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Surprising Outcome at Curacao Piscadera Race 2011

Despite the fact that Team Ibis sailing the fast Henderson 30 broke a course record during the first leg of the annual Piscadera Race, the eight-man crew failed to win Racing Class by a few seconds, the victory instead going to a surprised Sea Scouts Team aboard Chamba II. Third place in the class went to Démarrage.

This year's race was buffeted by winds gusting over 20 knots and it made for some exciting sailing. Race official Marc van Nes said that in those conditions racing would be tight and his predictions came true. As in Racing Class, just seconds separated the boats in Racing-Cruiser Class. Here, Herbert Maduro and crew steered Danielle to first place, leaving well-know boats Venus Callipyge and Melody to take second and third place respectively.

At the prize-giving Melody's skipper Winfried Merkies said the 20 knot winds were perfect for his team. Karel van Haren of Team Ibis spoke of 'snappy weather' and claimed they had benefited from favorable northeast winds during the first race and finished without a single jibe in the record time of one hour and three minutes.

"We reached a maximum speed of 15.5 knots! The fierce weather provided the hard fighting J-boats, like Chamba II, the opportunity to beat us. With our rating we need to be 18 minutes faster. That worked with a lead of 19 minutes during the first race, but in the second race we won by only 16.5 minutes and that wasn't enough," said van Haren. He added he was looking forward to the Piet Dijk Race to Klein Curaçao, to take revenge on Racing Class and overall winner Chamba II.

The annual Piscadera yacht race is organized by the Curaçao Yachting Association.

Els Kroon is a Dutch former teacher who now lives and works as an award-winning free-lance photojournalist on Curaçao.

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