Bocci Aoyama has sadly left us…..

Bocci in full speed mode, with myself & Nori Igei during the 2017 Worlds in Cascais.

It is with a sad heart I inform Dragon sailors and friends all over the world, that a great man has joined the angels today, sailing away to different shores…. A man full of love for our wonderful sport and dedicated to helping others.

Timmy Tav’s big hands against Bocci’s big heart…  There was only one winner……

Bocci Aoyama, Commodore of the Enoshima Yacht Club in Japan, host of the 2020 Olympics, lived life to the full. With his loving wife Kimi, they travelled many times to join the European Dragon Circuit. Sailing first his beloved Yevis & then Yevis II (JPN 50) he participated in countless Edinburgh & Gold Cup’s plus many other Dragon events. Bocci always made the days “bigger” where ever he went, making many life long friends along the way…

Winning the Jorden Bell & 10th Overall gave Bocci so much joy at the 2018 Ed Cup in Torquay.

For countless years Bocci encouraged and inspired so many children to take up Optimist Sailing offering all his experience and enthusiasm. Bocci’s contribution back into the sport and commitment to younger sailors was second to none, quite a remarkable man.

Aboard the Danish Royal Yacht, Gold Cup Hornbaek, 2016. With Bocci, Kimi & Nori.

During the 2017 Worlds in Cascais Denis Charvoz presented Bocci with a wonderful “signed” framed photo from Franco Costa, of the Japanese Challanger “Tokyo” of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 1995…

Denis Charvoz, Me, Stirfry, Bocci, Kasper Harsberg, Andy Beadsworth & Ron Rosenberg.

There is no doubt the world is a lesser place today and our heartfelt thoughts reach out to Kimi, family and close friends…  The IDA will be represented by Lowell & Phyllis Chang at the ceremony on Sunday and our prayers are with them all….

I leave you with something that I hope brings some peace to such a sad loss…

The Ship,          by Bishop Brent.

I am standing on the seashore, a ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean. She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says    “She is Gone”.

Gone !    Where ?

Gone from my sight that is all…..

She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as when I last saw her, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.

The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her, and just at the moment someone by my side says “She is gone”..

There are others that are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout

“There she comes”….

That is dying.








Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Bocci Aoyama has sadly left us…..

Dragon Grand Prix Cannes 2019 – Gallery – Elena Razina

This gallery contains 117 photos.

More Galleries | Comments Off on Dragon Grand Prix Cannes 2019 – Gallery – Elena Razina

Final Day Video From Dragon Grand Prix Cannes

Posted in 2019 Dragon Grand Prix Cannes, 2019 European Cup | Comments Off on Final Day Video From Dragon Grand Prix Cannes

Dragon Grand Prix Cannes – Stav Interview Day 4

Posted in 2019 Dragon Grand Prix Cannes, 2019 European Cup | Comments Off on Dragon Grand Prix Cannes – Stav Interview Day 4

Pedro Andrade Wins Dragon Grand Prix Cannes

The 2019 Dragon Grand Prix Cannes concluded in style at the Yacht Club de Cannes with one final race in superb conditions to decide the winner. Going into the day just ten points separated the top six teams so the scene was set for a nail biting showdown and the fleet did not disappoint.

After a delay to allow the wind to fill in, race five started in sunshine and 15 knots from 190 degrees, then gradually clocked right to 210, building to 27 knots by the finish. With the points so close there were some tricky decisions to be made for regatta leader Pedro Rebelo Andrade and a conservative approach was needed. While Germany’s Stephan Link, Britain’s Grant Gordon and Russia’s Yevgen Braslavets romped away to finish first to third respectively, all eyes were locked on the battle between Portugal’s Andrade and his nearest rival, Thomas Müller from Germany, who had just two points between them.

Initially Müller looked to have the upper hand, but a jib furler malfunction saw him forced to take on the second beat with his genoa only partially open. Müller is one of the most experienced helms on the circuit with World, European and Gold Cup Dragon titles to his name, and he and his crew of Dragon World Champion Phillip Malte and Markus Koy, a veteran of four Olympic campaigns, the Valencia America’s Cup and a three time Star European Champion, quickly figured out a solution. But the brief falter was sufficient to allow Andrade to pass them and they crossed the line in sixth and seventh places respectively.

