Sophie lll Dominates in Douarnenez.

aaaaHugo Stenbeck, Martin Westerdahl and Bernado Freitas sailed two Brilliant races.

Hugo Stenbeck helmed his SUI 311 “Sophie lll” to almost perfection yesterday here in Douarnenez, recording a 1st & 2nd place. It was an equally “perfect” day for all the 46 International Teams competing at the 2016 Grand Prix Guyader, the 3rd Grade 1 event in Europe. Conditions were excellent and the courses were first class giving the sailors exactly what the beautiful bay of Douarnenez is renowned for….  A truly wonderful Dragon experience.

I spoke with Hugo after sailing he told me “We started at the Committee Boat and were able to continue on starboard for 20% of the first 1.8 mile upwind leg. Then we tacked out to the right into more pressure and when we came back we were in great shape”..  Well done to the Sophie III team.


Starting in Douarnenez is a spectacular sight as all 46 boats fight for favourable positions.

In race 2 of the day it was GER 1162 “Desert Holly” helmed by Stephen Link who battled hard to just finish ahead of Sophie III to take the win. Both races sailed the full 3 upwinds and 2 downwind legs and took around 1hr 45mins.


Winners of race 2 yesterday, GER 1162 Stephen Link, Fank Butzmann & Michi Lipp.

The International Race Officer Jean Pierre Evrard will continue his excellent work today to set another 2 wonderful championship courses. I also want to thank our photographer Francois Van Malleghem for all of these fantastic action photo’s..

aaa                                  An array of colour in the Bay of Douarnenez.

In the 18 Corinthian Teams it is FRA 409 “Tsuica” helmed by Gerard Blanc who takes the early lead,  after recording a 4th and 11th placings. Gerard and his team of Jean-Gabriel Charton and Olivier Lefevre from Y.C. Cannes will have to work hard to stay ahead of top Danish Sailor Jorgen Schoenherr who has 3 Gold Cup victories under his belt !!

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


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The Beginning of Life….


Please open this link for some Dragon History !   Stavros :-)

Classic Boat Magazine from 1988.

My thanks to Andrew (Noddy) Norden from Burnham-on-Crouch for sending me this “Blast from the Past”…..  hope you all enjoy reading it, as I did… :-)      Stavros.

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RUS 27 Win King Juan Carlos Trophy.

RP160410_KJCTD4_2876 (2)Anatoly Loginov proudly raises the King Juan Carlos Trophy at Prize Giving in Cascais.

The weather currently covering the Iberian Peninsula produced strong winds from the north-west in excess of 22 to 25 kts yesterday and as the seas rolled in from the Atlantic conditions were not suitable to hold the final races in Cascais. However, a total of 6 races had been sailed over the previous 3 days and so all the competitors were in total agreement when racing was cancelled.

RP160407_KJCTD1_0860 (2)So the winners of the 21st King Juan Carlos Trophy were RUS 27 “Annapurna” helmed by Anatoloy Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko and Alexandre Shalagin. This well drilled team sailed a very consistent series taking a well deserved victory despite not winning an individual race.

However, one team that did win a race, number 6 of the series, was ESP 71 “Gunter”.  This meant that a delighted Javier Scherk with his top crew of Diogo Barros and Paulo Manso were winners of the “Stavros” Trophy awarded each year to the final race winners of the Juan Carlos Trophy.

RP160410_KJCTD4_2822Javier Scherk  accepts the “Stavros” Trophy for winning the final race of the series.

Runners up this year were the team representing the United Arab Emirates in UAE 9 “Desert Eagle”, helmed by Hendrik Witzmann, crewed by Henrique Anjos & Theis Palm. This team took the title last year, but had to settle for 2nd place after finishing just 2pts behind the leaders….

RP160410_KJCTD4_2851 (2)Club Naval de Cascais Commodore applauds the 2nd place UAE 9 team “Desert Eagle”

3rd place overall and sailing as consistently as ever was RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” helmed by Dmitry Samohkin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Alexsey Bushuev.

