New this year in the Delta Lloyd Regatta will be the participation of the paralympic Sonar class. The Organising Committee of the Delta Lloyd Regatta has decided to let the Sonar class participate in this year’s Regatta. One of the main reasons is that it wants to standardize the ISAF World Cup events.
After announcing that the event will be open for the 2.4 mR classes, this is the second major announcement of the Organising Committee, concerning the Paralympic classes, in a short period of time.
According to the Sonar Class Associaton the Sonar combines more than any other one-design keelboat performance and competition with comfort and safety. It is well suited for paralympic sailing because of its large cockpit making adaptations easy. It is a 23-foot design and when being sailed by disabled it is crewed by 3 and sailed without a spinnaker. It is a boat of which it is stated that it is a brisk performer in light winds, while ample ballast and a stable hull form make her easy to manage, even in heavy breezes. It has a ISAF Recognized status since 2000 and a well-managed class organization that assures it value for the years to come.
Bruce Kirby was the designer of the boat which was the Paralympic keelboat since 1996. The Dutch Udo Hessels, Marcel van der Veen and Mischa Rossen are the current World Champions for the IFDS (International Federation for Disabled Sailing) in the Paralympic Sonar-class. They are strongly focussed and have to ambition to win a medal on the Paralympics in London 2012 and are part of the Dutch Delta Lloyd squat. In 2004 they already won the silver medal in Athens.
Klaartje Zuiderbaan coach of the Dutch Delta Lloyd Paralympic Sonar team admits to be very delighted with the Sonar class finally participating in the Delta Lloyd Regatta. She explains: “We regret that we couldn’t participate in last year’s Delta Lloyd Regatta, as it would be obvious, since the World Championships also was staged in Medemblik. But as a famous Dutch expression goes: Better late, than never. It is positive for the sport to have the possibility to participate in the Delta Lloyd Regatta, since it is a leading sport event in the world of sailing”.