Campbell wins Belgian Open Championships 2015 10 Aug 2015
Sailing conditions off Ostend in the North Sea can be difficult but this year the Regatta was sailed in very pleasant weather with light winds on Friday, good sailing breezes force 3 – 4 on Saturday with some significant waves, and the final race on Sunday in very light airs after a delay of two hours, waiting for the wind to fill in. Rob Campbell with Karl Odent and Luke Malissa, did amazingly well in Quicksilver VI, to achieve two 1st places and a 2nd in the three races on Saturday, so with other good results he was able to win the championships by four clear points.
There were 24 entrants, including three Burnham boats: Quicksilver VI, Ian Gray with Alex Burnett and René Nell in Scorpio (who won the previous weekend’s tune-up Regatta) and David Hall with Geoff Butcher and Julie Thomas-Page in FlameAgain who finished in the first six places. There were three GBR Dragons from the Medway – Flos (Steve Rushbrook), Suti (Toby Atack) and Fit Chick (Jono Ratnage – 11th). Although Flos and Suti did not make the top half, they are very keen and great fun to sail with.
The Royal North Sea Yacht Club made us all very welcome with a first class buffet BBQ on Friday and an excellent Gala dinner on Saturday. The boats all had their own accounts at the bar, which made ordering drinks and wine very easy. FlameAgain enjoyed the annual visit to The Combuis Restaurant on Thursday evening where they serve every variation of Moules which you could possibly imagine.
Xavier Vanneste sponsored the pontoon drinks party with champagne beer from his brewery in Bruges. His sister, Anne, is secretary of the BDA (Belgian Dragon Assoc) and together with her team, organised the championships that ran extremely smoothly, helped by the weather. The race officer was very competent and with a changing wind, altered the direction to the next mark in most races which achieved the best possible racing.
Steve Vermeire, chairman of the BDA, is working hard to encourage sailing between the Dragon fleets within easy driving distance of Ostend. We often hear from him now via Facebook, which is their chosen form of communication. He is now promoting a visit to Essen in September and to Burnham for the Pete Mathews trophy.