RP160410_KJCTD4_2829 (2)Dmitry Samokhin, with Alexsey Bushuev and Andrey Kirilyuk accept their 3rd place prizes.

Winners of the “Corinthian” sailors was POR 57 “Whisper” helmed by Dragon Class President Mario Quina, crewed by Fernando Passeiro and Raul Pato. This newly formed team showed great promise and battled hard to take the title by just 1pt. Congratulations to them and all of the podium sailors :-)

RP160407_KJCTD1_0503POR 57 “Whisper” Corinthian Winners of the 21st King Juan Carlos Trophy in Cascais.

This was an extremely well organised Grade 1 regatta both on and of the water, with superb starting lines and excellent courses. The Club Naval de Cascais really looked after the visiting teams and their families, providing a variety of superb food and local wine served every day after racing in their fantastic club house….

On behalf of all the competitors I would like to thank the Race Committee, Judges, Mark Layers and all the Club organisers and volunteers for providing such a wonderful event. I am sure next year’s Dragon World’s (2017) will be a spectacular Championship, as I can assure you all, we are in excellent hands.

1st Anatoly Loginov (Petticrows).  2nd Hendrik Witzmann (PCT). 3rd Dmitry Samokhin (Petticrows). 4th Michael Zankel (Petticrows).  5th Martin Payne (Petticrows).

Higher, Faster, Longer………….    Stavros.   (GBR 769)

P.S.  Many thanks once again to Ricardo Pinto, checkout his website for many more amazing photographs.

12719145_10206332357602904_1330308284543749013_o (2)                                                               The “Master” at work :-)






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3 More Races in King Juan Carlos Trophy….

RP160409_KJCTD3_6978 (2)RUS 27 “Annapurna” Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko & Alexandre Shalagin lead overall

With a most perfect sailing day in Cascais, 3 more races were completed to make up for the missed race on Friday due to strong winds. The wind moved around to the west and ranged between 8 to 14kts, which allowed for some great “tactical” racing and exciting finishes….

RP160409_KJCTD3_2701UAE 9 “Desert Eagle” Hendrik Witzmann, Henrique Anjos & Theis Palm win race 4.

The first race of the day saw gains mainly from the right hand side of the course, until a temporary shift from out to sea on the left allowed for some amazing recovery’s.. UAE 9 must have been slightly concerned to see their hard fought lead nearly evaporate as HUN 57 helmed by Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi and GER 1123 with Michael Zankel came in strong at the finish from the left. However, UAE 9 just held on to take the win, with HUN 57 2nd & GER 1123 3rd.

RP160409_KJCTD3_6831 (2)GBR 769 “Hombre” with Martin Payne, Joao Vidinha & Antonio Matos win race 5.

In the second race of the day, we managed to start right at the committee boat and tack immediately as my new local crew, Joao Vidinha,  thought the right side of the beat would be advantageous. Indeed it was and GBR 769 “Hombre” lead from start to finish to take a second victory. In 2nd place was again HUN 57 “Johanna” helmed by Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi, crewed by Tamas Kiss & Karoly Vezer who just managed to hold off a determined challenge from SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” Hugo Stenbeck, Martin Westerdahl & Bernardo Freitas as they slightly over-stood the finish.

RP160409_KJCTD3_7136Winner of race 6 a very happy Javier Scherk in ESP 71 “Gunter” with Paulo Manso & Diogo Barros.

In the final race of the day, race 6 of the regatta, in order to spread the fleet equally along the line, the Race Committee set a heavily pin end bias as most of the fleet wanted to play the right side of the course. So the lead boats off the line at the pin tacked and crossed to the right to make the most gains. Both UAE 9 and RUS 76 showed great speed and pushed ESP 71 hard but Javier, Paulo and Diogo just managed to catch the last right hand side shift to keep ahead and win the race before a big change from the left turned the last beat upside down.

