“Desert Eagle” wins Race 5 of Gold Cup….

RP_150827_DRAGGC_1759 (640x428)UAE 20 Markus Koy, Michael Koch & Helmsman Hendrik Witzmann win Race 5…

The Gold Cup Fleet had another stunning sailing day here in Kuhlungsborn yesterday with a wonderful consistent breeze despite an overcast sky. The IRO Christian Haake set up the 2.5 mile first beat on a bearing of 200 degrees, from the superb “Ebb Tide” Committee Boat, 4 miles off the Baltic Coastline.

After a couple of General Recalls and one postponed Black Flag start, the 66 boats got away cleanly at around 12.40. The fleet immediately split to both sides of the course as the wind increased to around 18kts and moved slightly to the right. This gave the sailors who had chosen the right side an advantage so at the top mark it was the “Corinthian” team of GER 1103 “Rosie” helmed by Benjamin Morgan, crewed by his Father Karl and Nicolaus Raedecke who have certainly benefited from their winter sailing in Cascais, Portugal. Right behind them was the Dubai based team in UAE 20 “Desert Eagle” and 3rd was RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” who yet again is showing superb consistency.

RP_150827_DRAGGC_1283 (640x428)GER 1103 “Rosie” was first to the top mark and sailed a fantastic race to finish in 2nd place

I spoke to Benjamin after the race, he told me “We did not have a brilliant start at the Committee Boat end of the line, so we tacked immediately and went out to the right. Although we were below UAE 20 we continued a little further out to the right after Hendrik and his team tacked. As the wind shifted right a little this gave us the edge and so we were very pleased to be first to the top mark” !  Great stuff Benjamin and a fantastic result to finish in 2nd place.

The other boat to be fighting it out all the way around the 12 mile course with the two leaders was RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” helmed by Dmitry Samokhin, crewed by Aleksey Bushuev and Andrey Kirilyuk. After two wins already under their belt this top Russian Team finished a clear 3rd which puts them in 2nd place overall and still very much in the hunt to win the Gold Cup.

RP_150827_DRAGGC_1992 (640x426)The team of RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” finished in 3rd place of Race 5 yesterday.

However, all eyes were on the “overall” leaders yesterday as GBR 801 helmed by Lawrie Smith, crewed by Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling who had to really dig deep into their “inner beliefs” to get themselves out of the chasing pack. I counted at least 20 boats ahead of them at the first leeward gate as the main group of front runners elected to take the left-hand (looking down the course) mark to continue out to the right of the course. But the wind had moved back to 200 degrees again so in fact both sides of the second beat were equal, it was only on the final beat of the day that the experienced Race Management Team signalled for a change of course to 220 degrees.

RP_150827_DRAGGC_1302 (640x428)Overall Leaders by 11pts,  GBR 801 “Lawrie Smith” with Tim Tavinor & Joost Houweling.

With all to do and everything to loose, this well drilled GBR team fought back little by little to amazingly recover to 6th place ! Quite unbelievable really, but boat by boat they slowly moved up the fleet and I am sure they appreciated the excellent long course that the Gold Cup offers….

There was no doubt who were the Top Corinthian Team as of course GER 1103 finished in a fantastic 2nd place, in fact it was GER 1096 “Spass” helmed by Uwe Latzsch, crewed by Torsten Inbeck and Lars Kerschies who finished 2nd Corinthian and now move up to 2nd place overall in the Corinthian Division. Just managing to stay ahead and remain on course to lift the Corinthian Cup is GER 1151 “Puck IV” who were the 3rd Corinthian boat yesterday….

So now we enter into the final day of this exciting and well organised Gold Cup, with around 5 boats that can still “Mathematically” win !! However, destiny has still yet to play her part as I was reminded by my good friend “Noddy” from Burnham that in Kinsale in 2012 after 5 races it was…

Lawrie Smith on 31pts, Dmitry Samokhin 43pts and Tommy Muller on 51pts.

Tommy won the final race and took the Cup beating the GBR team by just a single point! Such is the danger of a non discard series… Such is the drama of the final day. Such is the excitement of this amazing competition ……

This time we have Lawrie Smith 20pts, Dmitry Samokhin 31pts, Pieter Heerema 43pts,  Marcus Wieser 52pts and Tommy Muller also 52pts !! 