So with the final points calculated Dragon European Champion Pedro Andrade and his team of top dinghy sailors Goncalo Ribeiro and Joao Vidinha da Costa plus youngster Kacey Marfo claimed the Dragon Grand Prix Cannes and first blood in the 2019 Dragon European Cup series by three points from Thomas Müller. Grant Gordon’s second place was enough to secure him third overall, a single point behind Müller.

Back ashore Andrade was fulsome in his praise of his fellow competitors and his crew “I think I have to say that I profited from the misfortune of some of my biggest opponents. First of all Grant Gordon was leading a race and the wind dropped off and the race committee had to abandon, and then the next day he was black flagged. And again today Tommy is sailing so well and at one stage at the end of the first beat I thought that was it and we weren’t going to catch him at all. But we had a good run, we were quite fast downwind, and then he had an issue on board with the genoa and we profited again. The boys I am sailing with haven’t sailed much in the Dragon, but they are fantastic sailors and I am really happy with them and it made my life easier.”

For 13 year old Kacey Marfo this week’s experience of racing with Andrade has been an extraordinary contrast to his usual life as a school boy at the Greig City Academy in one of London’s most deprived districts. Marfo is part of the Scaramouche Sailing Project, which uses sailing to benefit under privileged children, and after the prize giving he explained, “Me and my friends when we started secondary school, we didn’t have anything to do, but then our teacher told us about sailing and we just loved it and wanted to keep on going.” Asked about what he was did on the boat he joked that, “My job onboard was was to be the fourth person and to try not to be in the way!”.

In the Corinthian Division for all amateur crews Germany’s Tanja Jacobsohn, a former 470 World Champion, sailing with husband Bernard Jacobsohn and Jan Scharrfesser, put in another great performance to finish eleventh in the race and take the Corinthian overall title from fellow German Maximillian Dohse with Sweden’s Karl-Gustaf Löhr third.

At the final prize giving the competitors came together to honour their champions and the prizes, which included gifts from event sponsor Marinepool, were awarded. Delicious seafood and cocktails sponsored by Yanmar were served and International Dragon Association Chairman Vasily Senatorov praised the organisers and volunteers of the Yacht Club de Cannes on another superb event. He also invited all the competitors to join him at the remaining events in the Dragon European Cup which will take place as follows:

May 1-4 – HM King Juan Carlos Trophy, Cascais, Portugal
July 3-6 – Dragon Grand Prix Germany, Kuhlungsborn, Germany
November 11-14 – Dragon Grand Prix Spain, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
November 15-16 – Dragon European Cup Grand Final, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

To qualify for the final teams must compete in three of the four regattas including the Grand Prix Spain. Twenty teams will qualify for the final and there will be a quota for non-Corinthian and Corinthian sailors, based on the proportion of non-Corinthians/Corinthians participating in all four qualifying events. For example, if the total entries for all four events are 160, Corinthian entries total 40 and non-Corinthian total 120, then the Corinthian quota for the Final will be five, and the non-Corinthian will be 15.

Vasily Senatorov also invited all Dragon sailors to join him at a very special Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta, which is to be hosted by the Yacht Club Sanremo on Italy’s beautiful Liguria coast from 5 to 13 October 2019. Already 120 teams have confirmed their entry and the final attendance is expected to be considerably higher as Dragon sailors and their friends and family travel from across the globe for this unique gala celebration.

