MarlinSpike Rum Cup
Antwerp, Belgium, October 16, 2022. Final results after 8 races (1 discard):
- NED Floris Mortelmans & Katia Royer, 34
- BEL Thomas van Hoeylandt & Florian Le Floch, 35
- BEL Thierry Anrys & Alexandre Tinoco do Amaral, 35
- BEL Bart Bomans & Marleen Frimout, 40
- ESP Martin Bermudez de la Puente & Maria Fiestas, 46
Would you travel halfway across Europe from the South, just to sail 25-minute races on a tiny lake in Belgium with hypervariable wind? If your answer is no, you are probably of sane mind, but have never participated in the Marlin Spike Rum Cup. As nice weather, beautiful open water and stable wind are obviously no explaining variables here, there must be other reasons why 28 teams with competitors from France, UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Norway, Brazil and even Japan came together in Antwerp for this race.
In summary, it is because of near perfect organization, very competitive but sportsmanlike sailing and an overall great atmosphere. After a warm welcome and happy reunion with the international sailors accompanied by the great stories of past summer’s racing and delicious Belgian beers on Friday, lake Galgenweel showed its true colors on Saturday. Light wind and drizzly conditions were the scene of the first few races, but difficult sailing which made for interesting races. As it’s a short racecourse, the fleet stayed close, markroundings were technical and general recalls the order of the day. Gaining a lead was hardly possible and nothing was decided before the last 25m reach to the finish. In the afternoon, after a delicious soup as lunch, homemade for the sailors, skies cleared up and wind increased to moderate hiking conditions. The teams were kept on their toes by sudden gusts and instant shifts, always on the lookout for the best patches of wind. A fifth race concluded the race, winds had dropped again by the end, and the 56 sailors were welcomed ashore by hotdogs and a couple beers.
As is tradition, the onshore program was once again spot on. After winding down lakeside in the glow of the setting sun, the sailors moved to the restaurant for the non-optional crew dinner. This feat, seating everyone around a table together, sharing memories, discussing tactics and getting to know one another (even better) is what makes this race a must visit on the Belgian calendar. The night progressed, the obligatory picture of the 20 Snipe Divas present was taken, a second, third… Gin-Tonic drank, stories got a bit wilder and conversations a bit deeper. Finally, the cathedral’s clock announced last call and it was time to go home and rest for the day to come.
Sunday arrived with light winds, tricky sailing and more general recalls. The fleet was eager to start sharp, resulting in 12 UFD’s over the weekend. After lunch, the boats positioned 9th to 28th got on the water to sail the Wooden Race, the winner of which can participate in the semi-final. Sadly, the wind dropped and the lake transformed into a mirror, the Wooden race was abandoned and the finals cancelled. Positions stayed as they were after the last qualifier race and this year’s Marlin Spike knew no final race between the top four. In the end, it was those who avoided an early start that took the podium places, the three of them only separated by a single point.
And so, the weekend came to an end, for those wondering when the rum of the Marlin Spike Rum Cup would make an entrance, it was at the prizegiving ceremony, in an excellent cocktail. On the top step of the podium stood Floris Mortelmans and Katia Royer, the first all-women’s team was Charlotte Martot and Marijke Verdyck. We’re also proud of our rookie team Mathias Brands and Rik Woutters, who finished in a formidable 18th place as first-year Snipe sailors!
Special thanks go out to the organization and all volunteers, to Thierry and Cathy and of course to Marlin Spike for making this event possible!