Heavy winds and swell prevented the 23 yachts of racing on the last two days of the event.
Philippe Pilate, owner of General Tapioca, sailing for the Brussels Royal Yacht Club, was a very happy man after winning the event for a second time. The aim was not to win, but to make no errors on the water, he said, but as regularity often pays off, he and his crew were delighted wit the overall prize offered by event sponsor Ecover.
Upon receiving the second prize from sponsor Belgacom, an ecstatic David Evans, owner of Hullabaloo XV, a Stephen Jones-designed Hustler 32, thanked the race organisers for their magnificent work. As they managed to combine perfect races with brilliant shore activities, he said, they made it very difficult for the organizers of the next event to do better. An older design, Hullabaloo XV found near perfect conditions in Nieuwpoort, and if the long inshore had not been cancelled due to the strong swell in the entrance channel, he could have taken the title…
The German boat Strolch, an Albin Ballad from Cuxhaven, won the overall series prize, with Crakajax, an X-95 from the Isle of Wight, taking second. “Normally we only sail one design events with our boats, and this is just something different we wanted to try”, admitted skipper, Michael Langhans, “but we were astonished with the quality of the event which is really extraordinary."
However the apotheosis of the prize giving was not the overall victory of General Tapioca: the organising committee had decided to award the ‘Half Ton True Spirit Trophy’ to the boat and crew who most lived up to this ’half ton spirit’. As one of the race organisers was competing in the event, it was decided that the all female event shore team would decide upon the winning team. All week long teams tried to influence their voting, but finally the trophy was awarded to the Irish entry King One, sailed by David Cullen and his crew. After performing their version of Molly Malone, the prize giving, and thus the event, came to an end. The halftonners will meet again in 2011, in England.
Event overall results:
1. General Tapioca (BEL ) – 12 pts
2. Hullabaloo XV (GBR) – 16 pts
3. Per Elisa (GBR) – 21 pts
4. King One (IRL) – 30 pts
5. Waverider (BEL) – 32 pts
6. Zick Zack (GER) – 36 pts
7. Skippy’s Ton (BEL) – 39 pts
8. Chia Chia (GBR) – 43 pts
9. Strolch (GER) – 61 pts
10 Taranta (FRA) – 66 pts