In the “Corinthian” competition there was a change at the top as POR 57 “Whisper” helmed by Class President Mario Quina, crewed by Fernando Passeiro & Raul Pato had a very consistent day adding a 6th and 11th to their overall score so now lead POR 56 by just 1pt.

IMG_8660 (2)Back at the club Naval the tired sailors enjoyed a splendid selection of hot and cold food with plenty of liquid refreshment to help ease those aching limbs. Then suddenly some “Ladies” organised by Tim Tavinor :-) jumped up onto some tables to enhance the party atmosphere …  I tell you it’s all happening here at the 21st King Juan Carlos Trophy! 

Higher, Faster, Longer……..     Stavros.  (GBR 769).

P.S.  Thanks again to Ricardo Pinto for some amazing action photo’s & to Timmy T for arranging the entertainment …

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21st King Juan Carlos Trophy..

RP160408_KJCTD2_1672GER 1162 “Desert Holly” leads the 3rd race of the J.C. Trophy in Cascais yesterday.

A strong Northerly wind “delayed ” the start of racing in Cascais yesterday, so the 26 teams representing 12 different Nations waited patiently ashore until conditions were more suitable…

Then at 12.00 the postponement flag was lowered and the fleet took to the water sailing approximately 3 miles south to prepare for the start of race 3 of the Juan Carlos Trophy.

RP160408_KJCTD2_5720Another “clear line” start in difficult conditions made for some exciting racing….

Many of the fleet chose to tack quite soon after the start and head towards the shore on the 1.9 mile beat as the wind was 20 degrees more right than the previous day.  However, the right hand shift was further in towards the Estoril coast line so it was the left side of the upwind leg that proved most advantageous.

RP160408_KJCTD2_5848GER 1162 helmed by Stephan Link, crewed by Frank Butzmann & Michi Lipp win race 3.

The first 5 boats to round the top mark all came form the left hand side, opening up a substantial distance from the remainder of the fleet. GER 1162 took the initiative from the onset and won the race despite some aggressive competition from RUS 76 helmed by Dmitry Samokhin (who finished 2nd) and GER 1123 Michael Zankel (who finished 3rd).

RP160408_KJCTD2_2074GER 1123 “Pow Wow” Michael Zankel, Pedro Andrade & Nuno Barretto lead overall after 3 races.

It was a truly superb sailing day offering excitement, thrills and tested all the crews skills over the 3 up winds and 2 down wind legs on this Championship course. A great race quite fitting of this Grade 1 regatta in beautiful Portugal, but as the wind increased the fleet were sensibly sent back to the moorings, so no 2nd race.

RP160408_KJCTD2_1590RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” Dmitry Samokhin, Andrey Kirilyuk & Alexsey Bushuev 2nd place.

However, today we will sail 3 races as the weather forecast is more favourable, so the Championship may well be decided at the end of the day as Sunday’s conditions do not look promising..

Leading the Corinthian sailors is POR 56 “Peggy” helmed by Miguel Magalhaes, crewed by Jorge Melo and Jose’ Magalhaes. This local team are keeping ahead of the other Corinthian sailors as they have their own private battle amongst this highly competitive International fleet.

Higher, Faster, Longer……………..    Stavros.  (GBR 769).





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Left is Right and Right was Wrong !

RP160407_KJCTD1_5514 (2)The first start of the Juan Carlos Trophy in Cascais, with less than 15 seconds to go.

A beautiful sunny day greeted the 26 Dragon’s to the Grade 1 event in Cascais yesterday as the 21st Juan Carlos Trophy started with a “full on” day of sailing….  One minute it was flat calm and peaceful, the next second it was “batten down the hatches” as the Northerly wind picked up to 25 knots!

On a day not for the feint hearted there were all the thrills and spills to excite us and test the skills and experience of these top International teams….

