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Twins Froukje and Diemer Feenstra aiming high for F16 Worlds

by Diana Bogaards 20 Jul 2013 10:26 BST 22-26 July 2013
Froukje and Diemer Feenstra after a training session for the 2013 F16 Worlds © Team Boskalis

Team Boskalis with the twins Froukje and Diemer Feenstra (NED) will be aiming for a top ranking at the World Championships F16 in Travemünde, Germany. This global showdown in the smaller sister of the popular F18 catamaran, commences next Monday July 22. To date there are 33 pre-entries, representing 9 countries.

'We expect this number to rise', comments Froukje Feenstra. 'I think it's difficult to name a favourite at this stage, but I know there are strong Belgian and French teams present. In addition, it is cool that a South African duo will participate, we don't see that often in Europe. We are very curious how they are going to perform.'

About their objective for the 2013 F16 Worlds says Froukje Feenstra: 'We want to use all the knowledge and experience, gained in the preparatory training and racing period of this season, for a very good result. One that we can be proud of. We find it tricky to name a final outcome though. That depends on the weather and last-minute registrations of competitors, but we are convinced that apart from these conditions we will compete for the top positions."

'One of our learning points of the preseason is that it is key to keep up the speed of a F16. Furthermore, it remains important to always count on your own strengths and to do as few crazy things or making mistakes as possible. Unlike the Formula 18, that I sailed last year, big speed differences do easily develop. Also between the different boat types.'

'Therefore we're trying to optimize our speed to get the best out of the boat. Together with Peter Vink of Performance Sails we have tuned the Nacra 16, with a carbon mast and new sail. Obviously we have to search for the right settings now, but we have confidence in being fast now."

It is also summer in Germany and that means little breeze. However, brother and sister Feenstra are happy with this weather: 'For us, it's perfectly fine to train in light conditions, because we expect to have the most trouble in these circumstances. Compared to the other teams, we are a lot heavier. When the wind blows, I know that Diemer and I can go fast on the F16. In light wind we must be more careful. We should avoid doing crazy things, we need sharpness and we should try to compensate our extra weight by being strong in the tactical and strategic area.'

Last year, the Feenstra twins joined forces on the F18 at the Nacra European Championships on the Bodensee. With a bronze medal as a result. The follow-up comes next week. 'In recent times, Diemer has rowed a lot and he has been ill for a period, which makes it very special to be back on a boat with him and to compete in the Worlds. Some years ago, I had never thought that we would be able to do this again. Now he is very fit and we are practicing and preparing for the races.' According to sister Feenstra it is a benefit that they are twins: 'Because we really grew up together and raced against each other as competitors, we do know each other's qualities and we try to strengthen those as a team.'

The final race will be sailed on Friday July 26 2013.

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