Fast and “FREE” in Cannes….

3aWinners of Race 1 SUI 313 “FREE” Dirk Oldenburg (Centre) Dominik Zycki & Mikolaj Chadubski

The Cannes Grand Prix began today with a very light easterly breeze of around 5 knots after a short onshore delay. Over eager starters caused a General Recall so our President du Committee de Course, Philippe Faure successfully restarted the 45 boat fleet using the “U” flag, which saw just one early starter. 

5aPatience was required at the beginning of day 1 as competitors waited for the wind.

At first boats starting in the middle of the line looked strong, in particular TUR 1212 “Josephine” helmed by America’s Cup helmsman Andy Beadsworth, who has just won the 4th Winter Series in Cascais. However, as the majority of the fleet were on the right side of the course, TUR 1212 elected to tack onto Port to cover the “pack”.  This proved to be a mistake as the boats who continued on Starboard out to the left hand side of the 1.6 mile beat faired best. In fact both DEN 394 & SUI 313 who pushed the furthest left corner finished at the front of the fleet….(2nd & 1st respectively).


2nd DEN 394 “Blue Lady” team of Anders Baggers, Philipp Holm Skafte & Soren Persson (helm)

Another team having a great race was GER 1178 “Lea V” helmed by 78yr old Pit Burkhardt, crewed by his Son Paul and Top Professional Joerg Moessnang who first started racing here in Cannes in 1973!  I first met Joerg when he won the Regates Royal in 2000 with nearly 80 boats competing, so plenty of experience here to guide the “Burkhadt” team around the course :-).


3rd in Race 1 were GER 1178 “Lea V” Paul & Pit Burkhardt with Joerg Moessnang.

The race was shortened at the top mark 2nd time as the wind, which had shifted slightly right, was beginning to die away. Despite trying to hold a 2nd race, it was decided at around 4pm to call it a day and head back to the Yacht Club de Cannes for a “Pasta” & “Drinks” get together…

Tomorrow the forecast is for slightly more wind, so hopefully 2 more races may be completed, with an option of holding a 3rd race “if” conditions allow. For sure the Race Committee did their very best today & all the 45 teams look forward to some more competitive race  over the next 3 days.

Higher, Faster, Longer………..    Stavros.   (GBR 789).


P.S. A late Game of Boule is always good for the Soul 🙂

With EST 17, GER 1178 & GBR 789.



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Flags are Flying in Cannes…..

aw12 Nations will be represented at the Cannes Grand Prix 22nd to 25th Feb, 2017.

45 International Dragons will compete over the next 4 days at the first European Grade 1 event of 2017. This prestigious event will give the 41 Professional and 4 Corinthian teams the opportunity to test their speed and boat handling skills against many of the best sailors in the world.

Nations represented are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey & United Arab Emirates.  With our current World Champion Yevgeni Braslavets and the 2016 European Champion Anatoly Loginov in the field it will certainly be a top quality regatta both on and off the water…

The “President du Committee de Course” will be Philippe Faure who was in charge at the 2015 World Championships in La Rochelle and he will be assisted by our Jury Chairman Yves Leglise.

More to follow over the next few days………

Higher, Faster, Longer……..      Stavros.    (GBR 789).


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Turkish Delight in Cascais..

4thSeriesThe beautiful “Josephine” TUR 1212 wins the 4th Winter Series in Cascais.

28 International teams representing 12 different countries were treated to a  superb weekend of sailing in a variety of conditions at the 4th Winter Series in Cascais. Unfortunately, the huge Atlantic sea’s that roll in towards the impressive shoreline prevented any racing on Friday, but improved conditions on Saturday allowed for 2 “full on” races providing the ultimate test for both sailors and equipment.

Race 1 was started in 22 kts of easterly wind on a square line with ample room for all boats to get away cleanly on starboard tack heading in towards Estoril. One of the first boats to break from the pack was GBR 801 “Monday” helmed by Lawrie Smith, who is racing this year with a 4 man team. It was a question of not going in too far left, which meant you could “over stand” the top mark, but playing the left side of the 1.3 mile course. Lawrie and his successful team who won the 3rd winter series, got it just right and cruised to a deserved victory.


