|ARUBA, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES-(12-11-2004) On Friday November 12th, team Bouscholte/Van Wieren won the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta 2004. They scored another victory in the last race, just before the Hobie Tiger of Hans Breur and Gerhard van Geest. The Swiss Ventilo’s were fast in today’s light conditions with flat water and lots of sunshine. Although they did not sail today, Gunnar Larsen and Xander Pols finished in second position overall, followed by Carolijn Brouwer and Sebbe Godefroid on the Tornado.
“We have had all kinds of conditions this week”, said a satisfied Hans Bouscholte after his victory. “We were a little worried about light wind here, because of the shifts. You can easily loose a race by missing a gust or shift, but we also succeeded under today’s circumstances.” The Dutch leaders had to sail a top seven result in the last race, in order to remain ahead of Gunnar Larsen and Xander Pols. Bouscholte: “It is too bad they could not race today, but I am happy that we made a clear difference.” It was their first Aruba Regatta, but they will be invited to come back next year. Bouscholte: “That is nice. I find it important that the event is not only fun, but also serious racing on a high level.”
After the starting gun, three Swiss teams took the lead. Aubert/Favre were first at the upwind mark. Bouscholte and Van Wieren set spinnaker in fifth position as second Tornado after Reynolds/Borders (GBR). Downwind, the Ventilo’s choose for the left and the Tornado’s for the right side of the course. Bouscholte/Van Wieren sailed a good lap and took the lead, followed by Vaucher/Detrey (SUI) and Reynolds/Borders. During the next round, Bouscholte and Van Wieren extended their margin. But Hans Breur and Gerhard van Geest, sailing a Hobie Tiger, came closer. Breur: “Our start was tricky. We were pushed above the committee boat, so we had to turn around. We found a small gap, which gave us a good position on the line. In the second upwind leg, we passed the other two Hobie Tigers. We also had an exciting fight with Bouscholte, because he went towards shore into a header. We had a lifter, but at the finish we lost some time by missing the line.” Van Geest a bit disappointed: “It is too bad. It would have been good to win at least one race.”
“We had Swiss conditions this morning”, said Daniel Schöntal triumphantally after his third place in the last race. “We had a good start with free wind. In the end, it was a nerve-racking competition with the Hobie Tiger that came really close.” It was their first regatta on the ocean. His crew Peter Blumenstein: “It was the best practice with waves. We normally sail on lakes. The Ventilo’s are made for those conditions, so we had some equipment problems at the beginning of the week with strong wind.” According to the designer and builder of the Ventilo, Christian Favre: “The concept is similar to an A-cat. In heavy circumstances, it needs some adaptations.” Michael Vaucher and Yves Detrey also sailed a strong race. Detrey: “This morning, we wanted to win the last round, but Hans sailed too fast. We are not good enough, but we have improved this week.”
Spitfire skipper Christopher Sproat had a big smile on his face. Sproat: “We were very lucky. At the first upwind mark, we were almost last. Downwind, we went inshore and we got a huge band of wind, that took us to the gate. We passed seventy five percent of the fleet. Afterwards, we played the windshifts very well and gained more boats.” They got a sixth place and a fourth overall. Sproat: “We are very happy with the result. It was our first Aruba Regatta, so we did not really expect this. The only down side is what happened to Stuart Gummer and Gillian Power. He has been very strong this season. He won the Europeans and he could have won this regatta.” Richard Allen did not look happy at all. Allen: “It went terrible. I thought, I was too early over the line, so I started again. With these conditions, it is hard to come back. Never minds, I will try another year! I still have some business to do!” Allen got a second place overall twice. Carolijn Brouwer and Sebbe Godefroid had hard times sailing a Tornado in light and shifty circumstances. Godefroid: “Obvisiouly, we did not understand much of this kind of game.” They were 34th in the last race, but they could keep their podium place.
It has been a fair regatta with strong, middle and light winds. Organiser Edwin Lodder: “The best team took the victory. This year’s edition was again a success. The level has increased, but also the less competitive sailors had a good time. We have experimented with daily video updates on the website and it worked. For 2005, we will further develop this concept. It creates many opportunities.” But for now, it is party time on Moomba Beach. The winners will be awarded at the prize giving.
The Aruba Heineken Regatta is sponsored by the Aruba Tourism Authority, Heineken, Hapag Lloyd, Holiday Inn, KLM, TNG, Magic Marine and Does & Cadushi, Setar, Diamonds International, Palm Tours, Tropical Bottling Company, Antony Veder, Kodak and Coca Cola.
Final top five:
1. Tornado / NED – Bouscholte / Van Wieren, 8 points
2. Nacra F18 / NED – Larsen / Pols, 15 points
3. Tornado / NED – Brouwer / Godefroid, 31 points
4. Spitfire / GBR – Sproat / Burke, 34 points
5. Hobie Tiger / NED – Breur / Van Geest, 37 points