As promised another small report . We had 17 participants from 8 countries, 2 continents:
Chris Atkins GBR
David Taylor GBR
Dirk Sledsens BEL
Douglas Sloan USA
Eric Kling NED
Frank Cleeren BEL
Jana Lemberg FIN
Joep Straus BEL
Johannes Diefenbach GER
John Borsboom NED
Jonathan Haines GBR
Karelina Buijtendorp NED
Olaf Veerman NED
Peter Taylor GBR
Vic De Smedt BEL
Zlatko Jakelic CRO
Pat Healy (USA) and Josje Hofland (NED) where the instructors of the IJ seminar and I was this time the organiser. Most of the participants were staying in the Bloso Sportshotel, a part of the Flanders sports Arena. ( See www.topsporthal.be )
The set-up of the seminar was, as last week, focused around conduct of an International Judge, procedures to be followed and decision making in protests.
On Friday night we had a guided tour in Ghent and ate a typical Flemish stew with Belgian fries (Stoverij met frieten). With this delicious food we where prompted to try the local beers and the Duvel’s, Trappists, white beers and normal beers where all thoroughly tested and approved. Johan De Vocht, IJ and Secretary General of the Belgian Yachting Association honoured us with his presence.
On Saturday we had a full schedule but in the evening we took a 30 minutes ride to Bruges and Trine (the same guide as yesterday) showed us the nice places of the inner town. Flabbergasted was the word some participants used.
The extra hour sleep/study due to change of summer- to winter-time was appreciated by most of us…;-)
On Sunday the written test was done by 16 of the 17 participants and Chris Atkins claimed he had no mistakes in part 1. That is for sure a new World Record…… We estimate that 6-7 participants passed the test. This is also a new record and well above the 30% average of the last 2 years. Chris, Johannes, Zlatko, Antonio (with his 18 years the youngest participant ever to past the test) and Joep are pretty confident they passed. Douglas, Jana and some others will be right on the edge of the 80%. Lets keep the fingers crossed for them.
I believe the instructors did a fantastic job in preparing the students and I am confident that the rate of successful participants will be higher then ever before. Big thanks once more to the great instructors Pat and Josje, they made a perfect teaching-pair, not always agreeing but always challenging the participants to there limits
Good winds and see you on the water
Bruno De Wannemaeker