The speed contest was held November 11th and 12 at lake Lauwersmeer in northern Holland. Day one featured less than ideal conditions, with only 18 to 20 knot winds too square to the course. Ben scored the best speed of the day at 62 km/h, but was obviously looking for more.
Sunday, the venue delivered, with 25 knot winds gusting to 40, a broader course, and the typical heavy rain squalls, choppy water and freezing cold temperatures that make sailing Northern Europe in November so challenging. Ben rose to the occasion, breaking the Dutch open water and production records on his first run, and then breaking those records again before the day was finished. Using his 6.0, conditions were so radical that it wasn\’t possible for him to sheet in on the last 100m of the course, and it was so choppy that he crashed right after he passed the finishing line. Luckily nothing broke and he was able to continue sailing, winning every heat and proving once and for all that he is the fastest guy in Holland!
The new Dutch record time is 40.782 knots (75.528 km/h) average over 500 M
Ben: “I am so happy to be the first to break 40 knots in Holland on the 500M . On my best run, I had a very nice entry of the course: it was nice and flat and I had full power in the sail but halfway down the course, the chop started to come and it got a bit harder. But the worst was towards the end of the course where I was totally overpowered flying over the chop fully out of control . I just managed to make it over the finish line sheeted out completely and crashed. To summarize: It was very hard to sail but worth it!”