So I wish all the top teams the best of luck, a fair wind to them all and may the best team win……

Higher, Faster, Longer……………..       Stavros.   (aboard the “Ebb Tide”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Superb Conditions in Kuhlungsborn…..

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66 top Dragons are having fantastic racing at the 2015 Gold Cup in Kuhlungsborn.

With 2 more races completed yesterday in near perfect conditions it is the British helm Lawrie Smith sailing GBR 801 with Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling who have the best overall score after 4 quality races.

RP_150826_DRAGGC_1176 (640x426)Overall Leaders after 4 races,  GBR 801.  Counting 2nd, 2nd, 2nd & 8th places.

Consistency is the name of the game particularly when you are sailing in a Gold Cup as it is a no discard series of 6 races over a 12 mile course.

11903826_931182430254542_8438124701888055184_nDragon Class Photographer “Ricardo Pinto” in action on day 4 in Kuhlungsborn.

In the first race of the day (race 3 of series), the top few boats around the first mark after a 2.4 mile beat were GER 1068, GER 1133, UAE 7, GER 1113, GBR 801, GBR 761 and NED 412. As the fleet came down towards the bottom gate, the 66 boats filled the horizon with an array of colourful spinnakers….

RP_150826_DRAGGC_1646A (640x360)Race 3 Winners, NED 412 Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen.

However, it was GBR 801, GER 1113 and NED 412 who eventually broke away from the pack by the 3rd and final upwind leg. Although Lawrie Smith and his team held a slender lead it was NED 412 helmed by Pieter Heerema, crewed by Lars Hendriksen and Claus Olesen who took the victory making the best of a substantial left hand shift at the very end. GBR 801 was 2nd and GER 1113 Tanja Jacobsohn, crewed by her husband Bernhard with Sabine Lenkmann & Sussane Bergmann who finished 3rd.

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One of the very best Corinthian Teams GER 1113 were 3rd in Race 3 of the Gold Cup.

In the 2nd race of the day (race 4 of the series) it was again an “all clear” start this time under a Black Flag to make sure the race could be completed in time as the wind was forecast to die away.  However, this was not the case as the fleet enjoyed another “cracking” 12 mile race in an oscillating wind ranging between 8 to 14kts from around 190 degrees. The top boats to the first mark on this occasion were UAE 20, RUS 27, RUS 76, UAE 8, UAE 7 and RUS 35.

10313786_580191488785893_7063514414676277515_n 66 boats shortly after the start of race 4 at the 2015 Dragon Gold Cup in Kuhlungsborn.

As the race developed RUS 76 eventually made her downwind speed really work to open up a substantial lead by the final beat. So it was Dmitry Samokhin, Aleksey Bushuev and Andrey Kirilyuk who added another race win to their very impressive series and are now 2nd overall after 4 races.

RP_150826_DRAGGC_1304 (640x426)Winners of Race 4, RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin, Aleksey Busheuv & Andrey Kirilyuk.

So GBR 801 leads overall, RUS 76 is 2nd then NED 412 moves up to 3rd. Meanwhile still leading the Corinthians is GER 1151 “Puck IV” (12th overall), followed by GER 1113 (14th overall) and in 3rd place is GER 1121 (currently 19th overall). Anything can and surely will happen over the next two days with two more races planned, but these are the teams that have sailed the best so far. Keep it up and remember ….

Higher, Faster, Longer…………       Stavros.

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“Strange Little Boy’s “

IMG_6062 (640x640)Overall Leader Lawrie Smith with Boris (the Blade) Bayer re-living the past together !!

Too much wind here in Kuhlungsborn cancelled all hopes of IRO Christian Haake to make the 3rd race of the 2015 Gold Cup possible. It was a great pity but extremely well justified as several heavy rain squalls continued through all afternoon here on land in Kuhlungsborn.. To even think of venturing out to sea for at least 4 to 5 miles was a simple “non-starter” for the 66 Dragons and indeed Haake made the most perfect decision.

Two races are now planned for tomorrow with the first warning signal at 11.00hrs. The races will still be full “Championship” courses with a Southerly wind forecast of 15 to 17 kts…   Watch this space for updates…..

Higher, Faster, Longer….   Stavros.  (with the two Dragon “Rolling Stones”) :-)

 

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A “Strange Little Girl” catches Lawrie in the End!

RP_150824_DRAGGC_0059 (640x426)RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” Wins Race 2 of Dragon Gold Cup in Kuhlungsborn, Germany.

