50 Dragons will soon be racing off the beautiful beaches of La Baule, From June 1st to 4th. With favourite Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen leading the way with many other Top International Sailors, it could prove to be the best Derby Dragon ever….
Since I crewed for Poul-Richard at La Baule back in 2000, I have been back many times to take part it this fantastic event because of the friendship and superb hospitality shown by ALL the helpers of the Y.C.L.B. With it’s unique harbour that can only be used from “Half-Tide” upwards, the 50 dragons are expertly moored on the small marina and guided in and out by experienced local boatmen. The club itself transforms into a festive arena with a large Marque’ along the terrace of this dream location yacht club.
It’s still not too late to join the party, to test your skills against the very best sailors on this flat water race track, who’s committee set 3 to 4 races per day from the magnificent “Sandrine” vessel (pictured above), whilst volunteers do their utmost to run the onshore festivities before and after racing….
You simply have to try it.. Higher, Faster, Longer….. Stavros.
Just before the final prize giving at the Grand Prix Guyader Douarnenez 2013 Stav spoke to final day race winner Henrik Witzmann, event organiser Gwen Chapalain and overall Champion 2013 Markus Wieser.
Yes my friends after 5 races the Grand Prix Guyader overall standings could not be closer. After another two races, we have the top three boats, all within 2 points of each other, with just one day remaining.
As it stands GER 1133 “Sinewave” Helmed by Tommy Muller and crewed by the Bavarian “Dream Team” Hoesch and Lipp lead on 15 points. In 2nd place (on the same number of points) is GER 11 “Billy Boy” helmed by Marcus Brennecke and right behind them is the top Transbunker helmsman of UKR 7 Marcus Wieser, who is on 17 points…..
With the 4th placed boat on 28 points it is for sure that the winner will come from one of these top teams. I hope the PRO decides to stick to just one race on the final day, as to try to squeeze in two races and the lifting out of all 59 boats, is just too much of a rush. I’ve seen it tried before and it was a disaster, with too short races, short first beat’s and loads of very expensive damage…
So lets all enjoy the party tonight and the traditional “Lottery” that gives everyone a chance to go home with some super prizes and let the final day have just the one proper race to see who will lift the Grand Prix Guyader Trophy………
Leading the Corinthian Sailors overall is FRA 309 Gerrard Blanc from the Yacht Club de Cannes. Gerrard has really improved his game over the past few seasons and stands to finish in the top 10 of this highly competitive and mainly professional fleet.
At the end of day prize giving at the Grand Prix Guyader in Douarnenez this evening, the Belgian Dragon Association made the presentation of prizes for its annual Five Nations Trophy, now in its second year. In third place was the Belgian Team, represented by Ben Van Cauwenberg, in second place was the Russian Team represented by Dmitry Samokhin and accepting the 2012 Five Nations Trophy on behalf of the winning British team was Gavia Wilkinson-Cox. Prizes included jeroboams of champagne and delicious Belgian chocolates.
Stav talks to Gavia Wilkinson-Cox who put in some sterling work, especially downwind, to finish fourth in today’s big breeze at the Grand Prix Guyader, Douarnenez, and to Marcus Brennecke’s coach and Olympic Finn coaching legend David “Sid” Howlett about the quality of the Dragon fleet in general and the sailing this week in particular.