“Desert Eagle” UAE 20 wins 1st Race in Douarnenez….

11210268Hendrik Witzmann, Markus Coy & Henrique Anjos lead the first race from start to finish.

It was a very wet and gloomy day to begin the Guyader Grand Prix in Douarnenez yesterday, but the 58 boat fleet all survived the dismal conditions to start this highly competitive series. The first start was recalled then, with the Black Flag introduced for the second start, the PRO Jean Gabriel Le Cleach called the line “all clear” ….. and the 58 boats got away cleanly.

The wind was very light from a direction of around 145 degrees and the pin end of the line was slightly biased which allowed those boats who made a good start the option of tacking or continuing further to the left. One of the boats who trusted their “transit” to make an excellent start was GBR 780 “Louise” helmed by Grant Gordon, crewed by Kasper Harsberg and Ruairidh Scott. Kasper told me “We had good speed and were confident with our transit which enabled us to get clear air and continue for a third of the beat on starboard. When we tacked onto port we held our lane all the way to the starboard lay line, to round the top mark 5th.”

11216340_942360559137207_1533542117_n (640x426)Kasper Harsberg, Ruairidh Scott & Grant Gordon GBR 780, sailed well to finish 3rd.

Also having an excellent race was GBR 761 “Jerboa” helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, crewed by Mark Hart and Paul Fletcher. This experienced team challenged the leaders throughout the race and chose to take the opposite “gate mark” each time to keep the UAE 20 team on their toes right to the finish.  Gavia told me “After our good start we mainly played the right on the first beat and then the left on the second beat. The top 5 boats had a super race with many place changes. At the end we thought we may even pass UAE 20 but they took the small bias on the finish line to win the race”. What did she think of the course? Gavia said she thought it was a very fair race course with even sides to the beats. “We had a nervous time on the second run as the wind filled in from behind. This allowed NED 309 Gus de Groot to make a gain by sailing lower with more pressure”.  Having kept their cool, Jerboa secured a well deserved 2nd. 

RP_150504_GPGuyader_2019 (1) (640x426)Team “Jerboa” GBR 761, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, Mark Hart & Paul Fletcher finished 2nd.

Top Corinthian Team was NED 309 “Furie” Guus de Groot, crewed by Richard Van Rij & Hay Winters. With an excellent final downwind leg, Guus and his team secured 4th place despite not being able to keep his “Cigar” lit throughout the 2 hour race…. :-)

11216287_942360232470573_119275802_n (640x428)UAE 20 “Desert Eagle” leads the fleet downwind and takes 1st place in the opening race.

So 57 boats managed to finish the first race with just one boat GBR 801 “The Wealdstone Raider” helmed by former World Champion Lawrie Smith who had to make a mad dash back into the harbour to make use of the “rest room” facilities !  Maybe it was not such a good idea to have celebrated his crew Joost Houweling’s birthday with Tim Tavinor the night before quite so vigorously with copious helpings of the seafood platters……ah well some people never learn!    :-)

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

Thanks once again to Top Professional Ricardo Pinto, for these fabulous photo’s…



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Come WIN a Dragon in Douarnenez…..

grand-prix-guyaderWith over 60 Dragons now registered  for the 3rd European Grade 1 event of 2015 the “new format” Guyader Grand Prix, in Douarnenez will be a fantastic regatta. The “who’s who” of Dragon Racing fill this star studded line up and each team will have one eye looking just a little further ahead to the World Championships in June. Yes fellow sailors, who ever wins this event must be favourite to lift the World Crown in just over a months time in La Rochelle.

Also every team will have a chance to win a brand new Petticrows Dragon on the Thursday evening at the Guyader Dinner….. !   Yes, this fantastic Lottery Prize is up for grabs and one lucky winner will wake up on Friday morning (most probably with a hangover) wondering how the hell will they get 2 dragons back home :-)

Joining the Dragons in this wonderful Brittany Town that is the home of the great Louis Urvois who started this extravaganza 16 years ago, are Paddle Boards, Kite & Moth’s on Foils, Kayaks, J 80’s, Class 40’s, Multihull 50’s & Open 60’s…  plus many more colourful designs of all shapes & sizes…  Yes this will be a spectacular sailing event in a most picturesque part of France.

Are you coming to join in the fun………..??

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







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An “Elephant” never Forgets !

IMG_0681Business as usual for the Bakker’s, Jan, Dominic & Olivier win all 3 races in “Elephant” NED 422.

The three “Early Season” Dutch weekends on the Aalsmeer came to an exciting climax at the weekend when the local “Hotshots” Jan Bakker and his two sons, Dominic & Olivier did a “Messi” with 3 wins on the final day….

The “Hat-Trick” of wins, was just reward for the time and effort this excellent Dragon Racing Family have put in working on their upgraded Petticrows purchased this year which was the former “Biff” now re-named “Elephant”.

