A podium finish for Team Delft Challenge

Team Delft Challenge won third overall in this year Sailing Arabia The Tour (SATT) besting their fourth place finish from last year.

With lofty goals in sight, Team Delft Challenge (TDC) set sail two weeks ago from Bahrain where the Sailing Arabia The Tour begins. Their goal was to improve over last year’s performance. “This year we had experience from last year’s tour, so we used this in our preparations towards the tour and combined this with a lot of hard work by every single team member,” explained the chairman of the team Dominique Smit. 

The tour has inshore and offshore races. The offshore races are grueling and extremely long. The first offshore leg was 100 nautical miles from Barhein to Doha, Qatar and took the team twelve hours to complete.  The team finished third and set themselves up well from there. With a third and four finish achieved in the following two inshore races in Qatar, the team was getting warmed up and still sitting well in the standings. 

The second off shore to Abu Dhabi had super conditions and the team finished first, but was later disqualified. “We were disqualified due to a port/starboard incident,” says Smit. This leg was so long that the team didn’t arrive in Abu Dhabi until 8:35 the next morning. The incident occurred during the race with team EFG Bank who later won their protests to have TDC disqualified. TDC did not give up, but came back to win the next two inshore races.   

After a day off of fun on Valentine’s Day, the third leg from Abu Dhabi was seventy nautical miles and was raced in full sun. TDC came into port to find many Dutch fans watching. They finished in fourth place and were very tired. In the following races TDC climbed the rankings with a third in the offshore to Ras Al Khamah, two second places in short inshores and in the final inshore toped the leader board. 

Coming to the last two legs, TDC posted a fourth place in leg five. Leg six to Mussannah was split into two races because of low wind. The first leg had confusion over the finish and in a dramatic ending all the teams but one were disqualified for finishing on the wrong side, but was later changed to a time limit exceeded since the teams didn’t actually finish the race. TDC finished third again in the second part of leg six. 

The final forty nautical miles to Muscat proved to be the best leg for TDC. They finished first and achieved their goal of third overall. TDC is now on their way back to Delft with a podium finish. The best part for Smit? “Having another, but this time official, leg win.”

Redacteur Redactie

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