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Sunny start of the season @ Cannes

Spring is almost in town... Would that be the reason that so many Belgian Finn sailors had the urgent need to get on the water? 5 Belgian participants for the "Semaine Internationale de Cannes" is a new record! We managed to have a similar delegation to our - usually well represented - Northern Dutch Finn Sailors actually! With 72 participants from 12 different nations from all over the world (even the Bahamas), it promised to be a top event!

10 years ago, I (the undersigned) also participated in the SIV de Cannes and wrote a report accordingly with a Header saying "Geen potten gebroken in Cannes". We were very curious if this year would be different, i.e. would the Belgians (Alain, Filip, Sigurd, Stijn & Paul) manage to get their names in the upper ranking...

The weather forecast was promising... a sunny 14-15 degrees Centigrade and the actual wind conditions were better than initially expected!

The first day consisted of 2 races with an average windspeed of about 10 knots. The Belgians took off with a nice head start. Paul managed to arrive in third position (!!) at the first upwind mark. He couldn't believe it himself and immediattely started panicking, thinking by himself "was this now a spreader mark or a gate!?" :-).

Filip & Sigurd ended the day in the overall ranking in 18-19th / 72 position, Stijn & Paul 29-30th / 72 position and Alain in 47th / 72 position. The "après sail" mood was euphoric! This was going to be victorious for the Belgians!

The next day however, we had to face a reality check... 3 races were sailed with an average windspeed of abt 10-15 knots. Majority of the times, the starting procedure had to be repeated 3 times and the "notorious black flag" appeared to be a necessary evil...

Sigurd kept sailing consistent, but the other Belgians were struggling a bit more...

Alain somehow collected an "UFD" which was most likely incorrect! Everybody was exhausted after spending 4 hours on the water...

On thursday, the wind conditions were a little bit less supported with an average of 6 knots, just about enough to get sailing... We only sailed 1 race after which "Le tour d'île de Sainte Marguerite" kicked off. This tour is part of the tradition of the SIV de Cannes, but doesn't count for the overall ranking of the event.

Sigurd & Stijn were "performing", Alain and Paul doing some damage control and Filip had an unlucky day due to a "BFD".

On Friday, the last racing day, the wind conditions dropped further to an average speed of abt 4-5 knots... It appeared to be a very tricky day with huge wind shifts, some spots with decreasing winds and even some spots with no wind at all with the key for success to catch the right shifts and puffs here and there...

Everybody (except for Sigurd) was struggling with these conditions...

On top, Filip's bad luck didn't stop with his BFD and unfortunately he ended up with 2 collisions...

All Belgians (except for Sigurd) dropped in the overall ranking.

What can we conclude?

(1) SIV de Cannes is a fantastic season opener to get going!

(2) Sigurd remains our most consistent sailor

(3) The potential is there for the Belgians, we just need to work on our consistency

(4) Filip is a fantastic cook!

Shall we see 7 Belgian Finn Sailors @ SIV de Cannes next year? ;-)

Paul Goossens (BEL-76)  

Beautiful sunset @ Yachtclub de Cannes

Safely arrived!

Thursday night Sailors' Dinner - Team Belgium!

Our beautiful terras overlooking the marina... Perfect place to relax and grab a coffee in the mornings whilst waiting for the sea breeze to kick in and the AP flag to go down!

BEL-2603 & BEL-18 on their way back home to Antwerp - See you next year!

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