The Regatta Center Medemblik is once again the place where the Dutch Championships are organized, this year for no less than 15 classes. New added are the Soling and the Nacra 15. With also the High Performance classes and the F18, it promises to be a spectacular event.

For three days, the F18 two days, there is a battle for the blue pennant. The Dutch title, a great title to wear as a sailor for a year. But of course there is not only sailing, the shore program also promises a lot of fun. With Friday night Burgers at the tent and Saturday night the traditional Sailors Barbecue.

Lot of classes
For years a large group of Lasers (standard, Radial and 4.7) has been sailing in Medemblik. The Finn sailors often come in large numbers, this means exciting matches where every mistake can cost you a lot of places. In the multi-person boats, the Yngling, SB20 and J22 are no strangers to the Open Dutch Championship, these classes provide a large amount of sailors on shore.

The Contender sailors sailed with great enthusiasm for a number of years. This year fewer Contenders and nationalities appear at the start then we are used to, but the battle will still be exciting. Paul Verhallen, Dirk Lafleur, Rene Heynen and Winfred Westerman are the favorites for the podium places. Outsiders Bart Thorborg and Enno Kramer can surprise, depending on the wind. Bart is fast with a lot of wind and Enno with little wind. Winfred won the title last year, due to a shoulder injury it is still undecided whether he will actually defend this title.

Soling and Nacra 15 new classes
This year the Soling class is entering this bundled championship. Soling sailor Gabor Helmhout: "As a Soling class, we have been growing considerably in the Netherlands the past 5 years. At the moment 15 boats are members of the organization class and we have around 20 measurement letters. Internationally, the class is also fairly stable with around 35-40 boats at a World Cup or continental championship. I especially like the Soling because you do not necessarily need 40 boats for an exciting race. The maneuvers are quick to implement and the differences in speed are so small that the race is never over before the finish. "This is how this championship, with currently 14 entries, promises to be an exciting race!
Internationaal is de klasse ook redelijk stabiel met rond de 35-40 boten op een WK of continentaal kampioenschap. Ik vind de Soling vooral mooi omdat je niet perse 40 boten nodig hebt voor een spannende wedstrijd. De manoeuvres zijn snel uit te voeren en onderlinge snelheidsverschillen zijn zo klein, dat de wedstrijd nooit uitgevaren is voor de finish.” Zo belooft dit kampioenschap, met momenteel 13 inschrijvingen, een spannende strijd te worden!

Also the youth class Nacra 15 participates for the first time at the Open Dutch Sailing Championships. A growing class thats preparing sailors for the Olympic Nacra 17. Sailing talent Bjarne Brouwer partnered up with Laila van der Meer this year, they became Belgian champions in the weekend of 1 and 2 September, now they will try to win the Dutch title. "We are going to the National Championships in good spirits after this Belgian title. But Medemblik is another event with different conditions and good competition. It will certainly be fighting for every spot again." For Brouwer and van der Meer, the Dutch Championships is a preparation for the youth Olympic Games that they will sail next month.

Former Splash World Champion switched to Laser Radial
Because of the Tokyo World Cup, some of the top sailors, who have been competing in Medemblik other years, are missing. The Laser Radial sailors with names such as Marit Bouwmeester, Maxime Jonker and Daphne van der Vaart are not present. In return we see another upcoming top sailors such as Finn Holtrop (last year Dutch Champion in the Laser 4.7) and Aaron van Donk (World Champion Splash 2017).

Van Donk tells us that the switch from Splash to Laser a big step is, but within a year the old group of Splash sailors has already learned a lot. "We are still training partly with the same trainers as in the Splash, sailing on the same water and with the same group of sailors. In addition, we have a number of new trainers who focus on the Laser Sailing. For me, a top 20 ranking must be possible this Dutch Championship, but I have not really set a goal yet. This year is really a year to get used to the boat. Next year I want to set goals and work towards those again. "
[Read the complete interview with Aaron van Donk here]

Surprising participant in the Finn
In the Finn we miss reigning Dutch Champion Nicholas Heiner, he sails the World Cup in Tokyo. We do see Pieter-Jan Postma back in the Finn, he competes for the Dutch Championship and is one of the favorites. Besides him, Tobias Kirschbaum, Karel van Hellemond and Nanno Schuttrups are the expected favorites for the podium places. A notable Finn participation is Niels Broekhuizen, official Laser sailor, but switched to the Finn for this Championship. "I have registered mostly for fun in the Finn this championship. My next major event in the Laser is not until January, which gives me time to do other things besides Laser sailing." His prediction on the championship: "The races will be the same as Laser racing, but depending on the wind, I have to sail differently. When there's going to be a lot of wind, I will blow out of the boat. I just hope there's not going to be to much wind."
[Read the complete interview with Niels Broekhuizen here]

Local sailor set here hopes for selection
The Dutch Top Sail Academy is looking for new talents for the High Performance classes. Here, among others, the Medemblikse Florine Bramervaer hopes to join them. The last three months she has trained hard in the 49erFX, at the ODSC she will know if she is made it through the selection. "By always being present and working hard, I hope that I will get the green light and get into the Dutch Top Sail Academy." Her focus in sailing is now the Dutch Championship in Medemblik, home water for the sailor. "I have been sailing in Medemblik for a long time. Have also sailed this event before, but now I can almost literally roll out my bed, bike to the Sailing Center and get into the boat. I'm not sure what to expect from our performance yet. In the team we switch between crews a lot, I don't even know who I'm going to sail with yet. I'll see how it goes, but it'll certainly be a great event to end this season for me."
[Read the complete interview with Florine Bramervaer here]

In addition to the 49erFX, the 49er and 29er also race at the Open Dutch Sailing Championships. In the 49er a group of men from the Top Sail Academy prepare for the Olympic Games of 2024. They started their campaign last season. During this season they switch crew to learn from each other and see which teams fit good together. The women in the 49erFX have followed the same tactic in their preparation to Tokyo 2020. This already resulted in Dutch World Champions with Annemieke Bekkering and Annette Duetz last summer.

Young Match Racing teams
With the Match Racing, the biggest favorites are the Polish Jablkowski Sailing Team of Szymon Jablkowski and the Opportunity match race team with skipper Dirk-Jan Korpershoek. These are also the numbers 2 and 3 of last year, they will do everything to be on the highest stage this year. Lars Hückstädt from the German Heizkörper Sailing Team and the Dutchman Floris de Wit with the Eternal Youth Match Race Team are the two outsiders who will be closely watched by the top teams. De Wit raced last summer with a broken arm, and even managed to finish fourth at the Summermatch! Furthermore there are three foreign teams, including the youngest team, Downhill Sailing Team from Denmark and an all female team from Germany: Heizkörper Sailing Team Girls. With another four Dutch teams there is a total of eleven match race teams. All teams are under 30 years old and most teams compete for less than 5 years together. This can therefore still be a very exciting fight.

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