Marblehead Trophy is going to Denmark…

Christian Videbaek, Jan Eli Gravad & helm Jorgen Schonherr win the Marblehead Trophy.

It was a most exciting final day in Kiel to decide where the “Famous” Marblehead Trophy would be challenged for in 2015… With the wind sometimes gusting up to 30 kts it was not a day for the feint hearted!

Tommy Muller had held this prestigious trophy for 4 years and all comers to Kiel had not been able to beat Tommy and his “Bavarian Dream Team” of Hoesch and Lipp…  But in the end the superb heavy weather sailing of the “African Queen” with Jorgen Schonherr at the helm guided his brand new Petticrows to victory by just 1pt !!

Yes fellow sailors, it came right down to the wire and not with Tommy, but with Yvegen Braslavetz who was also sailing a Petticrows Dragon UAE 8. Yevgen pushed Jorgen all the way in the extremely physical conditions leaving Tommy and his team in a very respectable 3rd overall position.

Tommy-awards-trophy (240x320)The moment Tommy Muller awards the Marblehead Trophy to Jorgen Schonherr.

Organiser Tommy Muller on behalf of the NRV Yacht Club in Kiel, said “The end result was so close, just 1pt the difference. So Jorgen will organise it in Koge, which is just south of Copenhagen. He has promised to keep with tradition and invite all competitors to a big party!”

Very many congratulations to Jorgen, Christian and Jan and also to the runners up Yevgen, Igor Sidorov and Sergey Timokhov,.  Lastly, well done to Tommy and his team for holding the Marblehead Trophy for so many years ( 5 in total, as Tommy had won it on another occasion before his 4 year reign).

So now it travels in the safe hands of Jorgen Schonherr……  be ready to defend my friend in 2015…….  :-)

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

 

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Belgium National Championship in Ostend…..

Martin Payne, with Donal Small and Olivier Bakker, sail “Little Hook” to Victory..

(All Photo’s taken by Ricardo Pinto)

Without needing to sail the final day, the team of Little Hook celebrated becoming Belgium National Champions on Saturday evening at the Gala Dinner in Ostend. Counting five 1st places and one 2nd, during the superbly organised Championship run by the Royal North Sea Yacht Club, Payne and his team just had the edge on the rest of the highly competitive fleet.

2014-08-23 17.22.18                                        Donal Small, Olivier Bakker and Martin Payne..

In second place overall was Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen helming his new Petticrows, “Danish Blue”. Crewed by Andrew (Noddy) Norden and Chris Brittain. The “Man”  showed great speed but had to put up with some heavy “covering” tactics by the Little Hook team at times. Olivier Bakker explained ” With such a strong tide and medium to heavy winds, the slightest mistake could cost you a 200m loss”.  “When you have someone of Poul-Richards ability behind you, it’s vital you give him no room to break free”….

10639480_858866600791951_6974601533647603484_nThe runner’s up team from “Danish Blue” Noddy Norden, Poul-Richard & Chris Brittain.

In third place overall was the local team sailing BEL 79 “Princess Sofie” helmed by Alex Helsen, crewed by Floris Mortelmans and Willy Hambrouck. Alex and his team were never far behind the leaders and considering it was one of their first events of the year, did an excellent job.

10312541_858866617458616_5749876372501154346_n (2)Alex’s team 3rd overall, with members and sponsors of the Royal North Sea Yacht Club.

It was once again the most fantastic regatta, offering superb long 3 upwind courses, with every course changed signalled perfectly to compensate for the tidal variations and wind shifts. The Yacht Club hosted a party every night, with Bar-B-Q’s, Gala Dinner and Prize Giving. The sheltered harbour offers easy access to the race course and a great comradery atmosphere after racing, where copious amounts of free beers were consumed and many stories told…  It’s a great venue, with really nice friendly people and excellent fun !!

Higher, Faster, Longer…………………   Stavros.  (Little Hook).

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Two Wins for Jorgen Schonherr in Kiel…

fe5de73721 (320x242)Markus Wieser leads Jorgen Schonherr down wind during the Marblehead..

