Past weekend, the first edition of the Antwerp Sustainability Cup took place @ “Galgenweel”, an idyllic lake located just next to the river Scheldt on walking distance from the historical city center of Antwerp.
The Antwerp Sustainability Cup is the successor of the Antwerp Snipe Cup, which was a proven success formula for the past 13 years attracting many international Snipe teams (Their Hall of fame consists of ex Snipe World Champions, ex Olympians, ex Snipe Vice-European Champions etc.).
With the implementation of a new Cup, the concept also slightly changed and the Sailing Cup opened up for the Finn Class.
The Belgian Snipe Class (2-seater Dinghy) and Finn Class Belgium (1-seater ex- Olympic Dinghy) are currently the most active & popular adult sailing classes in Belgium. Together, they brought almost 50 boats to the racing area of the “Galgenweel Arena”!
The race is backed up by BE Networks, a company that provides “sustainable IT-solutions” and therefore the Cup Name is self-explanatory.
With Sailors from Poland, Germany, the Netherlands & Belgium it turned out to be a very exciting race with a high level of competition.
Under the supervision of Race Officer Tomi Neuman, the Race Committee (RYCB Race & Rescue) managed to professionally execute 5 valid races on Saturday and another 4 on Sunday.
With 9-13 knots coming from southerly direction, the Race Committee chose to put out a “Trapezoid Course” with an inner loop run for the Finn Class and an Outer loop run for the Snipe Class.
This way, they managed to keep the two very highly competitive classes well apart so they would not interfere with each other. As always, the conditions were challenging. The lake is known for its shifty and gusty conditions after all.
For the Finn Class, it was Filip Willems (70 + (!!) ex Olympian & well known sailing coach) that took the lead on Day 1 with 4 out of 5 races in top 3 positions. During Day 2 however, Belgian Champion Sigurd Vergauwe managed to get in the rhythm & went after the Cup.
Also in the Snipe Class there was a fierce competition with 26 Snipers at the start. With a southerly wind, the short upwind legs resulted in a hectic battle especially at the marks. The Team Jan Peeters - Nathalie Janssens, Belgian Champions, were dominant and sailed repetitive in the top of the fleet. They won the regatta followed by the brothers Everaert. Yannick Bongaerts and Frederico Sequeira completed the podium.
We wish to thank all participants, partners, volunteers & various Antwerp Sailing Clubs that closely worked together and made the first edition of this event happen.
We are looking forward to next years’ edition!
Guy Celis & Stijn Helsen
Pictures © Pit De Jonghe