Round Texel is the biggest catamaran race in the world with an annual average of 600 participants.
The Ronde om Texel (Round Texel) is a regatta for catamarans around the island of Texel in The Netherlands. Round Texel was first organized in 1978. In that year Sigi Lach (from Germany) won in a Hobie 14 in a field of 84 participants. Since then the race grown into the biggest catamaran race in the world with an annual average of 600 cats participating. The race has its start and finish near Paal 17 on the North Sea and is approximately 100 kilometers long. It is organized once a year on a Saturday in June. The race starts an hour before high tide to ensure that there is enough water to pass the high mud flats northeast of the island. This tidal prerequisite determines the date that is chosen each year for the event.
Strong tidal currents and variable winds around the island make Round Texel a highly tactical race that has been won alternately by professional sportsmen and skilled outsiders. Notable winners have been Reginald White, the first multihull Olympic champion, who won Round Texel in 1994 at the age of 59. In 2003 the trophy went to Darren Bundock, world champion in several multihull classes in 2003, 2004 and 2005. The 30th anniversary race on June 23, 2007 was won by Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby from Australia in a F18 Hobie Tiger. Line honours were won in 2007 and 2008 by Xander Pols and Tjiddo Veenstra. In 2009 they took a second place in the line honours ranking.
The female helm Carolijn Brouwer and her crew Wouter Samama made history after finishing on the 10th of June 2012 in 3hours, 10 mins and 35 seconds placing first overall and becoming the first female helmsman to win. Brouwer: 'We were already gone at the starting gun. Wouter checked the line well and said I just had to go. He told me not to look over the shoulders, but I did it secretly. That was an enjoyment."'In the gusts we got some height in order to stay out of the surf. Only after fifteen minutes, Xander Pols past us. We really haven't seen any other F18's around us. It was quite exciting at the VC-buoy, because we were double trapezing and sometimes you hit the ground there, so we put on the brakes a bit. However, later on at Oudeschild we really got stuck." When asked how this success feels, Brouwer says: 'This is amazing. We went for it, but this is better than expected. Finally a normal Round Texel Race, because last year we were already hit and broken before the start.'
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