Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Delta Lloyd Regatta: Late Nights on the Ijsselmeer

I’ve been without internet for a few weeks so I haven’t updated, but plenty is happening. After leaving Hyeres, I drove back to Barcelona and flew from there to Amsterdam for the Delta Lloyd regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands.

Medemblik is a small town situated on the Ijsselmeer, a fresh water lake artificially created by the numerous dikes surrounding the area. A dike about 20 km in length keeps out the sea. The water is very cold, as is the weather generally, with clouds, rain and frontal wind.

Although the weather isn’t perfect, the Netherlands is probably the most civilized country I’ve ever visited. There is an order to everything, and citizens abide by that order. The historic houses are all in perfect, almost new-seeming condition. Cars cruise slowly down smooth roads and stop for pedestrians and bicycles in the crosswalk (note: in Holland, everyone rides the same kind of bicycle). In the green parks, pens of rabbits, goats, donkeys, and sheep are there for kids to enjoy. In the springtime, flotillas of young waterfowl paddle around the canals. Riverboats also cruise up and down the canal network, picnicking families aboard. To add to the picturesque scene, young children are often seen fishing from the canalsides. This small-town euro-Rockwellian paradise was what we walked through every day on the way to the regatta center. Stepping into the venue and racing was quite a departure from the idyllic scenery.

Tiny and cute town!

As the last two World Cup regattas had no wind, all the competitors were hoping for some breeze for Delta Lloyd. We ended up with a few days of wind and a few days of waiting until the last minute for wind. The boards raced on the same course as the 49ers, and sharing the course meant that we were pushed back late in the day. Oftentimes we got off the water around 8 pm, making for some rushed nights. Overall, I sailed quite well. I am rediscovering my strength in the breeze, and had some successful front-third of the fleet finishes, and 2/3 fleet finishes in light wind. It was a great start to the season and overall probably the best conditions this year at a World Cup regatta.

Windmills close to the course

A start in breezy conditions

After the regatta, I took the train to Amsterdam to collect my minivan, which arrived in the port during the regatta. It was suspiciously easy to retrieve it from the port and drive it away. Immediately we loaded it with gear and people, and off we went on an overnight drive to Poland, where I’m currently training with the youth team at an academic / sport facility in Gdansk.

Reunited with my best friend in Amsterdam

1 comment:

  1. Hi Farrah, It is great to see you climb in your finish rankings. Best of Luck in your continued future endeavors. Train hard in Sopot. That green caravan somehow looks happy in Amsterdam. That blue car looks pretty cool too.