Final IDA Grade 1 Grand Prix in Torbole’…

IMG-20160519-WA0000Great racing in Torbole’ from former years overlooked by the magnificent Mountain’s.

This October (4-7) the final Dragon Grand Prix Grade 1 event of 2017 will combine with the popular 13th Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup on Lake Garda, Italy.

Torbole_Panorama

Torbole’ has a tremendous reputation of being “The” place to sail as conditions are almost perfect every day due to it’s geographical position at the North-West end of Lake Garda. The “Ora” is the most constant and famous wind which begins in the first hours of the afternoon and lasts until the evening. It reaches Torbole’ from the south after running through the whole length of the lake. Then in the evening the “Peler” blows from the north and is more of a permanent wind as it can last well into the morning which allows for some early morning races when required. So that is why Torbole’ is an ideal sailing location and has seen Dragon racing at it’s very best over the past 12 years!

DSC09482cn_Panorama (640x426)A wonderful photo taken in 2015 by Christopher Nordhoff, from Germany looking South.

So why not make the trip to join in the fun and top competition whilst experiencing this wonderful setting on this beautiful lake which rests 220 feet above sea level…  You will not be disappointed 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Final IDA Grade 1 Grand Prix in Torbole’…

Pieter is Simply the Best…

20170910_165904

Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen are the 2017 Dutch Champions.

The final day of racing provided the very best conditions with sun, wind & excellent championship courses… Requiring just one more half decent result to clinch the title NED 412 helmed by Pieter Heerema did it in style by winning race 6. After rounding the top Mark ahead of NED 422 & NED 247, Pieter went on to control the race to win by a comfortable margin. In 2nd place was NED 247 helmed by Martin Payne & 3rd went to NED 422 Jan Bakker.

As the wind increased for the start of race 7 Pieter and his top crew had the option of heading back into Muiden, as they did not need to sail the final race, knowing their job was done…  🙂

20170910_170131

“The winners take it all” the beautiful Silver Dragon will be kept by the team until next year.

In the final race NED 422 had a great start at the Committee Boat end of the line and picked up a favourable shift on the right side of the course. GBR 803 Quentin Strauss, Nigel Young & Pedro Andrade had to really up their game as an OCS in race 6 meant they could lose out on the runners up spot if they were not careful.. NED 422 sailed a brilliant race to record their 2nd race win, NED 1 Ronald Pfeiffer was 2nd & BEL 80 Ben van Cauwenbergh finished 3rd. However, GBR 803 did manage to pull back to finish in 6th place which secured their 2nd place overall.

quentin2nd Overall, GBR 803 Quentin Strauss (centre) Nigel Young & Pedro Andrade.

The final podium place went to NED 422 helmed by Jan Bakker, with Son’s Dominic & Olivier who thoroughly deserved their final position as they ended the championship with 2 race wins and 1pt ahead of me 🙂

20170910_165622

NED 422 Jan, Olivier & Dominic Bakker won race 7 to move up to 3rd overall..

In his winners speech Pieter Heerema thanked all the helpers at the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club and gave a special mention to the excellent Race Officer Jacques Kellermann Slotemaker. Explaining that the courses had been well set, the lines were very fair and that Jacques made the correct call to abandon a race when the wind shifted around 30 degrees during Friday.

Final Results of the Championship.

Higher, Faster, Longer………..     Stavros.  (NED 247).

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Pieter is Simply the Best…

Day 3 of Dutch Nationals in Muiden.

qGBR 803 helmed by Quentin Strauss, with Nigel Young & Pedro Andrade win race 5.

Two more races were completed yesterday (Sat 10th Sept) in Muiden as the 37 boats enjoyed a rain free day! Yes, we had grey skies and even the occasional black clouds but the rain only fell on Amsterdam so a great time was had by all at the Open Dutch Championships.

In the first race of the day, NED 345 Reinier Wissenraet held a commanding lead at the top mark, with GBR 803 and NED 412 in close pursuit… Quentin Strauss helming GBR 803 looked to have taken control of the race by the final beat, but as he kept a close watch on both NED 345 & overall leader NED 412 it was NED 422 helmed by Jan Bakker, crewed by his sons Olivier & Dominic who sneaked in on the exact lay-line to win the race.

