"If Jeroen had been 30cm either way he would have been slammed. It would
have been awful,'' a shattered Brouwer said after she and her crewmate
returned to shore following the pre-start incident in The Netherlands on
"We were sitting head to wind and then this boat just came out of nowhere.
It landed on top of ours and smashed it and their bow went through our sail.
"We are all lucky no one was injured but it's pretty shattering. We couldn't
wait to race and the conditions were looking really good for the Viper.
"The only thing that could actually make me smile today was giving Kyle
(aged four months) a big hug when we got back.'''
While Brouwer and van Leeuwen were forced back to shore with their damaged
Viper unsailable and their sail ripped in half, Chris Sproat and Georgina
Burke claimed the honour of being the first mixed-crew home in the 60
nautical mile race on their Viper. Mixed sailing was recently introduced
onto the program for the 2016 Olympics with the Viper one of the boats vying
to be the new class raced at the Rio Games.
The 2011 Round Texel event was to have been Brouwer's return to major
competition after she jumped out of her Viper last September before the
birth of her son.
"It was so exciting. We really had high hopes for the Viper in the race,''
At the last Olympics Brouwer sailed a Tornado catamaran and was the only
woman to race the class at the Games.
The Round Texel race was supposed to be a way for Brouwer to test the waters
for a possible Olympic campaign in a mixed boat in 2016.
For further information about the Viper please go to our website
Photos credits: Thom Touw