Race 2 of the Dragon Gold Cup was again started at the first attempt with just a “P” flag by the experienced and well respected IOR Christian Haake. Just three boats were early starters, two re-started, one did not so scored an OCS. Despite an oscillating wind of between 120 & 140 the course was set at 135 as the wind further up the course was more right….

With most of the 66 boat fleet electing to tack as soon as possible it was GBR 801 helmed by Lawrie Smith, crewed by Joost Houweling & Petticrows owner Tim Tavinor who made the best of the shifting conditions to lead at the top of the 2.4 mile beat. Boats that went to the right too early seem to loose height & pressure, so it was better to be more middle right, than all the way right.

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Leaders all the race until the final beat GBR 801 “Lawrie Smith” who had to settle for 2nd.

The 2 boats right behind Lawrie at the top mark were RUS 76 and AUT 218. These 3 boats extended nicely from the pack as they made their way down towards the bottom “gate”. However, as the weather began to close in making visibility difficult it also shifted the wind more to the left so a course change was signalled at the gate for a new bearing of 120 degrees.

One of the boats who had made an early start was GER 1123 “Pow Wow”, but due to the quick thinking of tactician Pedro Andrade, they were able to gybe around the Pin end and re-start getting a fortunate “lane” on port and round the first mark 20th !  This proves once again that starting with just a “P” flag allows boats to still be in the game and not sailing back into the Marina DSQ!

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GER 1123 “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, with Pedro Andrade & Phil Blinn.

As the race progressed there was plenty of opportunity to make gains and likewise losses, but that is the nature of the game. Sadly AUT 218 eventually dropped back after a fantastic beginning, but GER 1123 continue to make huge inroads into the top 20 boats and eventually finished in 3rd place!

For the final upwind leg the course was re-set back to 135 degrees as the sun began to come out and the wind eventually shifted to the right. Several top teams such as UAE 20 and UAE 7 lost out on the left whilst others made huge gains on the right… For the 2 leaders GBR 801 and RUS 76, it was neck and neck up to the very end, with RUS 76 finally getting the victory after pushing further right before the shift came. So a great win for Dmitry Samokhin, Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev in their “Strange Little Girl” :-)

RP_150824_DRAGGC_0025 (640x426)GER 1103 “Rosie” was Top Corinthian Team finishing 12th overall, just ahead of GER 1151.

GER 1103 was the first Corinthian Boat helmed by Benjamin Morgan, crewed by his Father Karl and Nicolaus Raedecke. GER 1151 “Puck IV” Philip Dohse, Oliver Mose & Christian Moller were 2nd and GER 1078 “Troika” Tim Ladehof, Tim Jesse & Arne Brugge were 3rd..  Congratulations to all 3 Corinthian Teams.

Overall leaders after 2 races are GBR 801, followed by RUS 76 & RUS 34… However, all these sailors know that it’s early days…  4 more “Gold Cup” races to go and it most certainly is never over till it’s over…..

Higher, Faster, Longer…….     Stavros.  (On the EBB TIDE Committee Vessel).

 

 

 

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Can it get any Better… Oh Yes it Can !

RP_150823_DRAGGC_9670 (640x426)“Even Better” RUS 34 Vassily Senatorov Wins Race 1 of 2015 Gold Cup.

The Borge Borresen Trophy will spend its next year in Russia proudly displayed in the house of IDA Vice Chairman Vasily Senatorov after leading the first race of the Gold Cup, with his crew Igor Ivashintsov & Alex Muzichenko, from start to finish…….(The BB Memorial Trophy was donated in 2008 by the Borresen family in memory of Borge Borresen who competed in 51 consecutive Gold Cups, winning 4 of them)!

With a wonderful forecast of 10 to 12 kts of wind from 50 to 55 degree’s the first race of the Championship got underway yesterday for the 66 competing Dragons at the very first attempt.

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Just 20 seconds to go in the first race of the 2015 Gold Cup. Fantastic Ricardo Pinto photo.

International Race Officer Christian Haake, set a most perfect 760 metre line in Kuhlungsborn, which allowed the fleet to start with just a “P” flag so that the 3 boats (GER 1123, UAE 7 & GER 1151) who started over the line had the opportunity to return to the line to correct their mistake. As this series has no discard it is vital that every boat keeps behind the line and not risk a disqualification….

