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Van Uden Reco 2018

Max Deckers

Na een succesvolle seizoensopening van het Rotterdam Offshore Sailing Team op 5 april 2018 bij de sociëteit van de Maas, was het vorig weekend tijd voor de eerste grote wedstrijd van het seizoen: de Van Uden Reco Stellendam Regatta. Omdat het WK team sinds deze seizoensopening voor het eerst vast stond, was de Van Uden Reco de eerste wedstrijd dat we in deze opstelling aan de start stonden.

De zondagen voor de Van Uden Reco waren voor deze teamopstelling de dagen om op elkaar ingespeeld te raken en de manoeuvres in de vingers te krijgen. Het opbouwen van ritme in boathandling stond hierbij centraal, waarbij eindeloos spinnakerhoists en drops geoefend werden.

Afgelopen weekend was het - na een laatste training op vrijdag - tijd voor de Van Uden Reco; een mooi moment om te kijken waar we als team staan. Met dank aan onze sponsoren was de boot tiptop in orde; inclusief nieuwe zeilen en nieuwe kleding. Het was ook het moment om voor het eerst met deze nieuwe zeilen te varen, een extra uitdaging!

De weersvoorspelling voor het weekend was licht. Een zwakke en draaiende wind zou het terugkerend thema van het weekend worden. Op zaterdag begon de dag met een afgebroken race: grote windshift naar rechts. Met een soms compleet wegvallende, shiftende en onstabiele bries wist het comité er deze dag uiteindelijk drie wedstrijden uit te persen. Over de uitvoering van de manoeuvres waren we zeer tevreden; hierin hebben we vrijwel niks laten liggen en maken we steeds grotere stappen! Na de eerste dag stonden we eerste in de IRC1 klasse en derde in de ORC1 klasse.

De zondag was wederom een moeilijke dag qua wind; een draaiing van oost naar zuidwest was voorspeld. Onder invloed van langstrekkende onweersbuien bleef de wind instabiel en draaierig. Na een eerste wedstrijd met wind uit oostelijke richting waarbij de wind compleet wegviel en de klein boten helaas wind kregen nadat wij gefinisht waren, werd de tweede wedstrijd afgebroken door een sterke winddraai naar rechts. Een uur wachten later was de wind gestabiliseerd uit het zuidwesten en kon met een toenemende wind de laatste wedstrijd van het evenement worden gevaren. De tweede dag heeft ons helaas plaatsen teruggezet in het klassement en uiteindelijk is een derde plaats in IRC1 en een vijfde plaats in ORC1 klasse het resultaat.

Al met al kijken wij heel tevreden terug op dit evenement. De wisselende omstandigheden en korte baan maakten het moeilijk om hoger in het klassement te eindigen, maar toch zijn we erg blij met hoe we gezeild hebben. De trainingen werpen duidelijk hun vruchten af! Nu zien wij uit naar de Vuurschepenrace en de North Sea Race in begin mei met daaropvolgend de North Sea Regatta in Scheveningen; tot dan!


Max Deckers

The world’s leading technical sailing supplier supports the next generation of young offshore racing talent in the Netherlands

Gill Marine, the leading global brand for technical sailing apparel, is delighted to partner with the exciting Rotterdam Offshore Sailing Team (ROST). The team, formed to enable talented young Dutch sailors to develop themselves in the international offshore sailing world, will be wearing the latest Gill products including its innovative new Race Fusion system – offering the highest level of breathability within its race range.

The team currently consists of promising sailors from the Rotterdam Region (aged 17 to 30 years), sailing on a Ker 46 provided by the Royal Maas Yacht Club. Led by three-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Gerd-Jan Poortman, Gill believes that this partnership will give the product team a unique insight into how product is used and importantly, giving real life feedback to ensure that every item is performing to its ultimate potential. The team has already competed for the first time in the iconic Rolex Fastnet Race in 2017, and this year the team will compete in the 2018 Offshore Worlds before returning to improve on their performance in the Rolex Fastnet 2019.