Further information about forthcoming Dragon events and the International Dragon Association can be found at

Dragon Grand Prix Cannes 2019 Final Top Ten

POR84 – Pedro Rebelo de Andrade – 6, (14), 1, 1, 6 = 14
GER33 – Thomas Müller – 4, 4, 2, (12), 7 = 17
GBR820 – Grant Gordon – 1, 7, 8, (BFD 52), 2 = 18
GER1170 – Marcus Brennecke – 7, 3, 5, 5, (13) = 20
SUI311 – Hugo Stenbeck – 5, (19), 10, 2, 9 = 26
RUS76 – Dmitry Samokhin – 9, 5, 9, (11), 4 = 27
GER1162 – Stephan Link – 15, (21), 6, 7, 1 = 29
NED412 – Pieter Heerema – 10, 1, 7, (22), 15 = 33
RUS77 – Yvgeny Braslavets – 2, (26), 22, 8, 3 = 35
RUS27 – Anatoly Loginov – 14, 6, (21), 4, 12 = 36 – Results
Photo Gallery – Daily Images from IDA Photographer Elena Razina
Video Gallery – Daily Video News Reports

Follow the regatta on:


Posted in 2019 Dragon Grand Prix Cannes, 2019 European Cup | Comments Off on Pedro Andrade Wins Dragon Grand Prix Cannes

Dragon Grand Prix Cannes 2019 – Day 3 Video Report

Posted in 2019 Dragon Gold Cup, 2019 Dragon Grand Prix Cannes | Comments Off on Dragon Grand Prix Cannes 2019 – Day 3 Video Report

Dragon Grand Prix Cannes – Stav Interview Day 3

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Dragon Grand Prix Cannes – Stav Interview Day 3

Dragon Grand Prix Cannes – Day 3

Day three of the Dragon Grand Prix Cannes 2019 delivered glorious sunshine, some very strong winds and a spectacular fourth race.

After overnight thunderstorms, it took a while for the wind to finally settle in the west, but once it did the race committee got racing underway in big seas and sparkling conditions. With a base of 20 knots and gusts regularly heading up towards 30 there were several retirements, but those who forged on were rewarded with a thrilling and incredibly close race. Sadly the wind became too strong for race five to be attempted.

The Corinthian team of Maximilian Dohse, Rasmus Nielsen, Thomas Dehler and Philip Hibler from Germany stormed the first beat to lead at mark one, with Hugo Stenbeck from Switzerland, Russia’s Yevgeny Braslavets and Portugal’s Pedro Andrade hard on their heels. Overnight leader Thomas Müller struggled off the line and did well to recover to twelfth, while Britain’s Grant Gordon was black flagged and sent home.

As the boats battled their way around the course positions were constantly changing and it wasn’t until the closing moments of the race that the final finish order was decided.

Used to sailing in the big Atlantic waves and strong winds of Portugal, Pedro Rebelo de Andrade and his crew of Goncalo Ribeiro, Joao Vidinha and Kacey Marfo, gradually ground their way to the front of the fleet, taking victory on the line from Stenbeck with Dohse third, Russia’s Anatoly Loginov fourth and Germany’s Marcus Brennecke fifth.

Completion of the fourth race saw the single scoring discard come into play and as a result Pedro Andrade now leads the regatta by two points. Thomas Müller discarded his twelfth place and holds onto second overall with a three point delta over Marcus Brennecke in third. Grant Gordon dropped his black flag and sits in fourth place overall, three points behind Brennecke and just one point ahead of fifth placed Hugo Stenbeck.

In the Corinthian Division Germany’s Tanja Jacobsohn leads Sweden’s Karl-Gustav Löhr, with Maximilian Dohse in third place.

Maximilian Dohse wasn’t the only Corinthian giving the professionals a run for their money today. Sami Salomaa and his crew of Kalle Pihl and Jari Bremer dug deep and carved themselves out a well deserved tenth place and were delighted with their result. By profession Sami is a sculpture and is the man behind the stunning new Dragon European Cup trophy, which will be presented to the winner of the Grand Final in November. The name Sami has given to the sculpture is Flow and after racing he explained that it is his interpretation of those very special moments when man, yacht, waves and wind are in perfect harmony.

The success of the Dragon Class has many facets and it is the careful balance of those facets that has been the key to the class’s 90 years of success. The exceptional quality of the competition is obvious to all, but what is perhaps less clear to the outsider is the terrific diversity of the class. Many of those competing this week are family crews or rivals and there is a wonderful mix of professional and amateurs, young and old, male and female, experience and new sailors all coming together to enjoying everything that this wonderful fleet has to offer.

