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In 1995 I won for the first time the opening races of the season in the Flying Dutchman: the Easter Egg Regatta. We won again in 1998 (when we would become World Champion later in the season) and in 1999. This year we were only 4th but it was way more special: I sailed with my 17 year old son in the Star Class! Not even born when I first cruised the lakes of Loosdrecht.

We managed to win 2 out of 7 races. One with little wind and one with gusts of 7 beaufort. Pretty amazing since he has hardly sailed in his life (we took him once in his maxi cosi over Lago di Como when he was 1.5 years old, but he says he can’t remember). His boat handling was amazingly good although we hadn’t trained a single day. Especially gybing is hard in this type of boat: a small mistake with the backstays (his responsibility!) and you will lose your mast (as I’ve done several times). It was a lot of fun to do this together and experience how physically fit he is. I could benefit from some working out. At the end of the days we were knackered but happy and satisfied. His statement: ‘Dad it must be fantastic to sail with me since I do exactly what you are telling me,’ proved to be true.

It’s a pity that the upcoming international races are all during school time…

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