Jorgen Schonherr won 2 of the 3 races yesterday in Kiel to take a 3 point overall lead into the final day of the prestigious Marblehead Trophy. Crewed by Christian Videbaek & Jan Eli Gravad, the team of “African Queen” (new Petticrows) revelled in the strong windy conditions.

The other race winner yesterday, and desperately trying to hold onto the trophy, was Tommy Muller, crewed by Vincent Hoesch and Michael Lipp in “Sinewave”. In 3rd place overall is Yevgen Braslavets who is also racing a Petticrows. One of the two new Dubai boats helmed by Markus Wieser is in 4th place.

So it is all on todays races, will Tommy be able to retain the Trophy and keep next years event in Kiel….  Or can Jorgen snatch it away and proudly host the 2015 event back in Denmark….With Yevgen and Markus over 7 points adrift of the leading 2 boats, it is unlikely that the Marblehead Trophy will be in Dubai next year, but you never know !!

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

 

 

 

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Belgium Nationals in Ostend..

“Little Hook” powers it’s way to victory in race 4 of the Belgium Nationals..

It has been a very exciting two day’s in Ostend with 16 well prepared boats doing battle in the rough seas off the coast of Ostend, in the middle of rain squalls and bright sunshine!

Martin Payne, Olivier Bakker and Donal Small hold the lead at the half-way stage with three 1st places and a 2nd. However, still very much in the game is the legendary “Man” Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, sailing with Andrew (Noddy) Norden and Chris Brittain, in Danish Blue. The Man won the 3rd race in style and will always be the “one to beat”… As he prepares for his Gold Cup in Medemblik, a place he very much enjoys, since winning the Worlds there a few years ago….

Day 2 of the Belgian Dragon Championship 2014The “Man” Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, Chris Brittain & Noddy Norden  in Ostend.

Also showing great speed and fine sailing in the difficult conditions is BEL 79 “Princess Sofie”, helmed by Alex Helsen. Alex has been consistent in all 4 races to date, counting a 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Another BEL boat who has been sailing extremely well at the front end of the fleet is BEL 61 “Tenace” helmed by Dirk Rens. This is one of the original “Spheretex” boats and is still very quick in these difficult tidal seas….

Day 2 of the Belgian Dragon Championship 2014

Today will see another 2 races sailed followed by the Gala Dinner this evening…..

Higher, Faster, Longer…………..      Stavros.  (GBR 585).

 

 

 

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First Day of the Marblehead Trophy…

The first race in Kiel for the prestigious Marblehead Trophy took place yesterday in 20 to 25 kts of wind over an exciting 25 mile course, with a long Spinnaker down wind leg, followed by a 1 hour 45 mins beat back !

My good friend Tommy Muller reports ” All the Teams enjoyed the Long Distance Race very much, as it was a change from the usual up and down shorter races. The new Dragons from Dubai showed very good speed and finished close to the leading three boats who amazingly finished within just 2 mins of each other after such a long race” !

new-dragon (320x239)

The new “Genoa Sheeting” arrangement on the Dubai Dragon’s, racing in Kiel.

The result of the first race was 1st “Bratze”, 2nd “Sinewave” & 3rd “African Queen”.

Tommy continued ” It was the first time the Dubai Dragons competed in a race and they have a lot of trimming to be done. But these boats are looking really fast. Today there will be 5 up and down short races in the bay of Kiel, with very strong winds forecast “.

Higher, Faster, Longer…………    Stavros.

 

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The Marvellous Marblehead Trophy..

Marblehead_Logo_03_9427b6eeedThis magnificent Trophy will be raced for in Kiel as the current holder Tommy Muller tries to retain the cup yet again !!!!!!!!

However, this year sees one of the most competitive fleets ever! With Jorgan Schonherr, Frank Berg and Markus Wieser showing up it will not be so easy for Tommy this time….

Also in the mix is the current “Corinthian” Champion Jan Woortman and top Lady Helm Tanja Jacobsohn from Germany. The first race is a long distance race of around 25miles. It begins at Strande and then out around the Kiel Light House, passing a few other race marks on the way back…. This race counts double points, alongside 5 windward/leeward.