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2nd was former World Champion Lawrie Smith, with Tim Tavinor & Joost Houweling

Chasing RUS 34 all the way around the 2.4 mile 3 upwind and 2 downwind course was GBR 801 helmed by Lawrie Smith who told me “Predominately the right side was paying, as boats that tacked away to the left seem to drop back into our line behind us after they returned to the right. We also got very close to Vasily on the final beat but a 25 degree right hand shift gave him a nice angle to the finish. He thoroughly deserved his win”. Thanks Lawrie and also many congratulations to you, Tim & Joost.

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3rd yesterday GER 1133 “Sinewave” with Tommy Muller, Vincent Hoesch & Marc Pickel

Here you see the top German Team on “Sinewave” preparing to launch their spinnaker from inside the cockpit, this is becoming ever more popular again as removing the forward hatch & inner tube saves weight, preserves the spinnaker longer and never allows the sail to end up over the bow and under the boat when dropping in a hurry :-) Makes sense …..

Top Corinthian boat yesterday was GER 1121 helmed by Reemt Reemtsma, crewed by his wife Petra and Lorenz Jensen. This team were always up in the top 10 boats and finished a fantastic 8th place just ahead of 2nd Corinthian GER 1151 Dr Philip Dohse (who was one of the early starters who had returned to re-start) who finished 9th. Philip and his crew of Oliver Mose and Christian Moller were very happy that they corrected their earlier mistake, Philip told me “Yes Stavros, we knew were over and were grateful it was only a “P” flag so we could make a re-start. We then managed to pull up to 35th at the first mark then gain some more on the downwind leg. We also had a brilliant last beat over-taking at least another 15 boats”.  An amazing recovery Gentlemen, well done.

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GER 1151 “Puck IV” on their way to 9th place after being one of the early starters, what a recovery!!

3rd Corinthian was GER 1110 helmed by Norbert Ohst, crewed by Dirk David and Stefan Abel who finished 10th right behind the other two Corinthian Teams. So 3 Corinthian Crews in the top 10 of Gold Cup first race, excellent!

So finally after such an amazing sailing day on the Baltic Sea, all 66 teams returned to the Kuhlungsborn Marina to the sound of “live” music with wonderful food and drink all provided by the many sponsors. However, there is one team who will still be smiling as they wake up this morning for the next race in this 6 race series…..  The team of RUS 34…. Does it get any “Better” ?

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The Winning Team RUS 34 on their way back to the Marina, feeling “EVEN BETTER” :-)

Higher, Faster, Longer………    Stavros.  (On the Ebb Tide Committee Vessel)

All photos supplied by Professional RICARDO PINTO.     Thank you my friend !

 

 

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Tommy’s Day…. but Markus is the Champion.

RP_150821_DRAGGP_7765 (640x426)Tommy Muller, Vincent Hoesch & Frithjof Kleen win races 5 & 6 in Kuhlungsborn.

What a fantastic day we had yesterday in Kuhlungsborn to end the 2015 German Dragon Grand Prix. Sunshine, Blue Skies, Wind and the most Perfect Sailing Conditions you could ever imagine….

The stage was set for a wonderful final day of racing and the experienced IOR Christian Haake took the opportunity to provide the 33 boats with 2 more excellent races which completed a 6 race Grade 1 series over a shortened 3 days. With the wind between 7 to 10 kts from around 45 degrees Haake asked the fleet to be out on time for an 11am start. This was a good decision as it gave the best chance to complete 2 more races in the allocated time….

RP_150821_DRAGGP_7556 (640x360)The Magnificent “Ebb Tide” built in America in 1989 is a most excellent Committee Boat…

In race one of the day (race 5 of the series) GER 1133 “Sinewave” helmed by Tommy Muller, crewed by Vincie Hoesch & Frithjof Kleen led from start to finish dominating the race. In 2nd place was GER 1071 “Keine Brise” helmed by Dr Helmut Schmidt, crewed by Peter Liebner & Stefan Hellriegel who did a great job of keeping the “man of the moment” Markus Wieser behind them. However, after his unbelievable scoring of 4, 1,1,1 Markus secured the overall Championship with his 3rd place and could sail back into the marina without needing to sail the last race, job done!

RP_150821_DRAGGP_7618 (640x426)Victorious UAE 7 “Bunker Queen”, Markus Wieser, Sergei Pugachev & Matti Pashcen..

So once again Markus Wieser is the Champion and looks well set to add the Gold Cup to his growing list of International Dragon Trophies with his UAE team..