Three weekends of racing accumulating with a total of 19 teams in the final event, including boats from Norway, Germany and Belgium, shows this excellent Dutch “Spring Series” is proving more and more popular each year. Having raced there myself last season, the Aalsmeer is a most perfect platform to blow away those winter blues and speed test your boat against some top sailors. With cheap flights to “Schipol Airport” the Dragon Centre at Aalsmeer is just 20 minutes away, so no time is lost in getting to your Dragons and out onto this wonderful fresh water lake.

Also having a great final weekend of races was the Petticrows agent for Holland, Andre du Pont in his brand new “Hard Tack” NED 424. Andre was crewed by Dutch Secretary Huib Bannier and Siebe de Boo…


Here you see Andre and his “Hard Tack” Team pushing the boat to it’s limits downwind.

The volunteers of the WV Aalsmeer were applauded at the prize giving, not only for their great support and enthusiasm but for their shore team who do an excellent job craning in & out, also their on the water Committee. The club also put on an Italian Buffet which was enjoyed by all the satisfied sailors..

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One of the many “Water Towers” overlooks the Aalsmeer Fleet during one of the downwind legs.

So for future reference if Cannes or Cascais is a step too far for winter sailors why not join the Dutch Fleet next spring for this superb series of 3 weekends?

Full results and more information can be found on     www.dragonclass.nl


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

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Hungarian National Championships May 28th-31st.

DSC_4513 Some of the Hungarian Fleet racing on Lake BalatonSome of the Hungarian Fleet racing on Lake Balaton, please open link for further details...


Contact Vilmos Naray for further information : info@dragonclass.hu



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UAE 20 “Desert Eagle” Wins 20th Juan Carlos Trophy ….

RP_150412_KJCT_3769 (640x428)The winning team from “Dubai”..  Henrique Anjos, Markus Koy and Hendrik Witzmann.

It was an extraordinary final day in Cascais as the team from UAE 20 “Desert Eagle” took us all by surprise to finish with a 3rd and 2nd place to win the Juan Carlos Trophy by 2 points! The light easterly winds did not suit the over-night leader POR 66 Jose’ Matoso and his team as they had a nightmare with two results in the 20’s….  However, DEN 138 helmed by Lars Hendriksen did have a good day and by winning the last race (Stavros Trophy) Lars and his team took the runners up spot with his crew Bo Selko and Frithjof Kleen..


Lars Hendriksen with Bo Selko & Frithjof Kleen win the STAVROS Trophy, (Final Race).

Also “hanging” in there in the difficult light conditions was GBR 801 helmed by Lawrie Smith. With a 6th and 3rd place in the final two races, Lawrie secured the final podium place overall and will now look forward to Douarnenez.

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Lawrie Smith, Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling sailing GBR 801 “The Wealdstone Raider” were 3rd.

The other winner of the day was our own IDA Vice Chairman, Vasily Senatorov, RUS 34 who sailed an excellent race to win the first race of the day by a good margin.

RP_150412_KJCT_5698 First race winner on the final day Vasily Senatorov, Igor Ivashintov & Alex Muzychenko.

Top Corinthian Team were the POR Team of Miguel Magalhaes , Jorge Pinheiro de Melo and Jose’ Magalhaes in “Peggy”. Although this team also struggled on the final day, they had done well enough on the previous races to hold on to their deserved Corinthian Prize….

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Corinthian Winners POR 36 “Peggy” Jorge, Miguel and Jose’ with the Club President.

With the Grade 1 completed (7 Races) over the 4 days all the sailors left Cascais with very healthy sun tan’s and happy with the fantastically organised regatta.  Bruno Santos, the Club Senior Administrator did an excellent job to oversee both on and off the water activities and we can all look forward to an incredible World Championship in 2017.

The Club Naval de Cascais have joined the race to restore the Ocean Health. The “Sailors for the Sea” program is helping to save our oceans by keeping the waters clean and healthy whilst helping to protect the environment. It is of infinite priority that we, as sailors respect the very platform on which we gain such fantastic rewards……..  :-)

Higher, Faster, Longer…..                            Stavros.


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All change in the Juan Carlos Trophy in Cascais…..

RP_150411_KJCT_5360 (640x426)Jens Christensen DEN 414, drives his boat “Out of Bounce” down the waves in Cascais.. and moves up to 2nd place overall after 5 races, crewed by Kim Andersen & Rene Villefrance.

It was another typical Cascais day yesterday with the morning wind from the east allowing the 36 boat fleet to get one race in on the “flatter” inside course off the beaches of Estoril. Then as the wind turned and the sun became stronger the north-westerly trade wind took her grip and gave all the competitors another trilling afternoon of sailing at it’s very best !

