12:42 Sunday 5 Aug 2018 Sue Pelling/LCWFamily fortunes Tontin Pups celebrate Family Day

The Borghijs family from Belgium enjoying a family moment aboard Tontin Pups this morning photo Tom Gruitt/LCW

Family Day at Lendy Cowes Week presents the perfect opportunity for families to get together and celebrate the day both on and off the water. A large number of crews at the regatta are made up of family groups, with sometimes as many as six family members onboard the same boat.

The Borghijs family from Nieuwpoort, Belgium, racing their Archambault 35, Tontin Pups, with six family members onboard are competing at the regatta for the fourth time.

Today we caught up with Team Borghijs (Kwinten, Lotte, Sander, Hannelien, Luka, Leen, and Wouter) on their way out to the start of IRC 4 and had the opportunity to witness the young team at work and chat about the racing.

As well as racing on the family yacht, Leen and Wouter (mum and dad), support their young family in their international Optimist racing campaigns and, seeing them onboard today, it was clear how the youngsters’ valuable dinghy racing experience pays dividends.

Leen said: “As well as the Optimist sailing, our children and Luka – our close family friend, who is just like another daughter to us – have been together on this boat all their lives. They are technically a very good crew, very strong, and stronger than a lot of adults but they don’t have the power.

“To make up for the lack of physical strength, they have to be smart in their manoeuvres and be fully prepared. For example, they really know they cannot hoist the kite if it is sheeted in. They just don’t have the strength. They work well as a team and keep an eye on what each other are doing. They are remarkable on all the little things and overall it works well.”

The children, ranging in age from nine to 14, say they are looking forward to competing on Family Day and keen to do slightly better than yesterday’s 12th place in class.

Kwinten Borghijs (14) who is on the helm this week wanted to send a message to other young sailors: “Come to Lendy Cowes Week however you can. Even if you don’t have a family boat, there are plenty of opportunities to find a boat to crew on. It is different from dinghy sailing, of course, but the skills can be transferred onto big boat sailing, which makes it great fun.”

Chatting about the team’s aim of the day on Family Day, Kwinten Borghijs added: “The target today is to have a good start and try to improve on our 12th place yesterday, when we ended up struggling in no wind. We were heading for West Lepe not far from the mark but it took us an hour and a half to reach the mark. I want to improve on my start because it wasn’t the best and in these tricky conditions, being in the right place on the start line is essential.”



Earlier News Stories

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