Winners of Race 1 GBR 801. Lawrie Smith, Hugo Rocha, Goncalo Ribeiro & Ruben Sole.

Race 2 got underway shortly after the 1 hr 10 mins first race with the breeze starting to build showing occasional gusts of 27 kts. This was not a race for the feint hearted and 7 teams opted for an early shower then a warm whisky..  But for the 21 boats who remained out it was a most exciting a rewarding race, as the surfing conditions saw all the thrills and spills of a circus :-).  This time Lawrie and his team had pressure from the beautifully restored “Josephine” representing Turkey led by Ali Tezdiker, helmed by Andy Beadsworth and crewed by the most enthusiastic English Rugby supporter, Simon Fry. Although GBR 801 led at the top mark 2nd time around, they allowed TUR 1212 to gybe inside them giving away their advantage on the final downwind leg to the finish.. This was the first International race win for Ali and his team in the most exhilarating conditions.


Winners of Race 2 TUR 1212 “Josephine” Andy Beadsworth, Ali Tezdiker and Simon Fry.

With the wind not showing any sign of reducing, our experienced Race Officer Jose’ Cansella, sent the fleet back in for a well deserved “Happy Hour”, superbly provided by the staff at the Club Naval.

On Sunday the wind was much lighter and turned around to the Southwest. With smaller waves and a 6kt breeze it needed full concentration by both helm and crew to keep the boats momentum, especially as an easterly tide kicked in halfway through the day. At the beginning of race 3 it was POR 40 who took the initiative of tacking to the right after a committee boat start.


Race 3. POR 40 “Dragul” helmed by Jose’ Bello, starts at the boat & tacks to the right.

With the fleet split 50/50 it was not until the top mark that an advantage could be seen, although for those boats on the far right of the course, they began to smile.  Smiling even more was young Bernardo Torres Pego, sailing his first Dragon race on board POR 40 with Jose’ Bello and Andre’ Caiado, as they rounded the top mark in a clear 1st position..


POR 40 “Dragul” leads Race 3 with Jose’ Bello, Bernardo Torres Pego and Andre’ Ciaado.

For the next hour Bernardo had the excitement of helping Jose’ and Andre’ to maintain their lead ahead of TUR 1212 who kept to the task of finishing with another excellent result. In the end POR 40 took the very popular local victory, with TUR 1212 in a close 2nd place. This put Ali Tezdiker and his “Josephine” team into the overall lead on just 7 points from the 3 races.

Going into the final race of the series (Race 4) it was between TUR 1212 & GBR 801 for the series win, whilst RUS 76 (Dmitry Samokhin) and GER 1177 (Pedro Andrade) were battling for the final podium finish.  This time the left hand side of the beat seem to pay as a strong 2 to 3 kt current continued to push the fleet across the course from left to right. Making good use of their countless years of local knowledge was POR 66 “Drago” helmed by Jose’ Matoso, crewed by 5 times Olympian & Social Media celebrity Gustavo Lima, with Frederico Melo who commanded the race.


POR 66 “Drago” Jose’ Matoso wins race 4, the final race of the series as the wind died away.

2nd in the final race was DEN 138 “Eva” helmed by Lars Hendriksen, who had also recorded a 4th early in the day. Unfortunately, Lars had gear failure on Saturday so was not able to participate in the strong winds, but I am sure he will be a main force in the remaining series building up to the Worlds in June. Meanwhile RUS 76 just managed to stay ahead (3rd) of GER 1177 (4th) giving Dmitry and his experienced team 3rd place overall. 


3rd Overall RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” Dmitry Samokhin, Aleksey Bushuev & Andrey Kirilyuk.

In the fight for overall winners it was TUR 1212 who kept a close eye on GBR 801 to finish 5th & 6th respectively, so the series deservedly went to Ali Tezdiker, Andy Beadsworth and Simon Fry.


Winners TUR 1212  Ali Tezdiker (Centre) with Andy Beadsworth & Simon Fry.

Of the 8 Corinthian Teams it was once again SWE 385 “Still Crazy” helmed by Stefan Winberg who finished top. Sailing with Fredrik Brotell and Markus Lagerquist, Stefan and his team finished an excellent 6th overall after discarding an OCS in race 2. Very well done to all the “Podium” Teams.