In race 1 of the day (3 of the series), Lawrie Smith showed that he is quickly getting his new Petticrows up to speed by dominating the first beat and leading from start to finish… With Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling the team’s tactical awareness on the right hand side of the beat was exceptional.

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GBR 801 “The Wealdstone Raider” with Lawrie Smith, Tim Tavinor & Joost Houweling. Now move up to 4th place overall after 5 races….

In race 2 (4th of the series) it was all about POR 66 “Drago”, helmed by Jose’ Matoso, with Gustavo Lima and Frederico Melo. Their local knowledge and superb boat handling gave them an outstanding victory by playing the right side of the first beat, then pulling away on the downwind leg.  Gustavo told me ” It was not all about the right, but going into the right at the right time! Occasionally the left pays if the current flowing out of Lisbon gives a tidal advantage further off the land. Also the breeze sometimes dies under the cliffs, so you have to be careful not to go into far”, wise words from a great tactician.

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After a 4th in race 3, Lars Hendriksen suffered a setback with an OCS in race 4, but still lies 3rd overall with Bo Selko and Frithjof Kleen..

In race 3 of the day (5 of the series), it was GBR 758 “Fever” that took the early lead, showing that the current World Champion Klaus Diederichs is really coming into some form with Jamie Lea and new crew Andrew Pelfrey. Klaus has lost his Americas Cup tactician Andy Beadsworth the to TP 52 fleet, so is having to start building a new team to defend his title in La Rochelle. As Fever tacked for the starboard lay line on the first beat, POR 66 elected to pass behind them and continue a little further. This move gave Jose’ Matoso and his team on “Drago” their second victory of the day and first place overall.

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The enormous Club Naval Flag prevails over the towns of Cascais & Estoril as the sun sets!

So my friends, with a 10am start today and a further 2 races planned, it remains to be seen if Lawrie, Lars or Jens can still get back into the game, or will the Local Favourite and Club Naval Vice President Jose’ Matoso retain this magnificent Juan Carlos Trophy…..

Higher, Faster, Longer…………   surfing in Cascais…     Stavros. (POR 50).

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Champange Sailing in Cascais…..

RP_150410_KJCT_4073 (640x426)Lars Hendriksen, Bo Selko & Frithjof Kleen “power” to Victory in Cascais yesterday..

After a delay of 3 hours yesterday the wind arrived from around 310 degrees, the sun came out and the 36 boats competing in the 20th Juan Carlos Trophy sailed 2 fantastic races in near perfect conditions.  It was a great call by the PRO to keep the fleet ashore until he was positive the “normal” trade wind that blows down the Portugal Coast had fully established. So by the time the ever enthusiastic and highly talented sailors had covered the 3 miles to the race area “A”, it was absolutely wonderful sailing conditions.

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Hendrik Witzmann, “Desert Eagle” UAE 20 was first to the windward mark in race 1.

After 3 general recall’s the fleet eventually got underway with just 3 boats “Black Flagged” (one of those was GBR 758 Klaus Diederichs, the current World Champion). The team from Dubai sailing their new PCT boat “Desert Eagle” showed good speed and rounded the top mark first closely followed by Lars Hendriksen DEN 138 and Jose’ Matoso POR 66. With these three boats having a tremendous tussle it was all very close at the second upwind mark, but UAE 20 had over-stood the “change of course” new black mark, allowing POR 66 and DEN 138 the chance to close right up and all three boats rounded virtually together..  However, it was Jose’ Matoso with his Olympian Tactician Gustavo Lima & Frederico Melo who won the race on the final spinnaker leg.

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POR 66 “Drago” helmed by Club Vice President Jose’ Matoso took the lead on final downwind.

In race 2 the first beat was extended to make sure this competitive fleet had chance to spread out and hopefully avoid big collisions at the top mark, indeed Lars Hendriksen and his team who have spent the winter training in similar conditions in Lanzarote, won the race after leading all the way…. He was closely followed by NED 412 Pieter Heerema who finished 2nd, who also has been with Lars in Lanzarote. (Is this the magic formula) ?

Top “Corinthian” team are POR 36 “Peggy” helmed by the POR Class Secretary Miguel Magalhaes, crewed by Jorge Pinheiro de Melo and Jose’ Magalhaes. After recording a 6th & 13th it puts this excellent team 8th overall.

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Another fantastic photo from Professional Ricardo Pinto as the fleet ready for a start..

With similar conditions forecast today, we will hopefully see three races completed to make up for the missed day on Thursday. Watch this space to keep up with all the latest action from this second European Grade 1 event of 2015….

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The Juan Carlos Trophy with other prizes await the winners in the Club Naval de Cascais.

Higher, Faster, Longer…………….   Stavros.  (POR 50).



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5th Time “Lucky” for me in Cascais !

RP_150408_STAVROS_3401 (640x428)My winning Match Race Team, Rui Boa and Dennis Charvoz , join me with Tim Tavinor..

