The 2023 Sevenstar Contest Cup
WHAT A WEEKEND!
Well, what a weekend that was: 2-4 June and the 2023 Sevenstar Contest Cup in Medemblik, NL, hometown to the Contest Yachts shipyard! It could hardly have been better. Full sun, fresh winds and a fleet of 22 yachts and their crews revelling in the seemingly non-stop sailing and partying on the waters and shore of the famed Ijsselmeer.
Friday kick-off saw the fleet gather through the day for the event’s traditional first night’s say-hi-again bash at Medemblik’s renowned, dockside Brakeboer bar/restaurant. Then next, Saturday’s breakfast and briefing for the day’s two races in an at first light but building breeze coming in from the north with a twist of east for the upwind-downwind course. With the fleet split in two, under and over 49ft with individual starts and, by length, a short and long lap, starting was keen and the focus clearly on pace and reeling in that next contender ahead!
Entrants came from every level of sailing and racing experience which always makes for great fun, particularly with a race officer taking the sting out of protocols with friendly help and at times snippets of commentary! Good fun, in also good racing. There was also great viewing of boats across the range from classic Contest 34 and 35 right through to the latest launched models, the 49 and 50, in this event actually both sailed by owners aboard for the very first time, and each scooping good wins.
Come the evening, the celebrations for just being here all together began with drinks at the dock then a shift to the super Meijers restaurant for a fine tasing menu before heading back to the Brakeboer for a grand and very lively party with an excellent eight-piece covers band with none other that Contest warranty department’s Pieter Eggermont on percussion. For many the beat (and possibly booze) took them way into the early hours!
Beating into stronger winds for the Sunday morning start and two races, bleary eyes were back on course and chasing trophies. But not all the fleet were in Medemblik to race. As always there were recreational tours for sailors preferring to stay cruisers from 28 - 48ft, and both days saw these yachts enjoy a good tour of the local scenic spots and included a drop-in to a local jazz festival. More music to the fleet’s ears!
Meanwhile, in winds building to 20 knots, Sunday’s second race tested downwind sail handling techniques which made all the difference to who pulled through, drawing that finish line closer to the podium and the Sevenstar Contest Cup!
In Class <49ft it was: 1st Contest 35 Sereia, 2nd Contest 35 Dione, 3rd Contest 42CS Beluga
In Class >49ft it was: 1st Contest 50CS Astridr, 2nd Contest 55CS Anna Maria, 3rd Contest 49CS Corazon
Touring the dock, the chat was good and the mood that of excellent cheer! Great event, never knew my boat could be sailed like this, never expected a placing like this, just love being here, not a care about winning just about the company and the fun of it all, it’s so much fun and such a laugh, I will be back … all just comments from the fleet floating on the wind that breezed across the colourful scene.
Next year’s dates are 31 May - 2 June 2024. Get them in the diary now! It's a jubilee edition: 20th anniversary of the Contest Cup!