In 20 days the 34th Medemblik Regatta will start with, so far, almost 300 sailors representing 43 nations. A third of those sailors are part of the RS:X fleets (Men, Woman and U19). Largest fleet will be the RS:X men with 63 sailors registered, and still counting. Olympic, World and European champions are travelling to the Netherlands to race in Medemblik from the 22nd to the 26th of May.
The Medemblik Regatta will include 8 sailing classes in which the experienced teams will race against the young squads. All in preparation for the Sailing World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, this summer. Medemblik appears to be a perfect place to train for these championships with the similar conditions on the water. Sailors will race in the following classes: 49er, 49erFX, Laser, Laser Radial, Nacra 17 and RS:X (U19, Men and Women).
Dutch sailors about the Regatta
For the Dutch sailors it’s the only regatta on their home water. Not a surprise they all want to come and race. Olympic gold winner and Laser Radial sailor Marit Bouwmeester always enjoys sailing so close to her friends and family: “It’s a shame the Medemblik Regatta isn’t a World Cup event anymore. But it’s still nice to race an event in my own country, and it’s always a well organized event.” Lilian de Geus, Dutch RS:X olympian, feels the same as her colleague: “It’s a lot of fun to race here. Friends and family are able to come and watch me race.” The whole Dutch team, top sailors and talents, will come to compete in Medemblik.
Top sailor Iker Martinez in Nacra 17
From Spain there is top world sailor Iker Martinez, he will race with Olga Maslivets in the Nacra 17 class. Martinez proves to be an around sailor with 4 times Volvo Ocean Race, Olympic gold in the 49er and lately getting into catamaran sailing, competing in GC32, M32 and the Nacra 17. The duo recently have won a bronze medal at the World Cup in Hyeres.
Learnings from World Cup Hyeres
In Hyeres the Australian 49er sailors David Gilmour and Joel Turner had a disappointing closure to the week, as had the duo of Yannick Lefèbvre and Tom Pelsmaekers. Both teams were going into the medal race in second and third position, but due to an OCS (false start) their hunt for the golden medal was soon over. At the Medemblik Regatta they will both take those learning with them, and, among other top sailors, battle against the Spanish teams with Botin/López and the Alonso brothers again.
While the Medemblik Regatta always attracts the best European sailors, there’s also a large number of teams from all around the world. Sailors from Guatemala, Hongkong, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia are putting a lot of effort in travelling to Europe to compete at the Regatta and prepare for the World Championship.
Theatre style Medal Races
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.
Photo: Klaas Wiersma