World's biggest cat race
Wednesday June 1st 2005, Author: Diana Bogaards, Location: none selectedA week and a half before the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race 2005, the organisation have received 557 pre-entries. Sailors representing nine countries will try their luck on 11 June in the world's biggest cat race. Among them last year's overall winner, Team Zwitserleven Booth/Dercksen (NED), and Bouscholte/Van Wieren (NED) who won the line honours. Visitors do not have to miss anything, due to live images on a big screen on the beach. TNG the Official Timekeeper will inform them on the interim scores.
Most Olympic teams will not be present on Texel, since the Tornado Worlds 2005 is due to start on Monday 13 June in France. However, Mitch Booth and Herbert Dercksen will participate and they go for line honours on a Hobie Fox Extreme Concept Boat. "We are using high-tech technology from the Olympic sport for a beach cat. With this boat, we should be able to stay ahead of a Tornado," said Booth about their special project. They have to race against Hans Bouscholte and Ruurd van Wieren on an Eagle 20 Carbon, but also against Wouter Samama and Jeroen van Leeuwen, a new Dutch Tornado team.
Richard Allen and Simon Farren from Great Britain are feared competitors on a Tornado as well. There are several other favourites, sailing on different F18 catamarans for the victory on handicap. The German Sach brothers and Kenbeek/Brouwer (NED) on a new Capricorn, the French Boulogne brothers, second overall in 2004 and F18 World Champions 2003, on a Cirrus.
The Nissan Hobie Pro Team participates with two Hobie Tiger crews: Mourniac/Citeau (FRA) and Heemskerk/De Boer (NED). Paralympic sailor Thierry Schmitter (NED) will start in the Dart 18 class. He won a bronze medal in the 2.4mR at the Paralymic Games in Athens. Schmitter received a spinal cord lesion during a climbing accident in 1998 and has been sailing the Dart 18 since the beginning of this season. Round Texel Co-ordinator Edwin Lodder confirmed that "despite the lack of many olympic sailors, the fleet is of a high level again. It promises to be a strong competition and hopefully an exciting final."
During the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race live images will be broadcasted on a huge screen on the beach. The shootings will come from the island at Paal 17 (beach), the light house, Oudeschild and from the water. Official Timekeeper TNG takes care of the presentation of interim scores and provisional results at the light house, VC-mark, Oudeschild and the finish.
Round Texel Week
On Saturday 11 June 2005, the starting signal of the Zwitserleven Round Texel will be given at around 10:00am. From Wednesday 8 June until Friday 10 June, competitors can scout the sailing area during the Texel Dutch Open. This championship consists of course races which many sailors consider training for the 'biggest cat race' on Saturday.
In addition, the Royal Dutch Sailing Federation has officially recognised the event as an Open Dutch Championship. On Thursday afternoon, people can traditionally sail the 'Horstocht'. On Friday afternoon, sponsors and press will be invited to compete in the VIP Race. This gives them the opportunity to experience catamaran sailing with a top sailor. During the Round Texel Week a social program offers relaxation on the Texel beach.
In addition to Zwitserleven, the event is sponsored by TNG Swiss Watches, Repeat Sales Promotions, PWN Waterleidingbedrijf Noord-Holland, W&H/Liebherr, LinkinMedia, Nissan, Teso, VVV Texel, TROS, RoT Events en de Mondriaan Onderwijsgroep.