However, Markus will not have it all his own way next week as a certain Yevgeni Braslavets helming UAE 8 “Bunker Boys” crewed by Sergey Timokhov & Alexander Mirchuk also put together a great series to finish 3rd overall.

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Our current World & European Champion, Yevgeni Braslavets finished 3rd Overall.

In race two of the day (race 6 of the series) it was once again GER 1133 “Sinewave” who took the victory thus moving this great team up to 2nd overall counting an impressive 3,9,3,1,1. Excellent sailing by Tommy who is now back to his very best and is another favourite for next weeks Gold Cup!

2nd in the final race (which also moved them up to 4th overall) was another top team UAE 20 “Desert Eagle” helmed by Hendrik Witzmann, crewed by Markus Koy & Michael Koch. This Dubai based team dominated the first part of 2015 after winning the grade 1 events in both Cascais & Douarnenez. Another team very much in with a chance to win the prestigious Gold Cup which begins here on Sunday….

3rd place in the final race yesterday and an impressive 5th overall was the 4 crew team of GER 1113 helmed by Tanja Jacobsohn, crewed by her husband Bernhard, Sabine Lenkmann & Susanne Bergmann. Not only did Tanja and her team gain a top 5 place, but they also are the 1st Corinthian Team, an excellent result.

RP_150821_DRAGGP_0501 (640x428)Top Corinthian Team, GER 1113.  Tanja Jacobsohn, sailed to an brilliant 5th Overall.

2nd overall in the Corinthian’s was GER 1093 “Tara” helmed by Torsten Imbeck, crewed by Cornelia Inbeck & Ulrich Matthiesen. This team also finished 9th in the whole competition so had a fantastic regatta.  3rd overall Corinthian was GER 1151 “Puck IV” helmed by Phillip Dohse, crewed by Oliver Mose & Christian Moller. So very many congratulations to these 3 teams…

So now the stage is set for an amazing Gold Cup. The fleet will double in size to an expected 66 boats representing at least 10 different Nations. The organisers, helpers and volunteers of the Segelclub Kuhlungsborn led by Dr Peter Mansell have done a fantastic job both on and off the water. Everything has been meticulously planned and with Christian Haake, one of the worlds best IRO’s, the 2015 Gold Cup will be an event not to miss…….    :-)

Higher, Faster, Longer………     Stavros.  (On board the EBB TIDE).

 

 

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Master Class by Markus…..

RP_150820_DRAGGP_0298 (640x428)Markus Wieser wins both races on Day 2 of the German Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn.

A Master Class is a class given to students of a particular discipline by an expert of that discipline….. Yesterday, Markus Wieser was that “expert”.

With a 2 hour postponement ashore the 33 boats were eventually sent out by the International Race Officer Christian Haake at 1pm. As the wind began to increase from around 35 degrees, the first race of the day (Race 3) got underway under a “U” flag at 2.20pm. Leading at the top mark was UAE 7 “Bunker Queen” helmed by Markus Wieser, crewed by Sergei Pugachev & tactician Matti Paschen. Closely following behind was leading Corinthian Tanja Jacobsohn helming GER 1113 with her husband Bernhard & two of her former 470 World & European Champion crew Sabine Lenkmann & Susanne Bergmann.

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Top Corinthian Team GER 1113 Tanja Jacobsohn with her 3 crew, currently 6th overall.

As the race developed over the three up wind and two down wind legs, our current World and European Champion Yevgeni Braslavets UAE 8 made his way towards the front of the fleet, often choosing different sides of the course to Markus. Also making their move from the “pack” towards the front was GER 1133 “Sinewave” helmed by Tommy Muller, who eventually finished 3rd behind Yevgeni 2nd as Markus extended his lead to win comfortably.

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Tommy Muller in GER 1133 with Vincent Hoesch and Fithjof Kleen, currently 4th overall.

In race two (Race 4 of the series), it was again UAE 7 “Bunker Queen” that led from start to finish, this time UAE 8 Yevgeni Braslavets crewed by Sergey Timokhov and Alexander Mirchuk showed why they have already won the two major events of 2015 by finishing a close 2nd…. Yes, it’s been many years since any team won both the Worlds and the Europeans in the same year…  Could Yevgeni do the “Treble”  and win the Gold Cup next week….?  I tell you all, it’s certainly possible… :-)

Two other boats also sailing brilliantly yesterday in race 4 of the series were GER 1078 “Troika” helmed by Tim Ladehof, crewed by Tim Jesse & Arme Brugge who just manged to hold off top Swiss boat SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” helmed by Hugo Stenbeck, crewed by Martin Westerdahl & Bernardo Freitas….

