The last national Blokart event for this year is in the books. The last Dutch Open was organized in 2009, followed by a 2 year hiatus with the 2010 Worlds in Belgium and 2011 Europeans in the Netherlands.
Lieven and I arrived in Ijmuiden on Saturday morning , greeted some of the other pilots, built up our karts and took the long walk down to the beach. We did some practicing, followed by a traditional Dutch briefing (i.e. confusing). When the races started, the wind had dropped to a 7 knot average. Since all performance pilots were racing in the same division, it quickly became clear that I would have a large disadvantage since I weigh a lot more than most other pilots. This showed in the races: Lieven, Olaf Buhl and Geert Steen were contesting at the front; Etienne Kodeck and I were battling for fourth place.
Once the races were over, we checked in at the hotel and cleaned up before heading to the pilots’ dinner, which started at 18h00 sharp
Sunday morning, it was clear that the wind had dropped some more; the average was 5-6 knots. While my disadvantage would normally increase, I tend to outrun more people in very light wind compared to light wind. I managed to keep my kart going where other pilots were simply giving up. This allowed me to get a more solid grab on my fourth place. The podium consisted of Olaf in first, Lieven in second and Geert in third.
The races and the event were run amazingly well! Race director Richard Chardet had a team of about 8 volunteers and it paid off, as we did manage to complete 8 heats each in very light conditions. Big congratulations to Blokart Club Nederland for this!
On Sunday, fellow sailor Henk informed us that he has a very serious illness and that he will not recover from it. Our thoughts are with him, his family and his friends.