Honouring Hansa designer after great racing day

The whole week there has been an unseasonal northernly wind in Medemblik – this has provided unwelcome lumpy waters in the IJsselmeer at Medemblik. The combination of wind and waves has been big challenge for many sailors. Sailors who are used to these conditions have an advantage and, so, many of them are doing well in the results. Regardless of the wind direction, wind strength has created good conditions for serious racing for all competitors.

Tuesday morning was schedules for the single handed sailors: Hansa 2.3, Liberty and 303 sailed with one person. Race Officer, John Borsboom who knows the area well, decided to extend the courses for the Hansa 303s and Libertys. With the good sailing conditions, Borsboom extended the course length to meet the target time of 40 minutes per race for all 3 classes.
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Malaysian sailors have perfect races
After six races in the Hansa 2.3 class has a Malaysian sailor, Al Mustakin Matrin, undefeated so far: “I’ve sailed six races in a number one position. I’m definitely going for the gold medal” In the Liberty, Malaysian Azmi Ani is close to a top position with his third position. The New Zealand Sarah Dunckley is leading this fleet with 8 points.

Symonds leading in Hansa 303
In the Hansa 303 single, Chris Symonds is leading. “I’ve trained a lot, so I’m happy all this training is paying off this week. The water is very bumpy, which I’m used to. Most sailors sail on a lake with flat water, so this might be a bit of an advantage for me.” Chris also sails in the double division with Michael Darby. “It’s a long day for me, but Michael takes over the steering, that way I can rest a little bit more.” In the Hansa 303 double division Patrick Maurer and Willi Lutz from Switzerland are on first position. Said Lutz: “I’m happy with the results, a second and first place today and leading the fleet.”

SKUD 18 battle goes on
In the SKUD18 races, the Polish team is developing a small advantage. With a first and second place today they have a total of 7 points. Great Britain is in second place with 10 points and the Dutch, on home ground, are on a third place with 11 points. It’s still very close racing, with both Great Britain and Holland hard on the heels of the Polish team.

Chris Mitchell Gold Hansa Award
The designer of the boats, Chris Mitchell, has been here all week. During the Midweek social event, Chris spoke about how he came up with the Hansa design: “I was living in Singapore and couldn’t understand why the Chinese people had to learn to sail in a boat like the Optimist. So I came up with a boat which is easy to sail for everyone.” He never had a special group in mind for the boats, he just wanted a boat for everyone to learn sailing and race with. This is still a big dream of Australian Mitchell. To encourage this dream, the organising committee of the 2016 Hansa Worlds decided to present a special award to recognise Mitchell’s contribution. It was presented to Mitchell on Tuesday night. “I won’t keep this award myself, he says: ‘Chris Mitchell Golden Hansa Award, For excellence in inclusive sailing’. So I’ll give it to the sailors, teams or group of volunteers that I think have shown the best contribution to inclusive sailing this week. During the 2018 Hansa Worlds in Hiroshima the trophy will be awarded again.” A great gift to honour the designer, who is planning to stick around for many years to come.

Chris Mitchell

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