RP160407_KJCTD1_0889Former World and Gold Cup winner Tommy Muller wins the 1st race of the J.C. Trophy.

Inevitably there were many place changes as teams battled with the rise and fall of pressure combined with some major wind shifts, that meant a variety of different boats led the races over the three up winds and down wind legs.

In race one it looked like the right hand side of the 2 mile beat looked favoured, then the middle looked good, but in the end it was the left side that really “kicked in” with more pressure and proved the most advantageous.  GER 1133 “Smaug” helmed by Tommy Muller, crewed by Vincie Hoesch and Ingo Borkowski took the initiative and won the race.  Although they were pushed hard by RUS 27 and GER 1123, Anatoly Loginov and Michael Zankel had to settle for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

RP160407_KJCTD1_0714Is it a Bird ? Or is it a Plane ? No it’s Victor Folgeson in RUS 35 flying down the course :-)

Race 2 started again with just a “P” flag, this time the 4 OCS boats from the previous race made sure they kept their discipline and it was a clear start. However, the wind began to increase and it looked at one stage as though the course may have to be shortened, for safety reasons. But after the 25 knot squall passed through, it settled down to another game of “snakes and ladders” as both sides of the course looked good a different times…

RP160407_KJCTD1_0692GBR 769 “Hombre” wins Race 2 of the Juan Carlos Trophy, with an “unusual” new Spinnaker.

On the final beat the pressure really dropped away before a substantial left shift saw GBR 769 “Hombre” and POR 66 “Drago” take full advantage to finish 1st and 2nd, just ahead of UAE 9. So Martin Payne, crewed by Antonio Matos and Joao Vidinha took the gun and thanked their lucky stars …  Left was right and right was wrong…..   :-)

Leading the Corinthian Sailors is the top local team on POR 56 “Peggy” helmed by Miguel Magalhaes, crewed by Jorge Melo and Jose’ Magalhaes. They put together two good races with a 10th & 12th to currently put them 8th overall.

So early days yet and 6 more races to sail and with another strong wind forecast today lets see what unfolds in this high quality event in beautiful Portugal…..

Higher, Longer, Faster…….     Stavros.    (GBR 769).

Many thanks, as always, to Ricardo Pinto for these amazing photo’s ….. Ricardo is recently back from his great work at the America’s Cup Racing in Oman !


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King Louis has sadly passed away…..

12672113_1062247990515697_1564077175726513633_o (1)Louis wins yet “another” race in FRA 365 “Ar Youleg II”, with Gwen & Sebastian.

12472577_563962860451157_115693851635612057_n (2)In 2006 Louis Urvois (left) passed the Gold Cup responsibilities to German Gil March for 2007.

It is with sadness in all our hearts that we have lost Mr Louis Urvois, who passed away on March 29th surrounded by his much loved Family…..Wife Kersti, son’s Louis and Yves, daughter’s Claudia and Tania…

183396_4867339119_603_n (2)                   The Urvois…….Claudia, Tania, Kersti, Louis jr, Yves and Louis.

“King” Louis legacy in the Dragon World will be the incredible work,  support, commitment and organisation of the Douarnenez Grand Prix which first began in 2000. Now in it’s 16th year the Guyader Grand Prix will take place May 4th to 7th, where I am sure many Dragon Sailors and friends will join to show their respect and appreciation, if possible, by attending the event.

20151213_115449 (2) (1)12495064_10209527652613365_100545889890477830_n (2)


7712_10153561819111270_369878443255778037_n (2)

(left) Louis wins a race in DZ, just ahead of Ted Sawyer. (right) Powering up wind in FRA 365).

Louis loved his Dragon sailing and burst onto the International scene at the World Championship, Martinique, 1999 in his beautiful cold moulded FRA 300. Then in May 2000 the first of the Douarnenez Grand Prix’s began where around 100 boats took part in an amazing regatta, with the added attraction of a “Lottery” prize of a brand new Petticrows Dragon!

