Wednesday 11 June 2014

Mohawk hairy Swan 45’s at North Sea Regatta

Many of the Swan 45’s have ended up in the Netherlands were they have seen a revival as a one-design class. With 7 boats competing on a regular basis the competition has heated up and racing has been very close. For the Dutch the North Sea Regatta has been the equivalent of a Cowes week with great racing, an excellent run regatta and good entertainment. For the Swan’s it is their key event.

A relative newcomer on the Swan 45 scene has been K-force. Jan de Kraker and his keen team are only just coming to terms with the boat and their handling. Having finished last in every race the previous event they were keen to make an attempt to improve. They hired Jochem Visser, aka the Boat Speed Doctor, to join them but the first day of the NSR still provided some lost hopes with some hairy boat handling issues. 

In the debrief that followed, bow man Jeffery de Rycke, with a sigh of desperation stated he would cut his hair in a Mohawk if we would ever be able sail a first place…………..just the kind of inspiration and challenge the team could aim for!

After a good team session the next morning, discussing in detail all manoeuvres and a keen attitude of the crew to give all they are worth for, the sound of shearing clippers already surfaced, when the team rounded the first windward mark in second.  After a tactical battle in the next upwind and great boat handling in the second downwind they edged closer and closer to the so far unbeaten, event leader, No Limit. With a crucial last gybe to the finish the team was easily pushed to their top gybe of the day by Jochem’s reference to the shearing clippers. A perfect execution of a roll when coming out of the gybe just edged them forward of No Limit by a quarter of a boat length.

A well deserved first win in 2 season’s for a jubilant crew which showed that their dedication, commitment and keen attitude ………does lead to some fantastic haircuts!