DunnceOlivier Bakker, tactician of NED 422 wearing his prize at last nights Dragon Dinner 🙂

In the 2nd race of the day (race 5 of the series), it was the famous NED 247 Fred Imoff’s old boat, now owned by Hay Winters, who took the lead from GBR 803 & NED 412. However, on the final upwind leg a 40 degree right shift allowed GBR 803 to cross the line first ahead of NED 412 in 2nd and NED 247 3rd. So overall Pieter Heerema still holds a comfortable lead from Quentin Strauss in 2nd and Reinier Wissentraet in 3rd place.

rainbow

Today’s forecast is looking good for a possible 2 more races which will conclude this very well organised Championships.  The lines have been set correctly and the courses have been well laid, so the 37 boats have enjoyed some great sailing here on this wonderful part of Holland.  Here we see Muiderslot (The Castle of Muiden) at the end of a Rainbow… the clouds have gone and it should be a great sailing day. The Championship is now really between two boats, NED 412 Pieter Heerema & GBR 803 Quentin Strauss… with around 5 other boats fighting for the final “Podium” place..  If Quentin wants to make it 3 Championships in a row he will have to pull out all the stops today to beat Pieter…  A truly exciting climax to a very competitive event..

Higher, Faster, Longer….          Stavros.  (NED 247).

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Day 3 of Dutch Nationals in Muiden.

3 Race Wins for NED 412.

nowayNED 412 “No Way Back” wins the 3rd race of the Dutch Open Championship in Muiden.

Day 2 of the Dutch Open Championship was delayed yesterday (Friday 8th Sept) as there were gusts in excess of 30 kts and lots of rain squalls…  So when the 37 boats did eventually set sail from the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club sailors were prepared for a very wet time…

whiteoutYes there are boats if you look closely, hidden by one of the heavy rain squalls yesterday.

The first start was met with a really heavy rain squall which shifted the wind 40 degrees to the right.. Boats that started well at the PIN end of the line were soon 400m behind as they sailed a “Banana” around the fleet 🙂 Eventually the Race Officer decided to abandon the race so 37 very wet teams returned to the starting area hoping for more favourable conditions…

AbandonedThe first race of Friday was abandoned after a rain squall which shifted the wind 40 degrees!

After a short time the 3rd race of this championship was started and NED 247 started well at the pin end and decided to cross the fleet on port. However, the wind shifted even more left this time, so boats who continued further on starboard tack off the start line made larger gains. GBR 422 helmed by Dmitry Bodarenko, NED 393 Richard Blickman and NED 412 Pieter Heerema all did well on the left to round the top mark ahead of the chasing pack.

GBR 422 took the left hand gate whilst NED 412 elected to take the right. By the time the boats next crossed it was GBR 422 who held the lead and continued to hold off NED 412 until the final upwind.. Eventually it was NED 412 with Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen who took the victory, with GBR 422 2nd and GBR 803 Quentin Strauss 3rd.

body2nd in race 3 was GBR 422 Dmitry Bodarenko, Vadim Statsenko & Aleksander Shalagin.

In the overall standings after 3 races, NED 412 Pieter Heerema leads on 3pts, GBR 803 Quentin Strauss, Nigel Young & Pedro Andrade in 2nd on 9pts and NED 247 Martin Payne, Hay Winters & Richard van Rij 3rd on 16pts. Today (Sat 9th) will hopefully see at least 2 more races, but the is much lighter and guess what ?  It’s still raining……  

Higher, Faster, Longer….. (Wetter)….      Stavros.  (NED 247).

Again Thank You to Eric van der Bandt for these great photo’s taken in testing conditions..

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on 3 Race Wins for NED 412.

Day 1 of Dutch Open Championships

NED247

Race 1 of the Dutch Open Championships gets underway in Muiden with 37 boats…

“It is the largest and strongest fleet for 15 years” was the call from Dutch Secretary Philip de Koning yesterday as the 37 international teams had 2 very close races yesterday organised by the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club (RNLYC) in cooperation with the Dutch Dragon Association.

Race 1 started first time around 12.00 under a “P” flag with a clear start, NED 412 started centre line and continued waiting for the first real header…  I spoke to Lars Hendriksen “We were out early to give us a clear idea of the high’s and low’s on each tack. With the wind mainly at 260 degrees it was all a matter of local shifts coming in..  We knew the wind from the North Sea would be disturbed as it came over Amsterdam and as there was no prediction of a left or right turning wind, our game plan was to trust the compass. Also when the wind was neutral we kept to the middle of the course to take advantage of the next shift”…

NED412Winners of Race 1 & 2 NED 412 “Troika” helmed by Pieter Heerema, with Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen.

