Heeg, Friesland, NL * July 16-22
Report by Uncle Al
Danes, Mogens Just & Anders Friis, outduel Mike
McNamara and Simon Townsend
to capture 2016 Wayfarer Worlds in Friesland.
(160729) 56 Wayfarer teams gathered for the first ever Wayfarer Worlds held in the Netherlands July 16-22, 2016. The venue was the Heegermeer (above) in the Dutch sailing Mecca of Friesland.
After some discussion, it was decided that there would be two 28-boat fleets: Gold and Silver which would race "Two starts, 5 minutes apart. 1st start, outer loop of the trapezoid course, 2nd start, inner loop" once the three seeding races were completed. The seeding process was standard: the 56 boats divided randomly into four groups of 14, after which there was a round-robin in which each group sailed one race with of the other groups (A with B, C with D, A with C, etc.) Results from these three races counted towards overall Worlds standing, and for seeding purposes, boats were ranked according to their best two results among the three seeding races, all of which were sailed in light to medium airs.
The teams above made it into the Gold Fleet, Mike McNamara and Mogens (pronounced mowens) Just topped the Gold qualifiers, each counting a pair of firsts while another Danish team, Christian and Jorgen Iversen (2-1) and England's Roger Challis (2-2) were also right near the top of the seeding round. Returning to their ancestral home in Friesland were Mississauga SC's Rob Wierdsma and son, Daniel, who counted a sparkling 6th in the breezier race 1 along with a 17th for 23 points which made them, and former UKWA Chair, Liz Feibusch, the last two teams to gain admittance to the Gold Fleet.
Just missing out on the Gold Fleet were Ireland's Margaret Hynes and son, Sean (13-11 > 24 points), and a pair of teams at 25 points: Conestoga's Leo and Joanne Van Kampen (15-10) and Denmark's Finn Bojsen with Thomas Viborg Steen (12-13). Surprising to me was the fact that Esbjerg's excellent Wayfarer racer, Bjarne Lindquist, missed the Gold Fleet. He scored 17-9 in the first pair of races but a UFD (Black Flag dsq) in the third heat, left him with 26 points, three short of Gold.
As expected, a very strong 26-team contingent represented the UK, but a very pleasant surprise was provided by the Danes group of 14 entries, five of which placed in the top ten overall, leaving four spots for the Brits and 8th overall for our lovable lightweights, Sue Pilling and Steph Romaniuk of Parry Sound. Ireland and the Netherlands were well represented by 5-boat contingents, while three Canada crews - with the generous sponsorship of NP Boats and Nick Seraphinoff - had good showings with the use of brand-new Mark IVs that are on their way to North America as we speak. Contact Nick if you are interested in a deal on a slightly used Mark IV. Two US-based teams took part: John Cadman with Charles Child sailed John's England-based W (he also has one on Lake Eustis), and WIC Chair, Jim Heffernan teamed up with his grandson, Sean, in Swiebertje (W10445) kindly loaned by our beloved Dutch friend, Ton Jaspers.
Mike Mac and Mogens Just wasted little time establishing their dominance of the Gold Fleet racing, Mogens scoring 3-1-1 in races 4, 5 and 6 while Mike's 1-2-2 also gave him 5 points for his efforts in the second trio of races. To get a picture of how dominant these two teams were, we need to go to the 6-6-4 scored by Mark Hartley with his dad, Richard as the 3rd-best Gold Fleet total from those three races!!! And the really scary thing is that these two teams are really at their best when it blows - something that never did happen this year.
To those in the know, it comes as no great surprise that the Danish winners of the 2016 Worlds, Mogens Just and Anders Friis were able to edge out the several times World champions, Mike McNamara and Simon Townsend. Mogens represented Denmark in Stars in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics before "retiring" to racing a wooden Wayfarer (4645) with his wife, Helle. In the '98 Worlds, Mogens teamed up with Niels Møller to place 5th, while this year's crew, Anders Friis, placed 2nd to Ian Porter and Kevan Gibb. When the chips were down in the final two races, Mogens and Anders twice edged out Mike and Simon to win out World title by a mere one point.
Since nine races were completed, there were two discards for each team. Mogens and Anders [anners] threw out a 2-3 while Mike and Simon discarded a 3-4. Most of us would give our eye teeth to be able to keep any of those finishes.
Series 3rd went to Denmark's Peter Bøje with his son, Samuel, who were consistent when it counted, and did bookends by winning the first and last races. In 2007, Peter won the Wayfarer Worlds with another of his sons, Marcus.
Twu more UK teams followed in 4th and 5th overall: veteran Wayfarer, Roger Challis with Mark Johnston, and our copyright holders, the Hartleys - this with father crewing for son. Two points further back wre Danes, Christian and Jørgen Iversen.
7th overall went to Denmark's Christian Hansen and Henrik Hamann who won a tie-breaker over the top Canadian team, Sue Pilling and Steph Romaniuk. Sue was also the Top Lady Helm. In another tie-breaker, Brits, Tim and Jacqueline Townsend took series 9th over Danes, Stefan Nandrup-Bus and Kim Jensen who completed the Gold Fleet top ten.
Simon Ruffles and George Finch of the UK finished series 13th and had the distinction of being the only sailing W968, the only wooden Wayfarer, and in fact the sole non-Mark IV in the Gold Fleet. Further worth noting was the all-female team of Monica Schaefer and Miriam McCarthy who led all the Irish entries in this year's Worlds by placing 23rd in the Gold Fleet.
Complete results here.
The Silver Fleet title went to a Danish team, also. Bjarne Lindquist and Jan Nielsen had their three worst races in the seeding races and then were a model of consistency as they never finished worse than 4th in any Silver Fleet race. This left them with a whopping 20-point lead over the boats that tied for the runner-up spot. Bjarne and Jan were not unbeatable - they only won two of the races - but they never had any poor races while in the Silver Fleet.
Silver runners-up were the UK team of Jamie and Wendy Wheatly who took their tie-breaker over the Irish mother-son team, Margaret and Sean Hynes. Series 4th went to the UK: Nigel and Belinda O'Donnel. Their series high point was a win in race 6.
Jim Heffernan and grandson, Sean, were the top US entry at 5th in Silver, sailing Ton Jaspers W10445, a Mk I+S. The Canadians in the Silver Fleet, Leo and Joanne Van Kampen, had a golden moment with their race 5 victory and looked poised to end in the top 5 of Silver but the flukey winds on the final day did them in and they ended up in series 6th.
A pair of Danish boats were next in line with Finn Bøjsen and Thomas Steen taking 7th ahead of Poul Ammentorp with Klavs Holtug who were sailing W239 Woodie, the oldest boat in these Worlds. Series 9th went to Mike Pearce and Steve Ash who won the 7th race as their Worlds highlight. Taking 10th overall were the Danish team of Thomas Raun Petersen and Anne Jensen who finished their Worlds with a bang, winning the Silver Fleet's final race.
Tops among five Dutch entries were Elise Beket and her father, Evert, who were sailing the Mark IV Evert was in the process of buying when Julia and I last saw him during the 2011 International Rally. 18 of the 28 Silver boats were the new Mark IVs.