Last weekend ‘De Weerelt van Sport’ in Utrecht, where the Royal Dutch Watersport Association is headquartered, was occupied by enthusiastic (aspiring) equipment controllers. For the rookies it was the last practical day before they start gaining experience in the field. The already certified equipment controllers were brought up to date by, among others, international measurer Jurgen Cluytmans of World Sailing.
The enthusiasm didn’t surprise Bart van Breemen, head of education at the Royal Dutch Watersport Association. ‘The water sports enthusiasts who sign up for this task have a big heart for our sport. Equipment controllers, who check hardware such as boats and sails at races, have an important task when it comes to ensuring fair competition.‘
Directed by Cluytmans and fellow trainers Tanja Heijink and JJ Korpershoek, the total of 17 novice and qualified equipment controllers experienced two instructive days in Utrecht. A number of them will certainly also be in action next August during the 2023 Allianz Sailing World Championships in The Hague.
‘It’s great that the Allianz Sailing World Championships in our own country next year will give such a boost to the number of controllers of sailing in the Netherlands,’ said Peter Burggraaff, board member Competition at the Royal Dutch Watersport Association. ‘They are indispensable for a thriving competitive sport of sailing. It is not always easy to find enough volunteers who can perform this job at this level. Thanks to the clinic together with World Sailing we now again have a broader pool of certified controllers from which not only the World Championships in The Hague, but also the Dutch competition benefits.’
There was also sheer praise among the participants for the initiative. ‘The meetings in Utrecht and earlier in Loosdrecht were very and useful and effective. The atmosphere was great, with knowledgeable and experienced instructors, who are pleasant to deal with,’ says novice equipment controller Hessel Hoekstra.
Even qualified equipment controller Daniël Folkertsma, living in Zuidbroek (Groningen), would not have liked to miss it. He is already looking forward to the World Championships in The Hague. ‘Whether we go that way by caravan or boat, my girlfriend and I will make sure we are around during the World Cup to help with this wonderful event. I would urge anyone who can do a job to help out.‘