In his winners speech, Andy Beadsworth thanked the Club Naval de Cascais and all their helpers for hosting an excellent weekend of racing in testing conditions. Andy added that he considered Cascais a fantastic venue and he could not think of a better place in Europe to hold a winter series and they very much look forward to competing at the World Championships in June.

Higher, Faster, Longer…………..     Stavros.

My thanks as always go to Ricardo Pinto our brilliant Photographer…  without his wonderful action pictures, my Blog’s would not be possible…





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Lawrie “Does” like Mondays !

LawriedoeslikeMondaysLawrie Smith wins the 3rd Winter Series in Cascais, with his 4 crew team in “Monday”.

The 2017 European Dragon Circuit could not have started better with the most perfect sailing conditions for the 28 top International Teams in Cascais, Jan 13th-15th.

Pedro's Boat

Pedro Andrade’s new Petticrows Dragon “Monday” chartered to Lawrie Smith, wins the first European event of 2017 in Cascais, Portugal.

With 6 races completed over three days in a full range of conditions it all came down to the final race as Lawrie Smith went “Head to Head” with Andrey Kirilyuk (who was helming RUS 76 in Dmitry’s absence). Going into the final day Andrey, with his team of Aleksey Bushuev & Vitaly Ignatenko, held a slender lead over the former World Champion & 2015 Gold Cup Winner. However, Lawrie Smith’s 2nd in the 6th race (which in fact was the final race of the series due to a dying breeze) proved crucial. This gave Lawrie and his team of Hugo Rocha, Goncalo Ribeiro & Ruben Sole the victory by just 1pt !


“Strange Little Girl” had to settle for an impressive 2nd overall. Andrey, Vitaly & Aleksey.

Andrey Kirilyuk, who is normally tactician for Dmitry Samokhin, is a fantastic sailor. He has won numerous Dragon Regatta’s including a victory in Torbole’, Lake Garda. He also finished runner up at the 2103 World Championships in Weymouth, again just losing by a single point! So Andrey is an extremely competitive helmsman when given the opportunity … Thank goodness for all of us he normally sits in the middle of the boat ! 🙂

In fact hard on the heels of these two “Legends” of the sailing world was the man who won those World Championships back in 2013, Klaus Diederichs. Sailing in his GBR 758 “Fever” with Jamie Lea & Deigo Negri, they put together a very impressive series to finish a comfortable 3rd overall.


Team “Fever” Klaus Diederichs, Jamie Lea & Deigo Negri work hard to take a podium place.

Just behind the top 3 boats was today’s (Jan 16th) Birthday Boy Lars Hendriksen, helming his beautiful 1957 Pedersen & Thuessen “Eva”.


Happy Birthday Lars !!  

4th Overall in the 3rd Winter Series, Cascais.

Sailing with Claus Olesen & George Leonchuk.

Now leading the overall winter series after 3 events 🙂


Right behind these great sailors was the Top Corinthian Team, who finished an excellent 5th place overall… GER 1180 “Rosie” helmed by young Benjamin Morgan, crewed by his Father Karl and Nicolas Raedecke.


5th Overall & 1st Corinthian Team GER 1180 “Rosie” Benjamin Morgan had a great weekend.

In closing this was a fantastic way to start the new year in Europe. Cascais can now look forward to a full programme of racing as it leads up to host the 2017 Worlds in June. With more Winter Series in Feb & March, then the Grade 1 Juan Carlos Trophy in April (preceded by the 6th Stavros Match Race event), followed by the Portuguese National Championship in May… Where else would you want to be ?

Higher, Faster, Longer……………..     Stavros.

p.s.   Many congratulations to GORDON INGATE for winning his 3rd National Title in Australia !  Fantastic Result….. at 90 years young !!  Hope to see you in Cascais my friend.

p.p.s   My deep thanks, as always to Ricardo Pinto for these amazing photo’s… 



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We have lost “Our” Annie….

