Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta: Stuart Gummer & Hannah Burke take over lead
Tuesday, 14 November 2006
On Monday November 13 2006, Stuart Gummer and Hannah Burke (UK, F18 Capricorn) took over the lead in the 16th Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta. They played the morning wind shifts well and won the Yamaha Race. The triangle courses in the afternoon caused difficulties for some of the leading boats in both fleets, as they did an extra sausage. Yesterday’s leaders James and Gillian Power had a disappointing day with a black flag and one wrong course. They dropped to the 8th position. Mitch Booth and Pim Nieuwenhuis (NED, F18 Hobie Tiger) climbed to the second place overall, followed by Wouter Samama and Paul Buyse (NED, F18 Nacra Infusion). Mark Rijks and Brenda Liefhebber (NED) scored again three bullets and left their fellow Dart 18 competitors far behind. Today’s conditions were very unstable with lots of shifts and gusts.
Aruba Aloë Race: Bullet for Booth/Nieuwenhuis
The organisation put in a triangle course for the two afternoon races. Some participants wrote the order of the marks on their boom. Others tried to remember it. The wind dropped, but heavy clouds came closer rapidly. This tropical shower brought not only rain, but also a new breeze of about 12 knots. The big catamarans commenced with a general recall, where after the race committee hoisted the black flag. Three teams were early over the line again, among which James and Gillian Power. They kept going though and leaded the pack. Richard Allen and Simon Farren chased them, followed by Booth and Nieuwenhuis. Power and Power continued for an extra sausage, but luckily Allen and Farren did not follow and steered their Tornado through the finish. Booth and Nieuwenhuis were second over the line and first on handicap. Stuart Gummer and Hannah Burke finished second after calculation. The Frenchmen Hemery/Usandizaga were third with their Hobie Tiger.
Rijks and Liefhebber did not really experience the competition of the other small catamarans. The distance to the next finishers was six minutes. Jan Post and Tsjitske Stoel (NED) took advantage of the mistakes made by others and grabbed the second position. Manfred Thomasch and Henk Hankart (AUT) and Nicolette van Gorp and Ruud van Gisbergen (NED) sailed both an extra sausage and lost their podium places. Van Gorp: “I was so convinced about doing the right thing, but we were wrong. At least we know we can do it, because we were second at that moment.”
Palm Tours Race: Top four got it wrong
Just before the start of the last race, the wind picked up to 15 knots. It was a pin end favoured start. Booth/Nieuwenhuis were the furthest boat on that side and were first at the top mark. Richard Allen and Simon Farren used the speed of their Tornado and overtook the Dutchmen, sailing a F18, at the second bottom mark. While chasing each other, the leading four teams Allen/Farren, Booth/Nieuwenhuis, Zaanen/Houwing and Power/Power passed the finish line for another sausage. That did not confuse Leo Ambtman and Maarten Koorn (NED, Tornado). They took the line honours, followed by Peter Vink and Mark Pols who won on handicap. It was not until happy hour that Ambtman realized that he had crossed the line first: “It does not happen often that others are wrong and I am not. Everything went well today. Finally, the boat speed was great.” Chris Sproat and Georgina Burke, sailing a Spitfire, scored two fourth places in the afternoon. Sproat: “The F18’s got so much quicker than our one design class catamarans, so we can no longer compete with them.” According to his wife Burke today’s shifty weather was a help: “These conditions are better for us, because everybody was tacking and we got more clean air.”
Simon Farren could laugh about his mistake of sailing extra miles: “We got one right out of two. In the first race I was pretty sure about the course, but we started to doubt after James and Gillian continued. In the second race, we decided to do the extra sausage and that was wrong.” According to Mitch Booth it was confusing because you normally start reaching at the top mark of a triangle: “Now it started from the bottom mark. But this result doesn’t destroy our regatta. The rest of the top teams have a discard as well.”
The Dutch Dart 18 sailors Rijks and Liefhebber were again unbeatable. Rijks: “We sail well, but I cannot explain the big difference with the other competitors.” Brenda Liefhebber enjoyed reaching against the F18’s: “It was great to beat them on this part of the course.”
Top five big catamarans after five races and one discard:
1. GBR – F18: Gummer/Burke, 9 points
2. NED – F18: Booth/Nieuwenhuis, 9 points
3. NED – F18: Samama/Buyse, 17 points
4. NED – F18: Moret/Smissaert, 19 points
5. NED – F18: Breur/Van Leeuwen, 21 points
Top three small catamarans after five races and one discard:
1. NED – Dart 18: Rijks/Liefhebber, 4 points
2. AUT – Dart 18: Thomasch/Hankart, 9 points
3. NED – Dart 18: Van Gorp/Van Gisbergen, 11 points
In addition to the head sponsors Heineken and Aruba Tourism Authority, the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta is sponsored by Hapag Lloyd, TNG Swiss Watches, KLM, Holiday Inn, Does & Cadushi, Magic Marine, Coca Cola, AWA, Anthony Veder & Co, Aruba Watersports Center, Kodak, Palm Tours, Pelican Watersports, Seaworld Explorer and Aruba Bank.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 November 2006 )