Yes my fellow sailors and friends after 5 years of organising the “Stavros Match Race” event in Cascais, yesterday was my first sweet victory thanks to my multi-international crew, Rui Boia from Cascais and Dennis Charvoz from Cannes. They were the perfect mix to make all the necessary manoeuvre’s in the somewhat “heated” and nerve racking pre-starts….. What we lost in translation of words we made up for in  the volume of shouting :-)

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Team “Stavros” lead Pieter Heerema back to the start line in the final Match Race !

It started with fantastic conditions which saw the 8 team “Round Robin” finished by lunchtime. The wind with gusts up to 18 kts  from the southeast tested all the crews as the waves also made pre-start judgements difficult. The winner of the round robin was Pieter Heerema who finished with 5 wins, also on 5 wins was 2014 champion Gustavo Lima. We finished with 4 wins and Ton Vernon from the UK managed to squeeze into the semi-final after recording 3 wins. Tom had the experienced Match Racer Simon Fry on board and it was great to see how this team got their act together as the competition progressed.

It was heartache for Dmitry Samokhin and his team as they were set for a certain semi-final place, only to have all hopes dashed when they collided with another boat from a different match. This resulted in penalty points which took away their chances of making it any further, a real pity…

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Pedro Andrade presents Dmitry Somokhin with some extra glasses at the Prize Giving :-)

In the semi-finals Pieter Heerma defeated Tom Vernon 2-1. Whilst I managed to just beat Gustavo Lima 2-1. Gustavo then won the 3rd / 4th play off…

In the final Pieter Hereema out sailed me to win race 1 but in the end we managed to get the upper hand on the next 2 pre-starts to just do enough and take the title……. Happy Days….   :-)

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Team “Stavros” take the win in the Match Race final race against Pieter Heerema in Cascais.

Higher, Faster, Longer…………………   Martin Payne…     :-)

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Superb Day 2 for the Stavros Match Race….

20150407_114356 (640x360)Pieter Heerema leads Klaus Diederichs in the final stages of their Round Robin Race..

With a beautiful sunny sky and a steady 10kt south easterly  breeze the 8 Match Race Teams almost completed their 14 round robin “flights” today, leaving 5 teams tied at the top…  Tomorrow will see the completion of the pairings and then the top 4 teams will progress into the semi-finals…

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Pieter Heerema, NED 412 gybes in front of Klaus GBR 758 to guarantee his win…..

In todays racing no one boat has dominated the regatta, mainly due to the high level of expertise on board. With all 8 boats determined to make the final “cut”  (top 4), fighting is tough and will get even more aggressive tomorrow as 18 to 20 kts of wind is forecast….!

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The winners take all & will win these wonderful “Half-Dragons” made by Petticrows Ltd..

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(Happy Hour kindly by Sponsored by Hendriks Gin, (Grant Gordon) was enjoyed by all..:-)

The 5 “tied teams” are Gustavo Lima, Pedro Andrade, Pieter Heerema, Dmitry Samokhin and Martin Payne (yes I’m just in there) !! But with Klaus Diederichs, Lars Hendriksen and Tom Vernon all out to prove a point in the morning, it’s not over till it’s over……..

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




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Gustavo draws “First Blood”…..

859A3456 (640x427)Tom Vernon rolls Gustavo Lima in the light wind first flight of Match Races yesterday..

The 5th Stavros Match Race event began yesterday in Cascais under an overcast sky and very little wind. However, there were smiles all round for the 4 winners of the day, Lars Hendricksen, Pieter Heerema, defending champion Pedro Andrade and 2014 winner Gustavo Lima.

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Despite being “rolled” Gustavo maintains his inside overlap on Tom Vernon at bottom mark.

The 8 very competitive teams which include the current World Champion, Klaus Diederichs and the current European Champion Lars Hendriksen, all battled hard to win their opening matches in the first of 2 round robins.

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Simon Fry raises the “Y” flag to protest Gustavo at the rounding…..  it was green flagged !

After racing the 8 teams with many friends an supporters enjoyed a “Happy Hour” at the Club Naval listening to some great Irish Music and drinking copious amounts of top quality Vodka sponsored by Dmitry Samokhin..

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Dmitry Samokhin stands by just half of the superb vodka enjoyed by the Match Race Teams.

With a much better forecast today of clear skies and a steady 10 kt easterly wind the teams will be able to really get “stuck” into each other as the round robin format sees the races take no longer than 25 mins… There will be lots of action, flag waving, spills and thrills as these top sailors go “head to head”…

With a second “Happy Hour” this evening sponsored by Hendricks Gin, courtesy of Klaus Diederichs, and the Irish Boys back in full swing it should be another excellent day for these lucky teams in Cascais……

Higher, Faster, Longer…………      Stavros.


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