Success for smallest crew in fleet

18 August 2010

Success for smallest crew in fleet
Riyal, the smallest vessel in the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta with the smallest crew of just four people, is celebrating success as they are provisionally placed second overall as well as in Class C. 

The four crew members of Rob Vooren, Jannes Albrink, Bert Albrink and Cees Pepping (pictured left to right) are all from the region of Alkmaar in the Netherlands and didn't really think they stood a chance of doing well in the race as the two youngsters had never sailed before. 

Skipper Bert decided he wanted to take part in the race so they could also be included in the Sail in to Amsterdam so he talked his son Jannes into joining him who in turn got friend Cees to come along. Neither had sailed before and were not sure how they would cope with the sailing but luckily for them Bert had also asked his good friend and experienced sailor Rob to come along too. 

"To begin with I didn't feel very well so wasn't sure how useful I was,"said Jannes, "but gradually I started to feel better and got to understand what to do." At one point Rob says he was the only one able to go below deck to cook, navigate and operate the radio because it was so choppy. 

"There were some great moments and some quite tough moments but had a very good skipper and mate who knew what they were doing," said Cees, "and of course they had some very quick learning trainees," he quipped. 

Riyal is just 10.93m long and has never taken part in a Tall Ships Race before but despite their inexperience and size, they managed to sail more miles than most of the fleet. Towards the end of the race they sustained some damage to their main sail which meant they had to complete the course with just the genoa. 

The final results will be published later today with the prize giving taking place in Amsterdam on Friday at 1630hrs local time. 



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