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GER 1078 “Troika” just holds off SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” to finish 3rd and 4th respectively.

I must say that from my vantage point of watching high up on the Committee Boat, the beautiful “Ebb Tide”, it is very easy to see every single boat at the start. So sailors please beware, forget passed regattas and events, this Race Officer will not allow any boat to start over the line…  It is essential to any successful championship to have a disciplined start on a well laid line and sail a perfectly set course…. Christian Haake gives you that “package”. He is very experienced, holds the respect of the Dragon Class and is doing a first class job.. So the stage is set for a great finale to the Grand Prix today and a superb Gold Cup next week…. 

Bring it on……

Higher, Faster, Longer……   more disciplined……    Stavros.

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This “Little Girl” is not so “Strange”..

RP_150819_DRAGGP_6261 (640x360)RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin, Aleksey Bushuev & Andrey Kirilyuk lead overall in Kuhlungsborn.

33 Dragons had the most perfect day of racing yesterday on day 1 of the German Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn. This final Grade 1 event of 2015 could not have wished for better conditions as the battle for top spot began at this  most wonderful venue on the Baltic Sea.

Professional Race Officer Christian Haake from Lake Starnberg has a very simple but effective manner as he conveys his instructions to the extremely experienced fellow organisers. He also has the full “respect” of the sailors which makes for excellent racing, very little time wasting & great starts…

Race 1 was started after one general recall under the “U” flag with RUS 27 & FIN 86 being the only two boats over the line. At the top mark it was RUS 98 “Zenith” that rounded first with UAE 7 helmed by Markus Wieser right behind. For some reason UAE 7 elected to gybe at the spreader mark and this turned out to be a huge mistake! Those of you who are regular readers of my “Blogs” will know, I never advise sailors to make this manoeuvre when in the leading few boats as you then sail directly into less air under the rest of the fleet….  UAE 7 went from 2nd to 10th !!

I spoke to tactician Matti Paschen after the race ” Yes Stavros we made the cardinal mistake of gybing straight away. It put us in bad air & we dropped back to 10th position by the leeward gate and had to spend the rest of the race playing catch up” !  However, it was RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” helmed by Dmitry Samokhin who made the best of a slight right-hand shift on the second beat who won the race. 2nd was the ever improving SUI 313 “Free” helmed by Dirk Oldenburg, crewed by Paul Mckenzie & Dominik Zycki, 3rd was GER 1133 “Sinewave” helmed by Tommy Muller, crewed by Vincie Hoesch & Fithjof Kleen. These 3 boats pulled away nicely from the fleet over the 90 min race.

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Winners of Race 2 were UAE 7 “Bunker Boys” Markus Wieser, Michi Lip & Matti Paschen.

Race 2 was started under a “P” flag, in 12 kts of wind that slowly increased to 18 kts as the race developed. Once again it was RUS 76 who made the initial jump on the fleet to round the top mark 1st after an average start at the Committee Boat end of the 420m line. However, Dmitry and his team had to settle for 3rd place in the end after UAE 7 & UAE 8 piled on the pressure over the 100 minute race of 3 up wind and 2 down wind legs. So it was Markus Wieser who took the gun from our current World Champion Yevgeni Braslavets, crewed by Sergey Timokov & Alexander Michuk sailing “Bunker Prince” who finished 2nd.

RP_150819_DRAGGP_1152 (640x360)Top Corinthian Team, GER 1113 helmed by Tanja Jacobsohn, lead UAE 7 up the first beat.

The Top Corinthian Team was GER 1113 helmed by Tanja Jacobsohn and crewed by Sabine Lenkmann and Bernhard Jacobsohn. Scoring a 6th in race one and an 8th in race two, Tanja and her team mixed it with the best all day and thoroughly deserved their “Best Corinthian” daily prize after racing.

All 10 of the Corinthian Teams (30% of the fleet) sailed well and really enjoyed taking on the best sailors in the World…  What other sport offers the chance of a “fresh & able” non-professional team the chance to compete in the same arena as the top 10 sailors in the World ???