Annie1“Our” ANNIE RAVACH sadly passed away this week, she was much loved & will be greatly missed…

Dear Annie, 

I, like every Dragon Sailor and Friends of Sailing all over the World are deeply saddened to hear you have left us. You were instrumental in making our Douarnenez experience “come alive”. The way you assisted the great Louis Urvois and the Society of the Regatta’s volunteers was amazing. My good fortune has been to know you since 1999 when the first Grand Prix was introduced onto the International Dragon Circuit. I, like you, have attended every G.P. since then and have always appreciated your friendship, organisation, helpfulness and generosity but above all your smile…

Of course your expertise and involvement with the Dragon Class did not just stop in Douarnenez, as you also helped run events from Cazuax to Cannes…  But it is inside the big White Tent which hosted the thousands of International Sailors over the 17 years that your legacy will remain in our minds and in our hearts. No problem is a problem when there is a solution… You had all the answers to our questions, nothing was ever too much trouble and you always had time for us…

I have read the hundreds of comments and memories of you that have been posted on social media which show how much you were appreciated and loved. Indeed Tommy Muller contacted me recently to ask me to “Thank You” on behalf of all the lucky sailors who had the pleasure and opportunity to be guided by you and receive so much of your valuable time and effort.

We will miss you Annie but you will never be forgotten……..     Stavros x







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“POW WOW” Win in Cascais…

1177Number 1 is GER 1177 “Pow Wow” Charles Nankin, Michael Zankel & Pedro Andrade!

It was a fantastic climax to the 2nd Winter Series in Cascais, sailed in sunny conditions and 6 to 8 kts of westerly wind. With POR 66, GER 1177 & DEN 138 all within 3 points of each other, the final 2 races would prove critical to decide who would be celebrating their Xmas with the biggest smile!


Ideal conditions see the 25 boat fleet get away in the 6th race of the 2nd Winter Series, Cascais.

Winning “tactician” Pedro Andrade explained “For the first race of the day the fleet split evenly both left and right after the start, although it was the boats on the left who held the advantage at the top mark. We (GER 1177) rounded 3rd with our main two rivals (POR 66 & DEN 138) behind us. On the 2nd upwind both POR 66 & DEN 138 went left, so we covered that side of the course to consolidate our overall position. However, the right side was stronger, with a right shift and pressure falling on the left. This dropped us back to 6th position, but with our main opposition further back”.


DEN 138 “Eva” Lars Hendriksen, Claus Olesen & George Leonchuk Win Race 7 to finish 2nd overall.

Pedro continued “In the final race the left paid again on the first beat, this time it was Lars Hendriksen in “Eva” who was leading around the top mark, we rounded 4th. We kept close to Lars trying not to allow many boats between us and in the end our 2nd place gave us the overall victory”.


POR 66 “Drago” Jose’ Matoso, Gustavo Lima & Stefan Hellriegel finished a deserved 3rd overall.

By winning the final race DEN 138 “Eva” Lars Hendriksen and his top team finished runners up and pushed overnight leaders POR 66 Jose Matoso into 3rd place. However, any podium position in this highly competitive fleet is a fantastic result and really puts down a “marker” to all the other crews. So very well sailed indeed to these top 3 International Teams, we all congratulate you.

benjiBenjamin, Bernhard & Karl receive their prizes from the Club Naval representatives.

Top Corinthian Team who finished a creditable 9th overall were GER 1103 “Rosie” helmed by Benjamin Morgen, crewed by his Father Karl & Bernhard Jocobsohn. This was another great event for this young helmsman who really enjoys his winters sailing with his Father in Cascais, well done Benji.

Just behind the top 3 boats in 4th place was GBR 758 “Fever” helmed by Former World Champion Klaus Diederichs who clearly has his sights set on another World Title next June. 1pt further back was GBR 748 “Sanka” with Dave Ross. This top 5 finish is a fantastic result for Dave and his team who have elected to winter their boat in Portugal and take on the “Big Boy’s” instead of having the easy option of storing their boat in some dark and lonely shed… So why not re-generate your “winter blues” and move your boat down to this “jewel” of a venue in South-West Europe….  You will not be disappointed !


Higher, Faster, Longer………        Stavros.



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“DRAGO” Turn up the Heat…..

gustavoPOR 66 “Drago” take the overall lead after 5 races in the 2nd Cascais Winter Series….