Two years ago Louis invited a number of us up to his beautiful house on the coast of Douarnenez, that was designed mainly in glass, by his daughter Tania. Although Louis was feeling unwell and could not join us outside below is the photo taken on that evening, during the Grand Prix.

1916657_1047122218643248_130503480779546877_n (2)A number of Dragon Sailors enjoying a very pleasant evening at Louis House in Douarnenez.

Louis was a great “Ambassador” for the Dragon Class and a true Gentleman. He was a great Man with a big heart and he will be sadly missed but never forgotten………

R.I.P.  “King Louis”………         Stavros.




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Gordon Celebrates 90 years of Life…

2015-01-09-Whimsical-G-Ingate-00196 (2)The “Amazing” Gordon Ingate is 90 years “young” today 29th March, in Sydney Australia.

The Officers of the IDA along with Dragon Sailors all over the World wish to send their heartfelt congratulations across the Oceans to Gordon Ingate who celebrates his 90th Birthday today on the 29th March down at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Australia.

IDA Chairman Vasily Senatorov said “Gordon is an outstanding Man and Sailor, I would like to sail against him in 2029 when the Dragon becomes 100 years old, oh goodness…Gordon is older than the Dragon!” :-)   Our Vice Chairman Stephane Baseden added “We all dream to sail Dragons at the age of 90 like he is doing and compete in the World Championships as Gordon did last year in La Rochelle. He is a true example to us all”.

Gordon'sAussiesGordon Ingate (with Silver Salver) leads the Australian Sailors in “Song” in La Rochelle…

Over a yachting career spanning 78 years, Gordon has represented Australia in the Admiral’s Cup and the Olympic Games, challenged for the America’s Cup, won the prestigious Prince Philip Cup in Dragons (2008 & 2015) and was very close to winning the Sydney to Hobart Race with “Caprice of Huon” in 1972. Arguably one of the best and oldest one-design yachtsman in the world, 90 year old RSYS member Gordon Ingate is a truly remarkable helmsman…. 

2015-01-09-Whimsical-G-Ingate-0067Prince Philip Cup “winners” 2015 AUS 217 “Whimsical” with Brad Sheriden & David Giles.

To win any National Title in a Dragon is quite an achievement these days, but to win his 2nd National Title at the age of 88, as Gordon did in Jan 2015 is incredible! Gordon is an inspiration to us all, a true gentleman and a fantastic Ambassador for the Class…..   Enjoy your celebration’s my friend, I and the rest of Dragon Sailors all over the World salute you…

Gordon            Gordon & Stavros at the World Championships in La Rochelle, June 2015.

Higher, Faster, Longer………   “Happy 90th Birthday”……..        Stavros.






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The “Bakker’s” Win on the Aalsmeer….

IMG-20160327-WA0003 (2)Dominic, Jan (helm) & Olivier Bakker win in Aalsmere, presented by Philip de Koning.

With 24 Dragons registered for the first Aalsmeer Grand Prix Regatta, Philip de Koning (Secretary of the Class in Holland) welcomed 5 Belgium, 2 German, 1 Estonian and 16 Dutch Teams to this Easter weekend event.

Despite very windy condition, with gusts up to 33 kts at times 6 races were completed over Saturday & Sunday. Although some boats decided not to race, many “brave hearts” and super keen sailors took to the waters to develop their skills and test the endurance of the boats. :-)

NED422NED 422 “Elephant” powers upwind in testing conditions on the Aalsmeer, Holland.

Winners overall were NED 422 “Elephant” helmed by Jan Bakker, crewed by his Son’s Dominic and Olivier, who recorded 4 wins and two 2nd’s to take the series by 12 points.  In 2nd place overall was NED 275 “Bluesette” helmed by Ivo Kok, Romco van den Berg and Bart Peters, who finished just ahead of NED 1 helmed by Ronald Pfeiffer, crewed by Oscar & Diederik Pfeiffer….

