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vanUden-TUDelft-VanOord sailing team wins Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy

The vanUden-TU Delft-VanOord student sailing team captured the Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy last Saturday during the ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta. The ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta began on Tuesday 29 April 2008 with the traditional Vuurschepen Race for IRC and ORC club class boats. This offshore race (110 nautical miles) goes from Scheveningen in the Netherlands to Harwich in Great Britain. After a day off, the starting shot sounded on 2 May for the 185-mile North Sea Race back to Scheveningen. The inshore races along the coast of Scheveningen took place from Friday 9 to Monday 12 May 2008. Competing were open class boats, catamarans, Olympic and One-Design boats, classic sailing yachts and classic boats.

At an average age of 22.87 and with two strong offshores under their belt, the vanUden-TU Delft-VanOord student team had a good chance of winning the Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy in their Mumm30. The trophy goes to the youngest team (based on average age) and the best offshore results. “We view these races as training for the Tour de France à la Voile offshores,” said skipper Suzanne Leinders. The races have given her enormous confidence in her revamped team. “We left everyone behind on the way from Scheveningen to Harwich,” Suzanne related. The team ended up winning the IRC-1 class in the Vuurschepen Race. Their boat’s short hull was a disadvantage on the return race, however. “The big boats were sailing at a hull speed of about seven knots, but we couldn’t manage more than 5.5,” said Suzanne. Nevertheless, she is very happy with her crew’s performance. “Despite the mess at the start, we got away just fine. We were able to stay focused by encouraging one another.” They ended up in fourth place in their class. The other student teams took much longer to complete the race. The Euros team from Enschede took 1 day and 17 hours, while the Histos team from Utrecht crossed in 1 day and 22 hours.

On Saturday evening, 10 May 2008, the team did indeed receive the Hans Horrevoets Memorial Trophy. In a memorable awards ceremony, Hans’ eldest daughter Bobby kissed the splendid cup before handing it to skipper Suzanne Leinders. “This trophy is something very special indeed,” said Suzanne after the ceremony. “It represents Hans’s ideals.” “A number of fellows who competed in the first Delft Challenge were coached by Hans,” added one of her team mates. “And we were trained by them in turn. That knowledge transfer is very important.” The vanUden-TUDelft-VanOord student sailing team will take part in the Tour de France à la Voile in July. On 18 May it was precisely two years ago that Hans Horrevoets died during the Volvo Ocean Race.

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