IOCA UK Event Support OptiSpring 2024
IOCA are organising Event Support for the International OptiSpring Reggata, from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th April 2024. This will include two days training on the Thursday and Friday, then coach support during the racing on the Saturday and Sunday.
The regatta is organised by the Belgian Optimist Class Association but is based at the Marina Port Zéaland in The Netherlands. It is a popular event with Belgian, Dutch and British sailors who often combine it with the Easter Regatta on the Braassememeer the weekend before. Sailing is on the Grevelingenmeer, the largest saltwater water body in Europe. Compared to the Braassememeer, it is more exposed, with only a dyke and beach between it and the North Sea. In recent years, racing has been in flights, with around 75 boats on a start line and an aim of completing 7 races over the weekend. The Belgian's use the event as their Selection Trials for international teams so the standard of competition at the front of the fleet is high. Taken together, the event is probably less suitable than Braass for the less experienced sailor.
Getting there from the UK is straightforward, with distances and times from Continental Ferry Ports to the Marina Port Zéaland as follows:
- Hull - Rotterdam, 43km, 40mins
- Hawich - Hoek of Holland, 76km, 1 hr
- North Sheilds - Amsterdam, 130km, 1hr 30mins
- Dover - Calais, 245km, 3hrs
There is a better choice of local accomodation than around Braassememeer. In the Marina there is a campervan park, with electric hook-ups and good facilities and nearby a CentreParcs holiday park. While in the local area there is a wide choice of camp sites, chalets and holiday rentals.
If you are interested, there is a short video and the notice of race and results of the 2023 OptiSpring Regatta can be found here. Among the British sailors competing in that event, Dirk Rogers came 7th and Jonny Rogers 20th overall and 1st in the Benjamin Class of younger sailors.