Can Fred Blogs play Golf at the Masters against Jorden Spieth ??  Can John Smith run on the same track as Usain Bolt ?  Or can Amanda Child race her car against Lewis Hamilton ??  I don’t think so….. 

That is why our beloved sport is so fantastic, all any sailor has to do to take part against the Worlds Best in the Dragon Fleet is to simply “Turn Up” :-)

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

p.s.  All photo’s taken and supplied by Professional  “Ricardo Pinto”

 

 

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NOR 295, Norwegian Open Champions…..

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Odd-Erik Aks with Helm Christian Nygaard & Dominic Bakker win the Norwegian Open.

NOR 295 “Friendship” won the Norwegian Championships in Hanko, Norway over the weekend of 14th to 16th August. 2nd overall was NOR 286 “Spirit” helmed by Terje Wang and 3rd “Team Bagdad” helmed by Kristoffer Spone.

15 boats competed in 10 races (2 discards) in the amazing Fjords of Hanko, Norway. Winning crew member Dominic Bakker told me “The weather was excellent with beautiful scenery in Norway, to sail in the Fjords was amazing”.

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On day one, the wind was between 10 to 14 kts, with a cloudless blue sky. Dominic continued ” You really had to pay attention to the pressure as the races were just 40 minutes long, most of the time out to sea paid, but occasionally the shore kicked in”.  The Professional “Team Bagdad” (who sail a variety of classes including 505’s, Melges 24 & 5.5m) took the overall lead recording 2, 1, 1. Dominic continued “Although we scored 3,2 & 7 we were still very much in with a chance. That evening we were invited by the Grandson to the King’s House with 60kg of Shrimp on Hanko Island”.

On day two, the breeze was offshore at around 18kts, with longer races (1 hr) NOR 295 won 2 of the races, whilst “Team Bagdad” had a few gear failures but bounced back to win the final race of the day, race 7. NOR 286 “Spirit” Terje Wang, continued to sail well putting together some very consistent scores. With a Dinner at the Yacht Club that evening, all was set up for a great finale.

On day three, the wind again was 10 to 14 kts and another spectacular day. Dominic continued “We knew after 10 races there would be 2 discards so we still had everything to play for as we were tied on points with “Team Bagdad”. However, in the first race of the day (race 8) they fouled someone at the top mark whilst in 2nd position which probably cost them the event. NOR 286 moved up into 2nd place overall by winning race 9 and we consolidated our overall victory with a 3rd in the final race..”  Very well done to the NOR 295 “Friendship” team…

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

 

 

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Eric Williams Wins Cowes Week…

11899993_10153521503556870_1777649428781326468_nKatie Cole, Eric Williams and Joanna Richardson Winners of Dragon Class in Cowes 2015.

After 8 long days the team from “Ecstatic” owned and helmed by “Solent Legend” Eric Williams, crewed by Katie Cole & Joanna Richardson achieved the ultimate challenge of inshore Yacht Racing, they won Cowes Week ! 

 For those of you that have not had the pleasure of sailing in Cowes, let me tell you first hand it is not easy !  First you have over 1500 boats racing all over the Solent scattered around various courses. Then you have 4 or 5 ferries running to and from the mainland every 2 hours.. Then there are a number of large Tankers, Cruise Liners and over-stacked Container Ships entering and leaving Southampton Docks 24 hours a day. On top of that the wind can begin the day flat calm, develop to a good breeze by noon, then increase to 20+ kts by mid afternoon! Oh… then of course there is the tide… Did I mention the tide ? Yes it comes in and goes out, but usually at around 2 to 3 knots, 4 knots at times !!  However, it’s not that simple because it changes on the North Shore and the Island Shore much earlier…  beginning to understand Cowes now?

 Finally there is the “Brambles Bank” to negotiate !!  A huge lump of sand that sits right in the middle of all this activity…  Believe it or not there are a group of diehard sailors who still play cricket on the Brambles Bank once a year…!  Only in England can such a tradition still exist…. :-)

So then to tell you of the competition in the Dragon Class in Cowes Week… Well if Graham Bailey (former winner of Edinburgh Cup & many top yachting trophies) finished 2nd and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox (multi Dragon Trophy winner) finished 3rd overall, I think you can all appreciate how well Eric and his Girls sailed…..   Well done to team “Ecstatic” enjoy your success of 2015.

Higher, Faster, Longer……….    Stavros.

 

 

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