Great words of advice from Lars the winning tactician of race 1 and 2 which helped guide Pieter Heerema to his two victories.  In 2nd place overall is NED 345 Reinier Wissenraet, sailing with Pim Harmsen Beek & Marc Reijnhout. This top Dutch Team finished with a 3rd and 2nd place to keep the pressure on the leaders… Also having a great first day was the 2015 & 2016 Dutch Champions GBR 803 helmed by Quentin Strauss, crewed by Nigel Young and the current European Champion Pedro Catalao Rebelo de Andrade !  🙂

Pedro told me “After a good first race (2nd) we pushed the line a bit hard in race 2 and had to re-start. However, we found a lucky clear lane on Port heading towards the right where we found a 25 degree right hand shift which got us back in the game. We would have finished even better than 4th if it not for the close covering by NED 247 towards the finish :-).

satrat

Start of Race 2 of the Open Dutch Nationals, sees GBR 803 popped & having to re-start.

Today we wait for the wind to ease as the rain squalls are showing gusts in excess of 30 kts…  Also its raining like cats & dogs, so the clubhouse is full..

bnAnother nice photo yesterday from Eric van den Bandt..   Nice 10 to 12kt conditions.

Higher, Faster, Longer……..    Stavros.     (NED 247).

 

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Day 1 of Dutch Open Championships

Norwegian Champions, SWE 375.

NorwayChampionsGoran Alm, Thomas Wallenfeldt & helm Martin Palsson are the Nordic Champions.

It has been a good year for this top “Corinthian” team from Sweden who have just added the Norwegian Open Championship to their Swedish National title and a very respectful 3rd place in the Danish Nationals.

Martin Palsson, Goran Alm and Thomas Wallenfeldt put together a very impressive series of 5 wins and a 4th place to take the Norwegian title ahead of NOR 281 Steiner Basberg in 2nd and NOR 287 Tor Meinchen who finished 3rd. Many congratulations to these podium teams.

Martin told me “It was a great event sailed in medium to light breezes over two days, with 8 races in Tonsberg. We are very pleased with our season so far as we prepare to meet the big boys and girls again Internationally. Also our Class Federation have bought a Dragon to offer to young sailors, which has already been used by 2 to 3 teams, some of which are planning to buy their own boats. SWE 375 will certainly be joining one of this years winter series, most probably in Portugal”.

So very well done to Martin and his team and it’s great to hear that younger sailors are being encouraged to join our wonderful class. I know there are many other countries including the UK, Belgium and Holland who are pursuing different initiatives to promote new and young sailors into Dragons, long may it continue…

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

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Norwegian Champions, SWE 375.

Gold Cup in St Tropez…13th-20th Oct.

DRAGGOLDCUPCalling all Dragon’s, Entry for Gold Cup closes soon, please join the fun in St Tropez.

Almost 70 boats are already entered for the 2017 Gold Cup!!

This will be a most spectacular event to round off our excellent season…  As part of this years organising committee I can assure you all that no stone will be left unturned in our pursuit to give all participants the ultimate regatta.

gulf-of-st_tropezRacing will take place outside the Gulf of St Tropez to allow for excellent courses.

Principle Race Officer Phillip Faure will be calling the shots, whilst I will be announcing VHF information throughout the event.  Courses will be set outside the Gulf of St Tropez to allow for 2.5 nautical mile Upwind leg’s with well set start lines of a sensible length.

AS2

Winners of the 2016 Gold Cup, SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” Bernardo, Hugo & Martin. In Denmark.

The S.N.S.T. look forward to hosting this prestigious event which offers one quality race per day over 6 race days with no discard. First race Sun 15th..

With entries & payment required by the end of August, please make sure you don’t miss out on participating in this unique event at such an amazing venue… 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer………    Stavros.  (On the Committee Boat).

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Gold Cup in St Tropez…13th-20th Oct.

Pedro Andrade is European Champion

received_1498078426898270World Champion crew Ali Tezdiker sprays European Champion at Prize Giving..

What a fantastic final day we had in Lake Thun..  At first any further racing looked unlikely as the anticipated early morning breeze from the mountains overlooking Interlaken did not materialize. So the 62 International teams had to wait again patiently ashore..

ShortieWaiting for the wind at the Thunersee Yacht Club, a great photo from Michael Kurtz.

However, the God’s were good to us and at around 12.00 Principle Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ allowed the Dragons onto the lake as the afternoon “Thermal” wind from the North West began to show encouraging signs.

