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The game is on! Ahead of the first National Championship we schedule a weekend at our home-base Waterland for practice and to prepare the boat. We didn’t realised that our knowlegde and skills were so rusty. Five ladies busy with battens, baco’s, tension meters, buckets: probably a nice show for the other berth holders at Monnickendam!

The first day our goal is to get out on the water ASAP: getting a few training hours in with the new team set-up. The weather is light and at the coast of Volendam we’re making our rounds in sloshy water. Most of the fun is getting used to the J/70 class rules. We’re changing from match racing where almost everything is allowed and so we’re hiking as hard as possible, rolling the boat, hanging on the mast etc. On the video footage it’s obvious our bow girl Nova is trying hard to find her route on the boat.

Measure twice, cut once; right?

The menu for the rest of the weekend is to clean the boat, put stickers on, marking sheets and lines and tune the mast. That’s been a while and it takes ages before we’re satisfied with the settings. Measure twice, cut once. Sunday we try once to go out again but turning back at the end of the harbour: the little wind we saw earlier has just varnished. Happily the sun is out!

The Championship

A strong battle field for this first Dutch J/70 Championship. Just perfect as  strong competition makes you better! A great mix of sports boat sailors, sailing league teams, big-boat sailors and even some pro’s: game’s on!

Results go all over the place, luckily not just ours. 12th places, middle of the fleet and even a bullet after a cracking start. The sixth and last race of the day we decide to lower the tension on the shrouds, not mentioning the missed 15 degrees shift we just telling ourself that wasn’t the best move: last place, whoops. Back at Waterland the number of turns in the tuning guide doesn’t really correspond with the tension on our rig. Measure twice?

At the end of day one we’re sitting in 9th place and that’s also our position after the final race. We’re getting the boat into the groove much better on day two of the championship: we’re in the pack in this strong field. Currently making our plans for the upcoming season. This winter we will practice from our home base Waterland Monnickendam where J/Club and the Keelboat Academy organising training sessions with top notch trainers! During the race days you will also find is on the committee boat.


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