It has been a long time coming, but in the end the return to the Open 60 sailing was ineviably. Says Wouter: “Racing the Open 60s again after a few years of sailing everything from a 40 foot Kerr to a 40 meter J-Class, the simplicity and agility of the Open 60 blew me away. Sailing these racing machines offshore is amazing, and really brings you back to all the basics. I loved doing everything from helming and calling the shots at the back of the boat to getting drenched on the bow doing sail changes. It is all about sailing, sailing, sailing.”
The Round Ireland Race is a bi-annual race that goes clockwise around Ireland, leaving all it’s islands and rocks to starboard. “ The unusual light winds were very challenging, but on the upside, they provided a unique opportunity to see this very rugged and exceptionally beautiful part of the world. Offshore racing is unique in combining the intense racing with teamwork, companionship and a journey.”
Behind the Open 60 challenge for this race were Enda O’Coineen, who was also initiated the Green Dragon Volvo 70 Campaign, as well as the local sailing family of Alan and Eamon Crosby. “The team was fantastic. As I flew in on short notice from sailing Kiel, Germany, they picked me up at the airport, and immediately took me up in their team. The hospitality of the Irish sailing scene reminded me of the exceptional welcome we got in Galway with the Volvo Ocean Race in 2008, and the attention to detail and competitive spirit was second to none. I am looking forward to new ventures with the team in the future.”
Wouter back in an Open 60, but with an Irish twist...