Maximilian Dohse is a classic example of a young person who enjoys Dragon sailing with his friends and he is also someone who comes from a truly committed family of Dragon sailors. His father Philip, a past Vice Chairman of the International Dragon Association (IDA), and mother Nicola are also racing here aboard their Dragon Puck IV and Max has been sailing Dragons since he was a small child.

IDA Chairman Vasily Senatorov is racing against his brother Mikhail, while Peter Gilmour is crewed by his son Sam. There are two more husband and wife teams on the water in the shape of Tanja and Bernard Jacobsohn from Germany and Ron James and Julia Walsh from the UK. And there are many others whose family connections to the class go back decades.

With 16 nations represented at this regatta alone the class is also incredibly culturally diverse and lifelong friendships are forged across the globe. The youngest competitor this week is 13, whilst the oldest is well into his 70s.

Another very familiar Dragon family member whose connection with the class stretches back to childhood is International Judge Yves Leglise, Chair of this regatta’s International Jury. Yves first worked with the IDA 40 years ago when he was asked to translate the class rules into French for the first time in 1979. But he fell in love with the Dragons long before that as a small boy growing up in Arcachon, home of one of the oldest French Dragon fleets. After that first translation job Yves was asked to become an IDA Measurer, he chaired the Race Committee for a European Championship, and then, when his qualification as an International Judge became known, he was regularly invited to chair International Juries for major events. 40 years on he has chaired the jury for ten Gold Cups, seven European Championships and five World Championships as well as numerous Grade 1 and National Championship regattas too.

As well as diversity among the sailors there is also terrific diversity among the boats too. Dragons have always been built to the highest of standards and exceptional and farsighted rule management has helped to ensure that well maintained boats of any age can continue to race at the highest level. The oldest boat racing this week is the Latvian entry Avelat, which was built in 1963 and is beautifully maintained in Concours d’Elegance condition. Helmed by top Russian Yngling sailor Anna Baskalina, her varnished topsides make a striking image as they break through the deep blue Mediterranean waves.

An elegant and relaxed après sailing scene is another key element in the Dragon’s success and post racing the competitors came together for a fabulous Gala Beach Party, drinking, eating and conversing with their toes in the sand as the sun set behind the Esterel mountains.

The regatta concludes on Friday 5 April when a maximum of two further races can be sailed, bringing the total to six possible races. The forecast for the final day is for wall to wall sunshine and WSW winds building from around 10 knots in the morning to 20 knots and gusting in the afternoon. Racing is scheduled to start at 11.30 and there is a final start cut off time of 16.30.

Provisional Top Ten After 4 Races
POR84 – Pedro Rebelo de Andrade – 6, (14), 1, 1 = 8
GER33 – Thomas Müller – 4, 4, 2, (12) = 10
GER1170 – Marcus Brennecke – (7), 3, 5, 5 = 13
GBR820 – Grant Gordon – 1, 7, 8, (BFD 52) = 16
SUI311 – Hugo Stenbeck – 5, (19), 10, 2 = 17
NED412 – Pieter Heerema – 10, 1, 7, (22) = 18
GER1186 – Tanja Jacobsohn – 3, 2, 16, (30) = 21 – First Corinthian
RUS76 – Dmitry Samokhin – 9, 5, 9, (11) = 23
RUS27 – Anatoly Loginov – 14, 6, (21), 4 = 24
GER1162 – Stephan Link – 15, (21), 6, 7 = 28 – Results
Photo Gallery – Daily Images from IDA Photographer Elena Razina
Video Gallery – Daily Video News Reports

Follow the regatta on:

Posted in 2019 Dragon Grand Prix Cannes, 2019 European Cup | Comments Off on Dragon Grand Prix Cannes – Day 3

Dragon Grand Prix Cannes Day 2 Video

Posted in 2019 Dragon Grand Prix Cannes, 2019 European Cup | Comments Off on Dragon Grand Prix Cannes Day 2 Video

Dragon Grand Prix Cannes – Stav Interview Day 2


Posted in 2019 Dragon Grand Prix Cannes, 2019 European Cup | Comments Off on Dragon Grand Prix Cannes – Stav Interview Day 2