Gerd-Jan Poortman from ROST commented: “We are delighted to have a brand like Gill come on board with ROST. Our focus is on bringing a group of like-minded companies together to help make this Team the success that we know they can be. A huge part of that is making sure they stay warm and dry in what will, at times, be very challenging conditions. And through the world class products from Gill, we know that the team can focus on their sailing performance with confidence in their offshore clothing.”

Dominic McCarthy, Commercial Director, Gill Marine commented: “We are really excited to be bringing the Rotterdam Offshore Sailing Team into the Gill family. The added insight we can gain from working so closely with them will support our continued efforts to better understand our consumer, and the requirements of offshore sailing.  This is paramount to the process of innovation and producing fantastic product. This partnership also further underpins our strategy to support promising talent in sailing and we are sure the team will go on to record some fantastic results. We wish them the best of luck for the season ahead.”


Gill was an idea first born on British waters in 1975 by founder Nick Gill, a keen sailor who wanted to create a range of sailing product without compromise; the best fabrics, the best features, the best quality.

Now trusted for over 40 years, Gill has grown into an established technical apparel brand meeting consumer needs both on and off the water and continues to combine innovative design with the latest fabric technology to increase the performance of its range.

Distributed around the world to 37 countries and more recently through a global Ecommerce platform Gill remains the number one marine glove brand and its comprehensive product range driven by the well-known Race Ocean jacket (0C1) as well as global best seller the Offshore jacket (0S2) continue to set it apart.

Rolex Fastnet Race 2017

Max Deckers

After a successful start of the season with many relatively short races, it was time for the most important race of the year: the Rolex Fastnet Race 2017. This race is held every two years and is seen as one of the most prestigious offshore sailing races in the world. With a length of 605 nautical miles, 385 participating yachts and over 2700 competing sailors the Fastnet Race is definitely a highlight in the career of most of us, being young ROST sailors.

Our main goal for the Fastnet Race 2017: learn. How does a watch system work? How will the tasks be divided? How do make sure we perform optimally? Although learning was the main goal, the race was also a good way to compare with other teams. We shared the starting line with strong competitors, among others the Lady Mariposa (also a Ker 46), several maxis (of over 100 feet) and the complete Volvo Ocean Race fleet. We were determined to show what we are capable of as a young team.

After careful preparations the moment was there: the start in Cowes, UK. Under perfect circumstances the fleet departed and sailed upwind out of the Solent, witnessed by the crowd that observed the start from the shore. The start was impressive as well as hectic, tacking between imposing yachts while considering depth, tide and wind shifts. Despite the excitement we managed to sail our way to the front and arriving at the Needles – out of the Solent – we were in a very good position. Now it was time to get into the cycle of watches, distribution of tasks and work as a team to keep pushing the boat all the time. The entire leg to the Fastnet Rock – the rock in front Ireland that has to be rounded – was upwind. This led to some tough strategic decisions, which together with a difficult swell made challenging circumstances.

It took us 60 hours of upwind sailing to arrive at the Fastnet Rock in twilight. At this point we were not happy with our position: 10th in our class and 145th overall. Despite this the morals were high, the ship was still in perfect condition and we were determined to start the pursuit. The circumstances were also starting to be in our favour; the wind was increasing and came from astern! When the night fell we were surfing one wave after the other, and in the middle of the night – with loads of water over (and inside) the boat while the bow pierced the waves – we reached our top speed of over 26 knots.

After a downwind blast during which time flew by we already had the UK in sight again. It turned out we did well during the night, and considering the relatively short time left we had ‘all hands on deck’ during these last eight hours. A few hours later we arrived – tired but pleased – at the finishing line in Plymouth with a strongly improved position: 6th in our class and 19th overall.

The Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 was a fantastic experience for the team. We did a good job, but there are plenty of points that can be improved. Next stops: Offshore Worlds in 2018 and of course the Fastnet Race 2019!