The 4th annual Dutch Coast Race World Series 2016 was held September 30th to October 2nd in Castricum aan Zee, the Netherlands. It’s a 19km race along the Dutch Coast and this year attracted more than 100 participants from 18 countries. St.Maarten was also represented by Stuart Knaggs, sponsored by Budget Marine, who participated in the masters2 category.
The kick off started on Friday with different clinics given by some well-known heavy weights in the sport. The first clinic was given at the clubhouse of the event by Oscar Chalupsky, a 12 time World Surfski Champion from South Africa. In the afternoon it was possible to get out on the water together with Jasper Mocke, also from South Africa, with World Surfski Series 2014 champion and World K2 marathon champion 2014 as some of his paddling achievements.The sea was a challenge with rather difficult shore breakers making it heavy for the group but of course the skills of Jasper helped them out and all paddlers (swimmers) learned a lot, and no not how to swim.
Saturday it was race day! In the morning the weather forecast looked perfect, no changing to headwind anymore but the whole day South wind direction, meaning straight from behind and blowing harder in the afternoon. Reaching the beach the North Sea was almost flat with wind from the East and blowing softly, not what was expected, but as the race was about to start the wind picked up and small white caps were in sight, giving the paddlers the downwind which belongs to this sport.
As the race was about to start the paddlers lined up and at 12 sharp the horn and they were off.
The beach breakers made it a bit difficult for some to get out but even the last paddler got out and headed direction Hargen. Half way through the race the wind got stronger with a proper downwind. The currents were in opposite direction which brought the waves up a bit but also made the race a lot heavier for the paddlers at the back of the field.
Stuart Knaggs came in an impressive 3rd of 21 in the Masters2 category with Oscar Chalupsky coming in first and Rick Damar coming in second. This year the Dutch Coast Race World Series 2016 was combined with the Dutch National Surfski Race, won for the first time by a lady, Angie Mouden.
Left to right: Stuart Knaggs, Rick Damar, Oscar Chalupsky
Sunday, the weather was still looking good, the sun is shining, the wind has turned to North West and that brings us bigger waves, perfect for the sprint races.
For full results visit: https://results.cloudtimer.nl/dutch-coast-race.html
You can also enjoy a taste of the activities with this movie: https://vimeo.com/185554002