David Van Boven >> European Championship Hoylake 2011
This news piece has not yet been translated but will be soon, thank you for your patience.
This year, the Ozone team was present at the European Championship 2011 in Hoylake, UK.
After a long trip from the North of Antwerp. Robert Smits and I arrived in Hoylake on Saturday the 3rd of September. Stretching your legs after 12 grueling hours was more than welcome!
The obvious first thing you do, is checking out the beach. Well, check was done in 1 minute! Wet, muddy and most of all : wet. Flooded with water, our training session really fell in the water. Bummer! Well, luckily, we brought the good Belgian beer. So after meeting up with some riders we could go loose on that J.
The same story was on Sunday, rain and flooded beach, well… We did the same after the arrival on Saturday…
We met up with Thierry Guibal (France) and Mark Van den Berg (Netherlands) and had a chat with a lot of laughing (maybe partially induced by the Belgian beer). Having fun is our second priority after racing.
Day 1: Very short. Walked up the beach, 500m in the mud and exhausted. No racing because of bad weather conditions and walking back 500m up and over the mud. 25 Minutes relaxing before doing anything.
Day 2: Good! Onshore hard winds (6-7-8 bf) and a dry race course really made me happy . These are my conditions. The first race went quite good and I ended up 5th place. Racing with the 3m² Yakuza GT was great!
After a pause of 2 hours we did the 2nd lap of the day. This race was even more exciting. Took the Yakuza GT 3,7m² and was fighting all the time for 3rd and 4rd place. After 30 minutes I was on place 2 and fighting to keep this one. The racetime was 60min this race and in these conditions it is crazy! I was sweating all my body because I was switching places all the time with number 3. Going downwind at 80km/h and loosening the brakes after the turn to go upwind gave me some extra momentum, so I managed to overtake the 2nd place, just before the finish line, which made me 3rd overall! Fully Awesome! Of course the walk thru the mud made it lots easier after knowing this. Thierry was also rocking it with an 7th and 10th place. All the Ozone guys made it to the top 20. Day 2: Success!
Day 3: The wind dropped a bit and we got out on the 4,5 till 6,8m² kites. We did 2 races but in the last race I got swooped out of the air which made me finish on place 18 (buuuh). First race was place 7 after catching up peeps. Mark Van den Berg did some good racing with ending up top 15 in this day. All Ozone guys still top 20. No stress… 5th overall for myself.
Day 4: Friday the last day of the Championship, It was going to happen. 2 Races to go. But low winds and rising temperatures. The First race went quite okay after a bad start but the 2nd race was a disaster! Starting with the 10m² after the wind dropped and with the start the wind came up with 10 knots! Switched to the 8.3 and after 1 lap to the 6.8 which was still a bit to big. Talking about a bad race! In this race a Scottish racer got pulled out of his buggy and the helicopter came over. Luckily the injures were minor so he could join us at the ceremony on the evening. Robert had a lot of bad luck this raceday, breaking 2 sets of lines after getting no right of way.
Well, the ceremony. This was a worthy closing ceremony after a great Championship. Fun with all the countries and laughing all the time! Some pictures are going round on the Internet but it’s NSFW
After the dinner we got the results.
David Van Boven 8th place
Thierry Guibal 14th place
Mark Van den Berg 20th place
Robert Smits 25th place
Check out the pics and get an idea of the Championship.
Thanks to Alan Vidow and Lauren Mcgavin for the use of their pictures.