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Preview - Open Dutch Nationals or should we say “Shadow” Europeans!?

This weekend, the eagerly awaited Dutch Nationals happens at Hellecat, the hope of Dutch cat sailing, and superstars abound. Kees Krijger reports.
Due to corona most of us must be colour blind by now, because for more than a year the whole of Europe was changing permanently between codes like yellow, orange and red. Many regattas were postponed such as the Europeans, but now we have code green, because the Open Dutch Nationals will take place from the 27th up to the 29th of August at @Hellecat, Hellevoetsluis in the Netherlands.

Great to see that 42 sailors have registered from 7 different Nations, such as BEL, CZE, FRA, GER, NED, POL and SUI, so we might speak of Shadow Europeans. Among those sailors is world champion Mischa Heemskerk - NED 7, who of course is absolute favourite to become the new Dutch Champion in the foiling fleet, especially when the conditions are tough. The weather forecast is now in his advantage, because on Friday 16 up to 24 knots is expected.

Another contender is Kuba Surowiec - POL 41, who has won the Polish Nationals as well as the German Nationals this year. So a nice battle is to be expected between Mischa - DNA and Kuba - Exploder. From France comes another contender, because Emmanuel Dodé - FRA 2 has won the Critérium national de la forêt d’orient and scored second last year at the 4 Nations Cup. Of course there are more sailors who might be very successful, especially the Dutch DNA sailors like Pieterjan Dwarshuis, Thijs Visser, Roeland Wentholt, Rutger Krijger and Wiro Zijlmans.

The classic fleet has 14 competitors with only five sailors from Holland. The new Dutch champion might be Frank Mauritz or Caroline van Beelen. Unfortunately the present Dutch Champion Jaap Straakenbroek will not be racing, because he is still recovering from a back surgery.

Christian Stock and Philippe Muyzers have proved to be successful this year so they are both contenders for the overall prize. When the conditions stay tough for three days, heavy Walter Gonzales will be smiling all races and maybe win the overall prize.

Kees Krijger is not happy with the weather forecast, so he will not compete but try to make others happy, because he will be taking photos and help Pim Folmer with filming.