The Marblehead Trophy was presented upon the 300th Anniversary of the founding of their town by the people of Marblehead, Massachusetts. It was first raced for in 1929. Each year any recognised club can challenge the holder in a series of races designated by the current holder in his or her country. Tommy Muller has his work cut out this year as he once again has chosen to defend the cup in his home Yacht Club in Kiel.

Another interesting introduction in this series is the first competitive sailings of the new PCT Dragons from Dubai, no doubt the rest of the world will be watching to see how these boats shape up….  Tommy has held the Marblehead Trophy for many years now, so it will be really interesting to see who comes out on top ??  Could we see the 2015 event shift to Dubai ??  Or will one of the top Danish teams take it home ?? All will be recorded here fellow sailors, so keep watching and I’ll let you know, day by day………..

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

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Team “Jerboa” win Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

_3XS9717Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, Mark Hart and Tim Tavinor win a fantastic Cowes Week.

Over the last 8 days the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Combined Yacht Clubs of Cowes on the Isle of Wight organised an exciting Cowes Week, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management. With superb races every day apart from Thursday and Friday (cancelled due to lack of wind), Gavia and her team led overall from start to finish.

2014-08-08 18.59.40 (320x180)                       Tim Tavinor, Gavia and Mark Hart at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The “Solent” is the most challenging water in the world to master, with a massive tide that changes hourly, regular ferries, random shipping, ever changing winds and over 1500 boats of various classes all racing hard !!

With daily starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, that see hundred’s of spectators shudder to the noise of the loud cannons and wipe their eyes clear of the blinding smoke, races take place around a variety of yearly laid “fixed” marks. So that superb navigation and sublime tactics also add to the overall skills required by any winning team.

2014-08-08 18.49.45 (320x180)           Donal Small and Martin Payne (3 race winners), with Colonel Tony Singer RYS.

2nd overall was the current Edinburgh Cup Winner Graham Bailey and 3rd Eric Williams, who knows the Solent like the back of his hand… full results and daily updates can be seen on the Aberdeen Management Cowes Week, web site..

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Graham Bailey (2nd), Gavia Wilkinson-Cox (1st) and Eric Williams (3rd)

Many congratulations to Gavia, Mark and Tim, great sailing…

Higher, Faster, Longer…………..    Stavros.  (GBR 585).

 

 

 

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Ted Sawyer Shines On Final Day Of Edinburgh Cup

The final day of the Edinburgh Cup.., supported by Aberdeen Asset Management, served up another tantalisingly close race in challenging conditions. The day started with an hour’s postponement while a sea breeze became established – a decision that delivered another stunning day, making best use of the afternoon’s limited amount of decent wind.

With Graham and Julia Bailey not sailing today, having won both the Edinburgh Cup and the Corinthian title, and Laurie Smith having craned out, two helms dominated the front of the fleet – Ted Sawyer and Tom Vernon. They were never more than a few seconds apart until the end of the final beat. Lawrie Smith took second overall and Quentin Strauss third. His top result today saw Sawyer retain fourth overall, two points adrift of Strauss. In the Corinthian Division a 10th place was enough for Mark Wade to take second overall, while Eric Williams secured third.

“There’s something really special about the Edinburgh Cup,” said a delighted Graham Bailey, who won the event on his 13th attempt. “It’s an iconic trophy, one of the three classics in British yachting, along with the Burton Cup and Prince of Wales Cup. I won the Burton Cup when I sailed National 12s and I don’t sail International 14s, so I’ll never get the Price of Wales Cup, but it really means a lot to have won this.”

Race Detail

Quentin Strauss’s Rumours started the day as the only boat that could beat Smith into second place. With the first start having had a general recall, and a strong ebb tide pushing the fleet over the line, Strauss took a cautious approach – he was closest to the pin but some 10 seconds back. The move came as no surprise, given his OCS in race three. Strauss had shown good speed earlier in the week, but wasn’t able to pull away from the pack today and finished eight, just hanging onto third place overall, two points ahead of Sawyer.

IMG_8905-3The fleet split on the first beat with eight or nine boats on each side of the course, plus a handful closer to the middle. However, when the two sides came together there was almost nothing to choose between the two options and the fleet was very tight at the top mark, with many boats overlapped three deep.

