Day 4 saw some action at last and it was Ben van der Steen who stole the show and came out on top. Our man on the beach, Amado Vrieswijk also had some great success but not after some hard luck before/during the first race. Read on to hear about it in his words and continue scrolling through as we receive 4 top tips from Ben van der Steen on how to get off the start-line fast and stay ahead in clear air.
Over to Amado...
Yesterday (9th May) at 2pm the wind was gusty but ok to race, between 15-25 knots. I was in heat 7 and went on the water on time with my Starboard I-sonic 97 and Severne Reflex 5 7.8.
The first 'lowlight' hit me pretty quick: 10 minutes before the start my mast broke and then I managed to get a very deep cut on my foot from the fin whilst de-rigging my gear in the water. I had to be brought back to shore by the safety boat, from there I duck-tapped my foot up and quickly took my second kit; Starboard Isonic 97 and Severne Reflex 7.0 and raced back to start. I was gutted to arrive just a minute too late and got scored a DNS - Did Not Start. This was a bummer, but still I could race with all the first round losers, which was 24 competitors on the start in heat 18.
Highlight: I had a perfect start, rounded the buoys smoothly and finished first way ahead of the others, it felt great after such a disappointing start because of my gear failure and injury. My foot is ok, I had to put duct-tape around it as I have had no time to visit the doctor of course. We started a second round at 6pm but the wind dropped and the day was over. Congratulations to Ben van der Steen who's the winner of round one.
For those interested you can download the full results from the first elimination below:
Over to Ben Van Der Steen...
... for his TOP 4 TIPS on how to get off the start-line fast and stay ahead.
But first, a quick video after winning yesterday.
Check your watch, and keep checking it!! And check it again...
Pick your position of where you want to start on the start-line and stick to that plan!! To find a good position make sure you check the line and the position of the first mark.
Stay in clean air - sometimes it's better to have a clean start then to try to take the best place on the line with everyone else.
Try to get to that first mark first and don't fall in on the gybe! That's usually enough to keep you in the lead on the first leg, then you must accelerate away fast, this is where it is good to know your kit very well.
Congrats to Ben for winning the first elimination, fingers crossed for more wind today.
Photos: Eric Bellande