In fact as the boats hoisted spinnakers and made their way down this beautiful lake the wind began to build and the prospect of sailing 2 races was about to become a reality. Not only would 2 more races validate the series, but it would also allow for a discard, which many of us were hoping for 🙂

The start of race 4 was recalled under a “U” flag and quickly restarted with a Black Flag. The top mark bearing was set at 305 degrees, but the wind was shifting like crazy as the 62 boats got underway. At times it was possible to point directly at the mark on starboard tack, so boats who started at the committee boat end of the line were in great shape. However, at the top end of the beat the wind shifted back to the left so it all became a little tricky to say the least 🙂

Family

Winners of Race 4 was GER 1151 the Dohse “Family” Philip & Nicola & daughter Pia.

Making the most of these shifting conditions was GER 1151 who went on to win the race, followed by UAE 7 in 2nd place and RUS 76 3rd. In 7th place was GER 1177 helmed by Pedro Andrade who now moved into the overall lead on just 19 points after the 4 races. However, by shortening the course at the end of the second upwind leg it gave time for a 5th and final race, which of course would then allow a discard. So the Championship was all on the final race and may have even been decided on “count back” as it was last year between RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov & GER 1162 Stephan Link in St Petersburg!

There were actually 5 teams that could still win GER 1177, GER 1170, GER 1162, UAE 7 & UAE 9. However, although RUS 76 could not beat Pedro’s 19 points even if they won the final race, Dmitry and his team could still reach a podium place..  So race 5 got underway and most of the fleet tacked to the right shore, whilst a small number chanced their luck on the left. At the top mark the lead boats from both sides were equally matched with GER 1184 rounding ahead of RUS 27, GBR 770 and GBR 789. In the end it was RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov who won the race, followed by RUS 76 in 2nd GER 1186 was 3rd and UAE 7 was 4th.

EC

With none of the overall contenders at the front of the fleet it meant GER 1177 “Pow Wow” Pedro Andrade, Charles Nankin and Bernardo Torres Pego are the 2017 European Champions… ! Fantastic result, well done 🙂

FinalThe final Podium RUS 76 Dmitry 2nd, GER 1177 Pedro 1st and UAE 7  Yvegen 3rd.

Final scores Pedro Andrade, Charles Nankin & Bernardo Torres Pego 19pts.

Dmitry Samokhin, Andrey Kirilyuk & Alexey Bushuev  21pts.

Yvegen Braslavets, Sergey Pugachev & Sergey Timokhof 21pts.

Top Corinthians were GER 1186 helmed by Tanja Jacobsohn, crewed by her Husband Bernard and Jan Scharfetter..  By finishing the final race in 3rd position this put Tanja and her team in 9th position overall which is a fantastic result in this high quality championship.

TanjaTop Corinthian and 9th Overall is Tanja Jacobsohn, Bernard Jacobsohn & Jan Scharfetter.

A big thank you to all the helpers and volunteers at the Thunersee Yacht Club for hosting this fantastic event in such a wonderful location. The Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ did a great job in really testing conditions whilst the “Star” of the show was Lotti Schmidt who ran the whole event impeccably from start to finish…  Well done Lotti and a huge thank you from all the competitors 🙂

LottiPrinciple Organiser Lotti Schmidt of the Thunersee Yacht Club… 

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

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Pedro Andrade is European Champion

Day 4 of Europeans in Thun.

Day4Race 3 is started in Thun, with a morning breeze from Interlaken of around 6 kts…

It was another early start yesterday (18th August) for the 62 International Dragon teams competing at the 2017 European Championships on Lake Thun, Switzerland.  Shortly after the start half of the fleet tacked onto port and headed for the right hand side of the lake, whilst the rest continued towards the left shore. Making full use of the small, but important, wind shifts was GER 1177 “Pow Wow” helmed by Pedro Andrade who was first to round the top mark.

pppGER 1177 Pedro Andrade, Bernardo Torres Pego & Charles Nankin were first to top mark.

Right behind the “Pow Wow” team was the 2016 European Championship runners up GER 1162 “Desert Holly”, helmed by Stephan Link and UAE 9 helmed by Henrik Witzmann. At the bottom gate Pedro elected to round the left buoy whilst Stephan and Henrik took the right, game on…

By the time Pedro had cleared the spinnakers and tacked back to cover it was too late…  Stephan and his team picked up a better breeze on the left and were now in full control of the second upwind leg. With the prospect of squeezing in another race, our Principle Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ decided to shorten the course at the end of the second beat.

