Round Texel canned
The 33rd Zwitserleven Round Texel Race has been cancelled. On Saturday morning Chairman Sidny van Zon (NED) announced this to hundreds of cat sailors from all over the world on the Texel beach. The combination of wind force 5/6 from the northwest and a brutal surf made it irresponsible to send the participants out on the North Sea. This is the third time in 33 years that world's biggest catrace can't be sailed.
'We have had a fantastic sailing week so far. Unfortunately, we cannot control the weather", said Van Zon at the briefing. 'The combination of a strong northwesterly and brutal surf makes it irresponsible to send you out." The crowd applauded, which was the unspoken support for the difficult decision. 'It is disappointing for us as organization, but even more for you sailors. We will do everything we can to conclude this event with a party, together with you."
Especially the Molengat channel south form the island is rough. The conditions there are too dangerous. "Yesterday in the afternoon it was already on the limit, but the cats can't get through now," says Round Texel Coordinator Edwin Lodder (NED). "Safety on the water is what counts for us and we cannot guarantee that today. It is a real pity for the sailors and organization. It remains a sailing sports, so we are dependent on the weather, but we will have new chances next year."
Gunnar Larsen was considered as a possible overall winner of this year's Zwitserleven Round Texel Race. Directly after the briefing he commented: "This is the right decision. Everyone who looks at the sea now, knows that is it impossible to send this huge fleet out. Luckily the event has grown into a sailing week, so its success is not dependent on one day. Of course we are all disappointed, but the racing has been awesome so far."
Carolijn Brouwer (BEL) agrees as well: "It would have been great to have an old Hobie 16 now to battle the surf, as long as it is not my own boat. Fortunately we have had three great sailing days, so it was worth it to come over. But if you come to Texel, you want to finish it. This is a pity. However, Dennis van der Geest is our disc jockey tonight, so that is fun. And there' soccer this afternoon; Holland against Japan." The prize giving of the Zwitserleven Dutch Open Cat Sailing 2010 and the TNG Record attempt will be in the tent this evening.