Sep 30, 2012

Young Americas Cup: Flying Dutchies

With that team name and seeing the actual members, there was not much to add to the title. If the French teams already had some talent and now they even have joined both groups,  these Dutch youths have some pedigree on the big leagues. Among other titles Thijs Visser is F18 World Champ and Charlie Begemann was crowned Vice F18 Champ at LA weeks ago. Combined with some teen talents like Jolbert van Dijk plus the rest of the team, that include some 49er sailors I think they are forming a nice diversified group.

We met in LA for the F18 Worlds and we made a recorded interview. They seem very focused, beyond their sailing abilities they gathered a very professional scheduled plan. People like Darren Bundock, Carolijn Brouwer and Pim Nieuwenhuis are giving them some key support too.
They will be on the Youth finals.... in some years we might see them on the LV too.
Flying Dutchies Team Members
- Thijs Visser
- Karel Begemann
- Remy Oomens
- Bart de Haan
- Marcel Ceelen
- Pieter Van Notten
- Franck de Waard
- Jolbert van Dijk
- Olivier Witeeven
Interview made at Long Beach--
CSN: How did you guys got together, how the project started?

FDTeam: Charlie was in Venice when they announced the Youth AC, and when he came back he talked with Thijs about the project and what we could do about it.

- But of course you always had the limitation on the age to form theteam
Yes , we needed to fit on the box age, and we also wanted the most weight we could have.

- How many crews will be racing the AC45? If still the boat to be raced...
Six, now they have five and the guest, we will not have it. The total weight is like 400kg for the six crews. On the alternative to the AC45 some rumours only, nothing confirmed yet.

- Are you targeting that max weight limit?
We would like to be at the end 5 kilos above max.

- What do you think about the venue, you are going to have a lot of wind, plus managing the Wing and the added power, beyond the F18 experience you guys may have ,,,
Is going to be fun and an 'interesting' place and conditions to sail, the Wing is easier to trim than a soft sail..

-But more powerful...
That is why we are training on the X40, to get used to bigger cats . We have an X40 available at home.
Right now we have a team of ten people that will start the project.

- I've read on the brief that Darren, Carolijn & Pim are part of your AC Youth project. Tell me about their involvement.
They are gonna help us with promotion and counseling, also Pim will be training us. We've talked a bit with Darren, and he said to us we don´t have to be scared at all...!  For ie he said that Coutts was terrified in begging and now he is pretty good at multihull handling the ac45s.

- I agree, and I think Spithill has done a perfect adaptation to multis putting lots of F18 & A-Class hours with Glenn, to me Spithill is now an accomplished Catsailor on how he goes for it with total confidence.
And how about you guys? Many of you already top class multi sailors You are going to push the boat?
Of Course! (laughs..)  But you normally in a regatta you win by not taking the biggest risks, unnecessary risks. We are going to push it, we have a phrase in Holland that goes "If you hesitate you are going to capsize" ..

- Well Darren says if you don´t have a bfd on a regatta you are not pushing that hard too...
That is cause he had like 5! at that event..! laughs....

- How about the budget for the project?
This is an ideal budget we have projected. We have to put like 60.000usd to sign in and as deposit just to start.
- But you are not going to get back that deposit right?
No, Darren told us that just a minor part or a rudder cost about that, so they are gone for sure. But we also paying an insurance with our entry.
Also Carolijn is going to help us, as an ambassador to get sponsors, as we are not known as she is, so they can help us in that area too (Darren, Carolijn , Pim)

- You have 29er girl as part of your team, is she gonna helm?
We don´t know yet, we want to go in this project really open minded and let experts like Pim, that is going to help us with our training,  decide. The most important thing is that we will train as a team, and we will assign the best person to each position.

- That is a good way to work, for instance having Coutts, Bundy, Spithill , there is no need to have Russell helming, he could be as tactician...
But he is no strong enough , and also in Venice after race one he was ventilating and tired ...

- Yes, he didn´t look good that day and O5 did awfull I must say.
But the entire 45 crews is doing lots of work, I think even more than the F18s
Much more, and you need to be much stronger

- I published an image of Pim Nieuwenhuis in his interview jumping the 45 central structure.. lots of motion and hoard work going onboard...
Yes, we noticed that and when returning to holland we will start to work on physical training together, and then everyone will do their own work additionally.
We want to have a very professional driven project, we have defined several stages , and the first stage is to put the team together, we also made a business plan for the entire project budget.
We have a clear path on what we want to do, we are paying and closing details on the entry these days too.
And then we start to train for the qualifications as we are going as an independent entry

- So you will probably race against Argentina, Australia and you say maybe some english team right for the qualis, as the French and US teams are already in.
We have some teams from England, may be New Zealand but they will have a spot on ETNZ.

- When you are going to have the qualification?
First two weeks of feb 2013.

- You need to get support for this stage right?
We want to gather some support to fully get involved in training, to have a good program and the coaches working with us.

To Jolbert van Dijk (19): How old are you? Are you helming F18 here in LA?
Jolbert: I'm 19, the youngest of the team , and yes I'm helming here at LA Worlds. I've been sailing catamarans for half a year now.
Before I was sailing Laser radial and 49er,I also went to Mar del Plata Sailing Week in Argentina.

- Did you experience the famous Capizzano images published on the optis there?
Jolbert: I love it, the big waves , really nice place to sail. I finished 3rd
Team memb: He doesn´t   want to talk about it but he was is really good!

- We are going to have our next qualifiers for Italy F18 Worlds in Mar del Plata. And we are also trying to get the Worlds to Argentina, it could be a possibility to host them in the sea, but the reality the guys want to organize it in our open river, that is quite tricky with short chop... for  you guys to have some hard time...
Laughs all over the place...

- So getting back to the AC45,  are you planning or aiming for bigger things in the future?
FDT: We have talked a lot about this, but first we want to get this project going . I  Holland right now multihull & skiff sailors are getting together, and that is really important as we are all learning from each other,  so together we are taking this as a first major step to our future sailing career .

Their motto is "There is no second place", and for this specific event they have a good chance to fulfill it.

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