Round Texel 2009

15.6.2009 Fantastic Achievement at Round Texel 2009!

Vladislav Ptašnik

It takes couple of days for tiredness of demanding racing and long travel home to fade away. Very pleasant feeling of success overtrumps the tiredness. F20 Predator CZE 0087 Hajek/Krizek 7th to cross the finish line in the world biggest catamaran race! Only six Marstroms M20 crossed the finish before them. How it all happened? More than 550 catamarans gathered at Netherland island Texel as every summer during last 32 years to compete in 60 miles long race Round Texel 2009.

Among them 3 catamarans from the Czech Republic. Two Predators CZE 007 Vladislav and Tadeas Ptasnik’s (Compotech team) and CZE 008 of David Krizek and Milan Hajek (Rodop team) and Tornado with Martin Sedivec and Miroslav Chodora ( team). It was probably for the first time in 32 years old Texel race history to have there Czech crews. All three cats took also part in the Dutch Open Championship during week.

Its course was situated just in front of Paal 17 beach so that spectators were in close contact. The  world top competitors were present, many F18 world champions and Tornado Olympic winners. Predator Krizek/Hajek ended up on excellent 10th position under heavy competition after 8 races in three days out from 92 boats. Czech Tornado Sedivec/Chodora placed themselves on 49th position. Bad luck with torn gennaker stopped them to finish one race. Other Predator Ptasnik/Ptasnik ended up on 53rd position. Father Ptasnik lost his son for a while during wild gennaker run when son’s trapeze broke and father had to return for him. They had bad luck during last day where they broke tiller transversal tube during getting over the beach surf which did not enable them to take part in the last two races. Anyway there are still a lot of room to improve for all three boats.

Saturday 13.6.2009. Long expected day started early. Briefing at Paal 17 beach at 8 morning, start announced for 10 o’clock. As it sometime happens there was no wind in the morning however strong swell from previous windy day 4-5 Bft created quite strong beach surf. As the first to overcome surf set up  Xander Pols a Tjiddo Veenstra on their M20 who won the line honours in 2007 and 2008. Their first and second attemt failed. Even the third one with gennaker from the very beach was without succes and waves return them uncompromisingly back to the beach. Oh God, if such champions have problems what can we expect to happen to us poor novices?

Gradually more and more boats are getting through the surf. Three Czech crews finish their cats preparation on the beach and jump into waves. Very light wind appear directly from the sea but at least it could help a bit to get through. Many crews are hesitating and decide not to risk damage in the surf and give up. First capsized boats around us. Predator Krizek/Hajek gets through the surf by means of paddles as first from Czech boats soon followed by Tornado Sedivec/Chodora. Ptasnik’s Predator is being repeteadly returned by the surf back as long as one strong wave damages their rudder suspension. After quick and a bit nervous repair under time pressure they try for the last time a get through too just couple of minutes before starting signal.

One and a half kilometer long starting line. If there is a lot of catamarans in a regatta somewhere on a lake in the Czech Republic it means about 10 catamarans. There are more than 500 hundreds! Very light wind and strong current causing many boats to be over starting line. Starting commettee moves starting line shortly before signal and here it is – final loud long horn from starting boat and red smoke from huge helicopter above our heads.

32nd Round Texel started. Although some wind build up later it was one of the slowest races in its history. The race development from David Krizek point of view:” Tornado Martin Sedivec/Chodora had a very good start. They managed to get soon at clear wind. Predator Ptasnik/Ptasnik started from starting boat line end. Krizek/Hajek started at upper third of starting line, about one kilometer from beach. Wind was very light and prevailed at the beach. Krizek/Hajek managed soon to follow stronger wind along the beach and crossed the first gate at lighthouse on 12th position. They spent some time on 4th position after passing north end of the island. Such a position was very hard to maintain due to slower boat and less experience  in this demanding area where you face a lot of shallow water, moving sandbanks and strong current. This ended up in 10th position as far as to the south corner of the island. Wind got stronger there and gennakers went up. Strong current in the narrow strait pushed waves up to 1.5 m high. Predator Krizek/Hajek gradually work out to 7th position there and they kept it as far as to the finish line. Tornado Sedivec/Chodora came through finish line on 55th position and Predator Ptasnik/Ptasnik ended up at 78th position. First in finish was Sunnucks/Farren (Team VOLVO) on their extra wide Marstrom M20.

Just Marstrom M20 catamarans were faster than best F20 Predator. There were six of them before Czech Predator. We can say that Predator was the second fastest boat in finish line in Texel 2009! It left behind such boats like Exploder 20, Eagle Carbon 20, Tornado, Nacra 20, all F18 and others! This is a fantastic achievement for the first try!

Video Pics

Results: Texel 2009 Overall Gold and Silver Fleet

Texel 2009 Open Dutch Championship