With the Special Olympics European Sailing Regatta 2016 having wrapped up last weekend, Belgian sailors will be returning home from Rotterdam with medals.
In the third division, the Belgian women team came away with a surprise silver. The boat, with sailors Dana Vrancken and Elke Myncke, had been positioned in fourth for much of the competition. The men’s team of Quinten Bruyninckx and Thibeau Bastien finished with gold in the men’s cadet event.
17-year-old Vrancken is from Berchem. Myncke is 33 years old and from Wilrijk. They competed in the women’s competition with Unified Partner 20-year-old Sieglinde of Weghe from Zwalm. The men’s boat included three guys in their 20s, including 21-year-old Bruyninckx and 20-year-old Bastien. Both are from Mortsel. 23-year-old Mathias van der Auwelaer from Aartselaar was their unified partner.
This was the first time Special Olympics had a European Sailing Regatta in Rotterdam, and Special Olympics teams from the Netherlands, Belgium and Greece all took part. Sailing has been part of the Special Olympics program in the Netherlands for several years, and is on the country’s national games program.