Eace3Winners of Race 3 GER 1162 “Desert Holly”, Stephan Link, Frank Butzmann & Michi Lip.

So it was GER 1162 who took the winning gun, followed by UAE 9 helmed by Henrik Witzmann who finished 2nd and GER 1068 Ingo Ehrlicher in 3rd. Pedro and his team were pushed back to 4th place but remain in 2nd place overall.

hW2nd in race 3 were UAE 9 Henrik Witzmann, Markus Koy & Robert Stanyeck.

A second race was started at around 11am which again saw the fleet split left and right. This time it was GER 1140 “Smaug” who made an excellent gain towards the top of the beat to hold a comfortable lead at the windward mark. Unfortunately for Nicola Friesen and her team of Vincie Hoesch & Joost Houweling, the wind died away to nothing during the first downwind so the race had to be abandoned…

NicolaNicola Friesen helming GER 1140 “Smaug” leading at the top mark of the abandoned race.

Meanwhile GER 1170 “Cameleer” helmed by Markus Brenneke recorded an 8th place in race 3 to still lead overall. Sailing with Olympian Jochen Schumann & Ingo Borowski, Markus has put together a very impressive series so far counting a 2, 1 & 8 so lead on 11 pts.  Pedro Andrade has 12 pts and Stephan  Link is just behind on 17 pts.

leaders33333Overall Leaders after 3 races GER 1170, Markus Brenneke, Jochen Schumann & Ingo Borowski.

Another early start today (8.30am) will hopefully see the series completed as 4 races are required to validate the Championship…  However, we are all hoping that weather will play ball today so that a 5th race may also be sailed which will allow for a discard..  We live in hope!

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

Thank you again to Elena Razina for these super photo’s..    🙂

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Day 4 of Europeans in Thun.

GER 1170 Take the Lead in Thun…

Dat3Race 2 of the 2017 Europeans gets underway in Thun, after a long wait ashore…

A 6kt afternoon thermal wind eventually arrived in Thun much to the delight of the 62 International teams who had been waiting at the club since 7.30am! Unfortunately, the early morning mountain breeze did not materialise as predicted so patience was the name of the game.

Shortly after the start most of the fleet tacked onto port to head towards the favoured right hand side. Although the far left boats looked “higher” on port tack, there seemed to be a current advantage towards the top of the first beat the closer you got to the shore. So the best gains were made by the early leaders into the right who judged the starboard tack “lay-line” to perfection.

LeadersWinners of Race 2 GER 1170 Markus Brenneke, Jochen Schumann & Ingo Borowski.

Making the most of this strategy was Germany’s Markus Brenneke who has multiple Olympic Medallist Jochen Schumann calling the shots. This team eventually went on to win the race and now lead the competition overall on just 3 points after finishing in 2nd place the previous day.

Not only did it pay to keep right up the beat but there also seemed to be more pressure on that side for the downwind legs. Two of the teams that certainly made full advantage of this fact was RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov and GBR 375 Ivan Bradbury.

AL22nd in Race 2 was RUS 27, Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin.

In the end it was RUS 27 who just managed to finish ahead of GBR 375, so Anatoly is now 2nd overall on 7pts after scoring a 5th place in race 1. Meanwhile Ivan Bradbury will be delighted with his 3rd place which gets his European Championship back on track after recording a 38th in race 1.

333rd in race 2 GBR 375 “Blue Haze”, Ivan Bradbury, Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk.

Leading the “Corinthian” challenge is GER 1186 helmed by Tanja Jacobsohn, crewed by her husband Bernhard & Jan Scharfetter. Tanja and her team are currently on 26 points after recording a 20th in race 1 followed by an excellent 6th place in race 2.

TanjaLeading Corinthian overall after 2 races in GER 1186 Tanja Jacobsohn.

A 3rd race was started later in the afternoon, which saw UAE 9 lead around the top mark followed by RUS 76 and GBR 789.  However, as the breeze started to die away the Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ decided to stop the race as conditions were not giving the fleet a “fair” race.  And that my friends is the way the Cookie Crumbles 🙂

With another early start planned for today (8.30am) to catch the mountain breeze from Interlaken, it’s hoped to complete a further 2 races, for sure we need some wind….

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

Thanks once again to Elena Razina for these excellent photo’s….

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on GER 1170 Take the Lead in Thun…