12525116_948144195254910_6170263964619519197_o (2)NED 275 “Bluesette” leads around the spreader mark in very tough conditions in Holland.

Two more “Aalsmeer” weekends are planed for April 10-11 and 16-17 before the focus shifts to Muiden for the follow up series, which proves the Dutch Fleet are very active and healthy as they aim to encourage more younger sailors into the class.

12901225_948145015254828_1974842095767237492_o (2)3rd overall NED 1 (a beautiful Doomernik Dragon) helmed by Ronald Pfeiffer, with his Sons.

Hopefully the weather will be a little more pleasant for the next event in a couple of weeks, but never the less, this was a great beginning for the enthusiastic sailors who enjoyed the fresh waters and super sailing area on the Aalsmeer……

Higher, Faster, Longer…………   Stavros.





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UAE 7 “Bunker Queen” Wins in San Remo…

943842_1708892509323880_2571973959389590943_n (2)Marcus Wieser helmed his new PCT Dragon to near “perfection” to win Italian Championships.

With the wind changing back to the east, as it was on day 1 of the Italian National Championships, UAE 7 helmed by Marcus Wieser, crewed by Sergey Pugachev & Diego Negri took the title in style by winning the final race. Recording 4 wins, a 2nd and discarding a 3rd place, “Bunker Queen” finished a massive 15 points ahead of their nearest rival, a very convincing victory.

Finishing in 2nd place yesterday in the final race was GBR 761 “Jerboa” helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, crewed by Mart Hart & Philip Catmur. This moved Gavia and her team up to 7th overall in the Championship and they are now 2nd in the International Ranking List following up their runner’s up place in Cannes two weeks ago. Anatoly Loginov & his team in RUS 27 are the new leaders of the International Ranking.


GBR 761 “Jerboa” finished 2nd in final race & 7th overall. Now 2nd in the International Ranking.

The fight for 2nd and 3rd overall was between RUS 27 & UAE 8, in the end both of these top teams ended on 21 points! However, it was UAE 8 “Bunker King” helmed by current World Champion Yevgeni Braslavets, crewed by Sergiy Timokhov & Oleksandr Myrchuk who took the runner’s up spot on count back.

10378955_1708892422657222_8534951425831975350_n (3)2nd Overall UAE 8 “Bunker King”, Yevgeni Braslavets, rounds the top mark in San Remo.

So RUS 27 “Annapurna” hemed by Anatoly Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin had to settle for 3rd overall, another podium finish for this amazingly consistent Russian team. As I mentioned before this puts Anatoly at the top of the International Ranking List, well done.

10428569_452139478312093_8513028263516649152_nRUS 27 “Annapurna” Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin 3rd overall.

The top Corinthian Team in the end were FRA 404 “Poulico” helmed by Francois Lamaignere, crewed by Francois Laborde & Gwen Chapalain. This team were battling all week with SWE 389 “High Times”, but in the end Karl Gustav Lohr had to settle for 2nd placed Corinthian.

10600639_1708533256026472_4347341399087735037_nFRA 404 “Poulico” wins the Corinthian Division in Italian Nationals, San Remo 2016.

Finally, the Overall Italian Champion was ITA 56 “Cloud” helmed by Giuseppe Duca, crewed by Jean Sebastien Ponce & Vittorio Zaoli, although finishing in 15th position it was enough for Giuseppe to retain his Italian Title for another year :-)

In his winning speech “Marcus Wieser” thanked the Yacht Club of San Remo for hosting a wonderful event, providing excellent racing on all of the 4 days and especially for ordering the sunshine that all 33 competing teams enjoyed ….Marcus also thanked Transbunker owner Sergey Pugachev and mentioned that they have now been racing together for 10 years, very well done.

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

P.S.  A huge thank you to James Robinson Taylor, the Professional Photographer who provided all of these amazing action pictures……     Check out







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