‘Scheveningen School’ keeps Dutch on course
SCHEVENINGEN _ A year after the London Olympics, the Netherlands is on track in an ambitious enterprise: to have a Dutch medalist in all 10 Olympic sailing classes by 2020. Its “Sailing for Gold” program puts the bar very high. But so far so good!
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Dutch won 2 silver medals and at London 2012, a gold, a silver and a bronze. In the run-up to Rio, the Netherlands’ top 3 medalists _ Marit Bouwmeester (Laser radial), Pieter-Jan Postma (Finn) and windsurfer Dorian van Rijsselberge _ all won top-3 places in competitive events so far this year. Six other Dutch athletes placed high in windsurfing and the Nacra-17 and 49er FX classes.
There are 10 Olympic classes: Laser (men); Laser radial (women); RS:X windsurfing (men & women); 49er (Men & women), 470 (men & woman), Finn (men) and Nacra-17 (mixed crew). Dutch top sailors are groomed in a “sailing academy” in the North Sea port of Scheveningen that opened in 2009. Head coach Jaap Zielhuis: “The coaches of our ‘core group’ of sailors want to see this from rising talent: speed, a winner mentality and flexibility. These are key themes. Young athletes are pushed to a higher level, physically and mentally, but also tried out on different boot types. We call it the “Scheveningen school” of competitive sail training.”
- May 21-25: Delta Lloyd Regatta, Medemblik, Netherlands
- June 30-July 7: European Championships RS:X (men & women), Brest, France
- July 22-12: World championships Nacra-17, Scheveningen, Netherlands
- July 31-Aug 11: World Championships 470 (women), La Rochelle, France
- Aug 23-31: World Championships Finn, Tallin, Estonia
- Sept 21-29: World Championship 49-er FX, Marseille, France
- Sept 28-Oct 7: World Championships Laser radial, Rizhao, China
- Nov 14-23: World Championships Laser, Al Musannah Sports City, Oman