Former European Champion and Vice President of the Club Naval de Cascais, Jose’ Matoso, with his top team of Gustavo Lima & Stefan Heiregel sit 2 points clear at the top of the leader board after 5 very competitive races in Cascais.

Below is POR 66’s evening meal as they prepare for tomorrow’s show down 🙂


Of the 25 top Dragon’s enjoying the fantastic conditions in Portugal, just 8 are local boats, the remaining 17 visiting teams are all settling in really well as they participate in an excellent winter programme which will reach it’s pinnacle, during the World Championships in June next year… 

Today saw a further 3 races after the successful 2 races yesterday which were sailed in slightly more pressure. However, “Running Cool” in the lighter air today were the team from Cowes, Isle of Wight, GBR 748 “Sanka”, helmed by Dave Ross, crewed by Alex Dobson & Mark Hart. This enthusiastic team who are enjoying their first winter in Portugal won 2 of the 3 races which was sailed in a 6 – 10kt Westerly wind with 2.5 metre waves.


GBR 748 “Sanka” the happy faces of Alex, Dave & Mark as they sail back into the Marina after winning their 2nd race of the day (Race 5 of the Series).    They played the right hand side of the course on the last upwind which proved perfect!

Many congratulations to Dave and his team, to win any race in this competition is great… to win 2 races is brilliant !!

In 2nd place overall is GER 1177 “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, crewed by local expert Pedro Andrade and Charles Nankin. This top team are just 2 pts off the lead and with 2 more races scheduled for tomorrow, anything could and probably will happen….


GER 1177 “Pow Wow” are counting a 10th, 1st, 4th & 2nd so far, just 2pts behind POR 66.

3rd Place overall are team “Eva” DEN 138 helmed by Lars Hendriksen, crewed by Geroge Leonchuk and “Santa” Claus Olesen 🙂 


Santa Claus & former European Champion Lars Hendriksen, prepare DEN 138 “Eva”…

With “Eva” just 1pt behind “Pow Wow”….  tomorrow will be an excellent finale to this great winter series…

Who will take the “Turkey” Title home for Xmas?   POR 66, GER 1177 or DEN 138 ?

Higher, Faster, Longer……..    Ho Ho Ho…..    Stavros.    🙂





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Class Act in Cannes….

20140601_144419_LLS (320x180)Winners of the Coupe d’ Hiver RUS 27 “Anapurna” Alexander, Anatoloy & Vadim.

European Champions Anatoly Loginov, Alexander Shalagin & Vadim Statsenko finished off a remarkable 2016 season in style by winning the Yacht Club de Cannes “Coupe d’ Hiver” at the weekend achieving 5 wins a 2nd out of the 7 scheduled races… (discarding a 3rd).

It was a fantastic finale to the Cannes 2016 season as the weather was amazing and the President of Commite’ du Course, Jerome Nutte did an excellent job to complete all 7 races over the 3 sunny days….

With 22 registered boats the regatta got underway on Friday afternoon with a gentle sea breeze of no more than 5 kts in the west bay of Cannes. Making a perfect start at the Pin end of the line, RUS 27 was first out of the blocks and looked to be having things completely their own way… until former “Olympian” Per Arne Nilsen, helming his beautiful Red Cold Moulded NOR 275 “The Knucker”, caught a favourable shift after sailing all the way to the left on the final beat to pip RUS 27 at the finish! (well done to Per Arne, Lars Hovan & Jan Petter Hodne).

The other team managing to prevent RUS 27 from having a “clean sweep” of victories was GBR 761 “Jerboa” helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox who not only won race 4 but also finished a very creditable 2nd overall with her top team of Mark Hart & Philip Catmur. Many congratulations to Team “Jerboa”….

3rd place overall went to the “Flying Fin’s” sailing “Lisa”, FIN 83. Helmed by Jouko Lindgren, crewed by Calle Lindfors & Tuomas Tenkanen, they  recorded three 2nd places along the way by being mainly in the right place at the right time, which was certainly not an easy task.  Another brilliant performance from these experienced former “Olympians” 🙂


Gerard Blanc with “Jerboa” in Hats! 3rd, RUS 27 1st & “Lisa” 2nd & PRO Jerome Nutte.

