De Pompen of Verzuipen Prijs voor doorzetter Gunes Soyer

Gunes: I rst started sailing when I was eight at Vlietland; I rented a boat and had lessons. My dad loves sailing and keeps a boat at Vlietland, that's why I decided to sail. I like Vlietland because everyone there is very friendly, and there are lots of interesting animals living on and around the Vliet. It's the perfect place to practice sailing for races or to sail in the sea since the wind shifts a lot but there are lots of people around in case you capsize. I did my CWOs one and two in Vlietland since it's also where my dad races. The races I did were very interesting; the rst few I did with a rented boat, and the ones on the Kaag I did with my own boat, Aqua. I race because I like competing and racing also really helps you to develop your tactics. I was very  surprised when I won the Pump or Drown (Pompen of Verzuipen) prize, I've never won a prize in racing before.

The race on the Kaag was my first race with my own boat. Aqua was much faster than I was used to. Near the end of the first day of racing, there was a storm. It was very hard racing in all that rain, I don't think I would have been wetter if I'd jumped into the water!

There was so much rain that I couldn't see the other racers OR the buoys. Then on top of all that my boat ooded twice! Luckily though optimists are built not to sink even when they're ooded. I had to bail all the water out, with help from a motorboat that was nearby. Even though I only nished one of the stormy races, but ran out of time on the second one, I still felt very happy, and cold too! Overall in all the seven races, I came 23rd out of 43 people in Optimist C. I love sailing and I hope to be a great racer in the future.

Güneş Soyer, December, 2016