448 Pre-entries for Zwitserleven Round Texel Race 2010
A week prior to the start of the 2010 Zwitserleven Round Texel Race on Saturday June 19, the organization received 448 pre-entries. The high quality fleet represents fifteen countries. World's biggest cat race is part of the Zwitserleven Sailing Week, and so is the 2010 Grand Prix/Europeans Slalom Windsurfing. This event takes place under the auspices of the International Funboard Class Association. More than fifty surfers from eight different nationalities have subscribed so far.
The Zwitserleven Round Texel Race is about two different competitions. It includes the battle for the line honours and for the overall victory on handicap. The equipment plays an important role in the first case and development assumes large proportions. Xander Pols (NED) won the line honours twice before, but lost them in 2009 to William Sunnucks and Simon Farren. This British duo brought out new big guns by introducing an extra wide M20, which has meanwhile been copied by many competitors, like Pols. Also the curved dagger boards will finally enter the infamous cat race. John Moret and Danny Radelaar from the Netherlands, third over the line in 2009, will use the same set-up as Pols.
The 2006 overall winner Remco Kenbeek (NED) and his crew Paul Buyse (NED) are now aiming for a first finish. They set sails on an extra wide M20, but with straight dagger boards. 'We believe that the development of curved boards has not come to an end yet, so we stick to the old ones", says Buyse. He already announces a record attempt in case the conditions are favorable. The current record holders Herbert Dercksen (NED) and Mark Bulkeley (GBR) will also line up with an adapted M20, called Extreme 20 Large.
Bouscholte gears up
Former fastest sailor around the island and winner of the 2004 line honours, Hans Bouscholte (NED), gears up for the 2010 Zwitserleven Round Texel with a brand new Nacra 20 carbon. Peter Vink and Sven de Laaf, line honours in 2003, will try to match their performance of seven years ago. After a break of a few seasons, they join forces again on the Nacra 20 carbon with curved boards. In Carnac at this year's Eurocat, they were easily first to cross the finish of the long distance. These are the known feats of arms, but who knows what might turn up on Texel next week.
International battle for overall victory
A large international top will fight for the overall victory on handicap. It is most likely a F18 team that will claim this trophy. Multiple Tornado, A-cat and F18 World Champion Glenn Ashby (AUS) teams up with his fellow-countryman James Spithill. The helmsman of BMW Oracle Racing won the prestigious America's Cup in February 2010. They will experience fierce competition from world-class sailors, like Darren Bundock (AUS), with whom Ashby won several titles and silver at the 2008 Games. Mitch Booth and Pim Nieuwenhuis, fifth in Qingdao, will be on fire in strong sailing conditions. The Dutch F18 Champions Mischa Heemskerk (won two previous editions) and Bastiaan Tentij love the big breeze as well. Current F18 World Champions Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser (NED) prefer lighter wind circumstances.
The newly formed Dutch team of Gunnar Larsen and former F18 World Champion Jeroen van Leeuwen know how to win this race, so they are also serious candidates for a top three finish. Like their Boskalis teammates Hugh Styles (GBR) and Ferdinand van West (NED), bronze medalists at the 2009 F18 Worlds in Belgium. Last year's winners Rob Wilson and Marcus Lynch from England have not entered the race so far.
Entry closes on June 18
The Zwitserleven Sailing Week 2010 will start on Monday June 14 with the Nacra 2010 International Championship. On Tuesday, the program continues with the GP/Europeans Slalom and the day after with the Open Dutch Championships Cat Sailing. The entry for the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race closes on Friday evening Jun 18.
Trace & Tracking
Participants have the possibility of hiring a GPS Tracker for this year's Round Texel Race. By using the MYLAPS GPS Tracker, their catamaran can be followed live on www.roundtexel.com and there is a replay available afterwards. The price is EUR 20 per boat and the device can be ordered through the Round Texel website.