I must say the conditions for early December were brilliant, we had wind every day and the sun never stopped shining… The courses were well laid with very “fair” lines. The VHF communication from the Committee Boat was clear and precise and the races were quickly turned around so that no one was kept waiting. My congratulations & thanks go to Jerome & his team.

Here is the link to the final results.          coupe-dhiver-des-dragon

Now all eyes will focus on Cascais for their final Dragon event of 2016, the 2nd winter series starting Friday and promises to be well attended with over 30 boats as more teams arrive to prepare for the Worlds next year. Unfortunately, I will have to sit this one out as my neck “locked” up with a possible trapped nerve down in Cannes at the weekend… But don’t worry folks,, I will bring you a full account of the racing, as always 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer……     Stavros.    


In the “Bear” before my neck problem…… 🙂  Taken by Jerome on the Committee Boat.






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HUN 57 Wins 1st Series in Cascais.

winners2HUN 57 “Johanna” won the opening Winter Series in Cascais in a fleet of 20 top International teams.

Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi, crewed by Karoly Vezer and Tamas Kiss were worthy winners, as their discard was a 6th place, quite remarkable considering the high standard of this fleet. Ferenc simply told me afterwards “This is our first European Regatta win & we are very happy” 🙂


Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi prepares to gybe, with Tamas trimming & Karoly moving the pole.

This was a very well organised regatta which completed 6 of the 7 scheduled races despite losing the first day due to lack of wind. Top Professional Photographer “Ricardo Pinto” was again in action to capture some amazing pictures both from the water and the air with the use of his drone.


“When two boats cross, one boat is going the wrong way” 🙂  POR 57 crosses ESP 71. (left).


GER 1140 Nicola Friesen (purple kite)leads the pack & finished an excellent 4th overall (right).

The runner up in this 1st series was DEN 138 “Eva” owned & helmed by Lars Hendriksen, crewed by Claus Olesen & George Leonchuk. This professional team had two race wins along the way and showed great speed throughout the weekend.


Lars, George & Claus set their kite on board “Eva” the beautiful 1957 Pedersen & Thuesen.

The final “podium” place went to the Local Hero’s of Cascais and former European Champions POR 66 “Drago” helmed by Jose’ Matoso, crewed by Olympian Gustavo Lima & Frederico Melo.


3rd overall POR 66 “Drago” Jose’ & Gustavo sit to windward whilst Frederico looks below.

There will be many new teams joining the fleet over the next few months in Cascais in the build up for the 2017 World Championships next June. Offering a winter series every month the Club Naval de Cascais is the ideal place to enjoy the very best sailing conditions, fantastic competition and superb hospitality. Where else would you want to be…… 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer………..     Stavros.


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“THOUBAN” FIN 85 wins in Cannes.

cannes1Christian Borenius (Centre) with his Daughter Andrea & Richard Pernici at Prize Giving.

The Armisitice Cup was concluded in Cannes yesterday after a 4 race series. The hero of the day was Christian Borenius, sailing with his Daughter Andrea & loyal crew Richard Pernici. This top team got off to a slow start after recording a 27th place in race 1 on Saturday, but bounced back yesterday to register a 4th, 2nd, 4th thus winning overall by 4pts, after discarding their 27th.

In 2nd place overall was GER 1151 “Puck” helmed by Philip Dohse (3rd from the left in photo), crewed by Kramer Volker, with Pia & Maximilian Dohse. This 4 person team also had a great day yesterday recording a 1st & 2nd place along the way.

3rd place overall went to the current European Champions RUS 27 “Anapurna” helmed by Anatoly Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin (far right in photo). Although this top professional team also recorded a race win, they could not match the consistency of the top 2 boats on this occasion.

The Yacht Club de Cannes will hope for a little more wind in Dec (2nd, 3rd, 4th) for their final event of the year the “Coupe d’Hiver”. It will be great to finish off the year in the South of France sunshine with a regatta in excess of 30 boats… as I will also be there in “Bear” 🙂

Full Results Below, 29 Competitors.


Higher, Faster, Longer……   Stavros.


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