Neptune visits opening ceremony 29er Worlds 2016

Neptune 29er Worlds
Neptune on stilts visited today's opening ceremony of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik, Netherlands. The ultimate regatta of the year in this spectacular double-handed skiff started off with two practice races in calm conditions on Sunday July 24th. The northwestern breeze was only 3 tot 5 knots strong, which tested the fleet's level of concentration. There were no official results. Tomorrow, the qualifying series will commence with a record number of 228 participating teams.

The Netherlands are well-known for water management and sailing. Both have played a major role in the history of the country, so it was for this reason that Neptune came along today. The opening ceremony took place on a floating podium off the beach next to the harbour. All officials had to wade through the water to reach the stage for giving their speech. 'It was something special and original, not like many other events. I haven't laughed so much in three years. It makes this event what it is”, commented Dutchman Cas van Dongen on the happening. Every flag of the 29 nations present was flying on a boat in the background, amongst them were for the first time ever the Antiguan colours.

'This is our second regatta. We have been in the boat for five months”, said helmsman Rocco Falcone from Antigua, the small Caribbean island that just hosted the Optimist North-American Championship for the second time.

For the British sailors the challenge of the Worlds already commenced on their way to the ferry in Dover. They faced a 17 hour delay in the heat, due to reinforced security checks. The organization took notice of the late arrivals and made sure that measurement could take place in time. Measurement in general went by smoothly.

Meanwhile, the International Sailing Center transformed into a small regatta village for worlds' best 29er sailors. The weather forecast shows stronger sailing conditions for the coming week, starting with a medium westerly of 8-10 knots and gusting to 13-15 knots tomorrow on the first racing day. Three qualifying races are scheduled and the fleet is divided into 6 groups, competing on three courses.

There are seven Australian crews entered, along with eight crews from New Zealand.


About the 2016 29er Worlds

The 29er Worlds 2016 are organized by the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia in conjunction with the International 29er Class Association and the 9er Events Foundation. The 29er Worlds in this Olympic year will see a record number of participants since the first edition in 2000.

The first three out of 10 scheduled qualifying races will be sailed on Monday July 25. The final series of 10 scheduled races commences on Thursday July 28 and the new champions will be crowned on Saturday July 30.

About the International 29er Class Association

The 29er is an open class for both age and gender, yet has a separate men's and women's fleet at the World Sailing Youth Worlds.The 29er is raced around the world in 53 countries and has produced many World and Olympic champions in other classes including the 49erFX for women and the 49er.

SAP Sailing Analytics enables fans onshore, media, coaches and sailors to follow or review the 29er Worlds 2016 in detail.

In addition to SAP Netherlands, the 2016 29er Worlds are also sponsored by two Dutch internationals in the yachting industry: DAMEN, who designs and manufactures heavy construction equipment for the world's leading on and offshore companies, and international and family-owned shipbuilder Huisman with Dutch roots. Other sponsors are Magic Marine, the Province of Noord-Holland and the Municipality of Medemblik, well-known for its international sailing regattas and International Sailing Center Medemblik. 

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