It was made all the more interesting by the spreader mark being almost a boat length above the layline from the windward mark. Mike Holmes’ Hands Off found a small gap for a hitch onto port to weather the mark, and Eric Williams just managed to luff round the mark, but Jenny Stutley’s Chime ll had to gybe clear, losing a lot of ground. IMG_8922-4Tom Vernon’s Excite led at the first top mark, but having been OCS on two occasions earlier in the week he was not in contention for a podium spot.

At the leeward gate, Vernon had lost his lead to Ted Sawyer, who now held a 25 second advantage, with both boats pulling progressively further away from the fleet. However at the next windward mark Sawyer was only 15 seconds ahead, and Vernon gained a further seven seconds in increasingly light airs on the final run. With the wind continuing to drop, as cloud cover moved over the race course, the final beat was shortened to 1.4 miles.

The leaders split tacks for much of the last leg and it was only close to the finish that it was clear that Sawyer had extended his lead in the light airs to win by 40 seconds. IMG_9112-7Sawyer, an 81-year-old from Captiva YC in Florida, has been sailing for less than 30 years, but certainly doesn’t allow age to slow him down. As soon as his boat reached the dock he zoomed off to dinner and a show in London, leaving crew member Martin “Stavros” Payne to talk about today’s race. “We had a nice start mid-line then went furthest left, where there was probably more favourable tide. We did well on the downwind legs, but on the beats there were times we crossed less than two or three lengths ahead of Excite – we were too close to be able to cover them, but Ted did an excellent job on the helm.”

At the prize giving Graham Bailey praised the race organisation at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, saying: “…we owe special thanks to PRO Roger Wilson and his team, who made use of every inch of Christchurch Bay to give us great courses.” British Dragon Association Chairman Ron James then thanked sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management, Pantaenius, Harken, Zhik and Williams Shipping. After a successful 2014 event, the class is enthusiastically looking forward to next year’s Edinburgh Cup in Largs, Scotland.

Results

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Aimee Does The Double With A Day To Spare At Edinburgh Cup

Today saw tensions rise in an incredibly close race in unstable winds that saw the top five boats separated by just 12 seconds at the start of the final beat.

To add to the drama, it was this leg that decided the overall winners of the event: after a consistent four races Graham and Julia Bailey, crewed by Keith Tippell and Will Heritage, started the day in a position to win both the Edinburgh Cup and Corinthian Trophy with a day to spare, providing they finished fourth or better.

The final leg saw a fierce battle between Lawrie Smith, who led round the bottom mark, and the Baileys, with Smith tacking on top of his opponents more than a dozen times. However, although they slipped back one place on the final leg, the Baileys held on to fourth place to cement their victory.

All to play for tomorrow
While the overall winner may have been decided with a day to spare, there is everything to play for in the final race tomorrow. There are only four points between Smith and Strauss in the battle for second and third places, while the next five boats are separated by only seven points. In the Corinthian Division, Mark Wade’s Avalanche is in second place two points ahead of Eric Williams Ecstatic, with Julian Sowry’s Scimitar just three points adrift in fourth place.

Race 5 detail
After two postponements due to the gusty and shifty offshore wind, the first start resulted in a general recall. In the restart the Baileys were not in a great position, a little back from the line and with boats to windward. They split with closest rival Lawrie Smith, heading hard left for much of the first beat, arriving at the windward mark in fourth place.

“We managed to just survive the start,” says Graham. “I’ve never subscribed to the idea that you have to stay with the fleet and we felt much happier once we were in our own water with the freedom to make the most of the conditions on that side of the course.”

In the second, and third beats, however, Smith denied them the luxury of being able to choose where to head: Graham says “Lawrie did a terrific job of making it difficult for us.” The unstable wind also added to the difficulty in posting a consistent result: “There was a lot of pressure on us out there,” says Julia. “One minute you were in second place and the next you were fifth – we were repeatedly ahead of, and then behind, other boats as we crossed tacks.”

This effect was particularly apparent in the later half of the second beat, when a large number of boats fell into a hole on the left-hand side of the course, which again shuffled the order of the fleet. By the time they reached the finish Smith had extended his lead over Mark Dicker to 12 seconds, while Quentin Strauss took third place, seven seconds later and just four seconds ahead of the Baileys.

