On Monday November 23 2009, title defender Emmanuel Dodé and his crew Fred Moreau from France took an early lead at the Dart 18 Worlds in Aruba. The Atol Sailing Team won the only race of the day, sailed in a 25-30 knots offshore breeze. The Britons David Lloyd and Joanna Jones-Pierce finished second, although they led in the first lap. The German team Matthias Huber and Dominik Volke followed in third place. Xander and Mark Pols (NED) were the only sailors who could keep their F18 upright in the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta. They won by miles.
The Dutchmen and newcomers to the Dart 18 class Ruud Goudriaan and Bart Damen nailed the start, closely followed by the French and British favorites. In the first beat, they went to the left with the rest of the fleet, whereas Lloyd and Jones-Pierce took a flyer to the right side of the windy course. Lloyd: “We made the brave call to tack off, because we expected the wind to be more clear in that corner with less buildings onshore.” That tactic paid off and the British couple were first at the top mark, followed by Dodé/Moreau and Goudriaan/Damen.
The French and British Dart 18's came together in the gate. Dodé: “We had water, so we could cross in front of them, but then we made a mistake, so they passed us again.” The Frenchmen pushed hard and took the lead in the next lap. Dodé: “Our speed was a little bit better and that is how we won.” Lloyd and Jones-Pierce decided not to take any risk and safe some energy. Jones-Pierce: “It was incredibly windy and on most of the other boats, the crew is sheeting. I think I am the lightest on the wire and David takes the sheet, but we handled the boat right in these conditions. I am very happy with this result.” And so was Matthias Huber, who overtook the Dutchmen only a few meters from the finish line: “They pitch poled and that is how we passed them.”
Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta
The Dutch F18 teams of Xander/Mark Pols and John Moret/Paul Smissaert were smoking today. Just minutes after the gun, they already left their thirteen competitors far behind. The Pols brothers hoisted the spinnaker first and kept their Nacra Infusion upright. Moret and Smissaert did not succeed in keeping their heads dry. They capsized twice and still managed to finish second, followed by the German duo Dieter Maurer and Gunther Mortl. They were the only finishers. Xander Pols: “At the committee boat, I did not expect they would continue the starting procedure. I can't even remember the last time I sailed in such a strong breeze. The only tactic was to choose the right moment for a gibe, so we would not nose dive.”
All racing in the afternoon was cancelled due to the stormy conditions. However, tomorrow's lay day will be used to catch up on two lost races. It will be an early start for the competitors, as the first start will be at 10 am. But now it is time for Happy Hour on the beach and the Pelican dinner party on the pier.
Top five Dart 18 Worlds 2009:
FRA – Emmanuel Dodé & Fred Moreau
GBR – David Lloyd & Joanna Jones-Pierce
GER – Matthias Huber & Dominik Volke
NED – Ruud Goudriaan & Bart Damen
FRA – Thierry & Christine Wibaux
Top three Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta:
NED – Xander & Mark Pols
NED – John Moret & Paul Smissaert
GER – Dieter Maurer & Gunther Mortl
In addition to the title sponsors Aruba Tourism Authority and Heineken Aruba NV, this year's Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta and Dart18 World Championships are also supported by Martinair, GILS Worldwide, Setar, Holiday Inn, Does & Cadushi, Tropical Bottling Company, Coca Cola, AWA, Aruba Aloë, VR Shipping, Aruba Watersports Center, Palm Tours, Pelican Watersports, Seaworld Explorer, Moomba, Zwitserleven, TNG, Patria and AMI Kappers.