2016 Belgian Open National Championships 9 Aug 2016
Two Burnham Dragons competed for the Ostend Cup at the Royal North Sea Yacht Club over the 30th and 31st of July, in near perfect ‘champagne sailing’ conditions. Rob Campbell sailing with Luke and Karl in Quicksilver, and Jono Brown with David and Lyn in Storm took second and third place overall in this ‘warm up’ event for the Belgian Open National Championships which took place from the 4th to the 7th August.
David Hall, Geoff and Julie in Flame Again joined Storm and Quicksilver for the Nationals where Rob Campbell and crew were out to defend their 2015 title against a 27 strong fleet.
The opening day saw 28 knots across the racecourse and mountainous seas which kept everyone ashore so the crews enjoyed the customary Belgian hospitality of Brugse Zot beer instead.
Day two and the very first race of the regatta saw David Hall take the gun, but at the end of the day with three races completed, Rob Campbell had secured a steady 3,1,3 to lead the opening scoreboard. Jono and Storm started slowly with a 15 and a 5, but an OCS for the third race left them lagging behind.
Day three kicked off with a steady breeze and the opening race saw Jono lead from the off to take line honours giving all three Burnham Dragons a first to their names.
Race six was abandoned after the wind died on the final beat, so after the discard kicked in, Quicksilver had slipped to second overall, and Storm had moved up to sixth place. Flame Again was having some great racing but David’s early glory was sadly not to be repeated.
The final day and with a stiff breeze blowing and steep waves building the fleet sailed out into the North Sea for two breath-taking races.
The championship was now between Quicksilver and Netherlands 422.
The racing that ensued was nail-biting and with Rob and Netherlands over the line and having to duck back at the off, the race was on. Rob worked his way up into 4th place, but Netherlands was able to discard their 9th. Jono meanwhile, racing with David, Lyn and Dave Hudson this weekend, was sailing consistently, knocking in a 3rd.
So the championships finally came down to the last race of the day, and with the strongest winds of the event, only 15 boats remained on the water. After two hair-raising spinnaker runs, and conditions that tested the whole fleet, Rob finished in 7th place – but the Bakker family in Netherlands, secured the event with a 3rd. Despite their sterling efforts Rob had to cede his title by just 2 points. Storm finished the event in 6th place, and David Hall and crew, having returned early from the event and missing the last day, finished the regatta in 15th.