2016 ONK (by Nicholas Heiner)

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    The Dutch Finn Nationals by the Rookie.

    For sure my upbringing in sailing was a bit biased towards the Finn with my old man sailing it during two Olympic cycles. No surprise I loved to watch the Finn’s race on the International circuit. Not only for the boat itself but also mainly for the brute physical power you can put into the boat, and really push the boat to it’s maximum performance instead of pushing as hard as you estimate that the jury will allow you to.

    With a few bits of training here and there I signed up for the Dutch Nationals Championships held over three days in Medemblik. A great fleet of 57 boats out of four countries signed up. The only one unfortunately missing was our Finn pride Pieter-Jan Postma. We will give him a rain check…
    It turned out to be an event with some good battles for the overall championship.
    And with some competition within the competition it was all on. I mean you can’t loose from your farther right? And pretty sure it was visa versa.

    The first day starting with a offshore breeze from about 10 – 16knots. For sure upwind I still had a bit on speed wise but managed to play the shifts well and with the laser technique still in place I managed to always pull away on the downwinds.
    A great start with three bullets, must be beginners luck right?!
    Only it turned out that the other races it wasn’t much different. Crossing the seven races I did in first. But the rookie in me got the best of me on day two and I managed to get two BFD’s, title gone but luckily still in front of my dad Roy Heiner. Never the less what an amazing weekend it was with the highlight on Sunday. Champagne sailing with great waves and a 12-15kn wind, it was all go for the tittle between five guys.
    After a great battle Hein van Egmond managed to pull his first Dutch Title towards him over young Swedish Johannes Pettersson. With our well known Dutch master Karel van Hellemond in third.

    All I can say is what a great experience on my first Finn event. And yes a few questions have been answered for me: The Finn is a real man’s boat, it will put a smile on your face and you will come back for more, the pump flag doesn’t mean the jury can resist themselves from waiving there yellow flag, Finn sailors especially the master have the best stories after a day of racing, never get 10th because you will get the righters prize.

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