The second race today was for the Crew’s Trophy. It was won by Rory Paton sailing Ecstatic, with Lisa Guy second on Quicksilver lV and the Bailey’s 13-year-old bowman and genoa trimmer, Will Heritage, third. Heritage also won the Under 30 division – a trophy that has the potential to have his name engraved on it for many years to come.

The overall results of the Chairman’s Decanter series have also been announced. The winner is Selina Dicker with three points, with Mike Foster second on four points and Jenny Stutley third with seven points.

Results
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Aimee Leads The Way After Day 3 At The Edinburgh Cup

The third day of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup, supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and hosted by Royal Lymington YC, delivered fickle winds with a mix of showers and sunny spells for race three of the series.

Boats on the right hand side of the first beat gained an advantage they would hold until the finish, although the final beat saw a diminishing breeze that threatened to upset the order of the front runners. Graham and Julia Bailey nevertheless maintained their lead, finishing 12 seconds ahead of 81-year-old American visitor Ted Sawyer. Mark Wade, followed by Jenny Stutley, were next to finish, with Lawrie Smith, overall leader at the start of the day, having to settle for sixth.

Halfway through the regatta the Baileys lead both Open and Corinthian divisions, by five and nine points respectively. Smith is second overall in the Open division and Sawyer third, while Wade is the second Corinthian helm and Simon Barter third.

Race Detail

After a 15 minute postponement, the fleet got away today on the first start in 6-7 knots of west-southwesterly breeze. However, no one responded to the individual recall at the start and three boats – Tom Veron’s Excite, Grant Gordon’s Louise and Quentin Strauss’ Rumours were scored OCS.

Before long the fleet was spread across the first beat, with boats hitting both corners and all experiencing big shifts and holes. However, the defining feature of this leg was a big right-hand windshift that strongly favoured those on the right hand side of the course. In a slow-motion rounding of the windward mark, the furthest right boat, Chime ll, owned by a newcomer to helming Dragons, Jenny Stutley, led by 20 seconds at the windward mark, to a huge cheer from the boats nearby.

Graham and Julia Bailey’s Aimee was second to round, 25 seconds ahead of Sawyer. There was then a large gap before Mark Wade’s Avalanche and Japanese visitor Bocci Aoyama’s Yevis ll rounded the weather mark together, with Martin Makey’s Ganador just a couple of lengths astern. To what extent did luck play a part in the gains made by the boats on the right? Not at all according to Martin “Stavros” Payne, one of Sawyer’s crew. “All the clouds were on the right hand side of the course, so we always wanted to be on that side of the fleet,” he says. “We started closest to the committee boat, then tacked onto port with Graham Bailey a little after the start.”

Most of the first run saw the fleet gybing through big angles. The Baileys were first to gybe onto port, making a useful gain on Stutley, before then gybing back onto starboard and sailing high towards a band of increased wind near a shower cloud. As they approached the leeward gate for the first time Sawyer was also very well placed, having apparently sailed lower than the Baileys and Stutley, while still maintaining good speed.

The leaders split at the gate, with the Baileys turning left just five seconds before Sawyer rounded the right-hand mark. The rest of the leading pack followed the Baileys, with the exception of Lawrie Smith’s Tigger, who by now had climbed to sixth place after a disappointing first beat. On the second beat, with the wind now at 10-15 knots, the Baileys manoeuvred themselves into a commanding position from which they were effectively covering the top five boats. On the final run both the Baileys and Sawyer extended their lead on the pack, while Wade closed the gap on Stutley and Smith continued to climb through the fleet.

The final beat saw the wind reduce, with bigger shifts that threatened to upset the order of the front-runners and, had it not been for an unfavourable windshift close to the finish, Sawyer might have won the race. However, the Baileys maintained their lead, approaching the finish on the port layline, with a 12 second advantage. Wade was next across the line, more than two and a half minutes later, followed by Stutley in fourth place.

Unfortunately, the second race of the day, for the Chairman’s Decanter series, had to be abandoned when the wind finally failed to cooperate.

Day 3 Results

Overall Open Division results

Overall Corinthian Division results

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