4 Gold Cup’s for Jorgen Schonherr…

DEN 411 Win Gold Cup in Helsinki…  Jorgen Schonherr, Theis Palm & Christian Videbaek.

Like every good book or Movie, it needs a good beginning to get the full attention of it’s reader or audience then a dramatic ending to keep everyone on the edge of their seats eager to know it’s conclusion….   This is exactly what the 2018 Dragon Gold Cup conjured up for its 59 teams from 12 different Nations, in Helsinki.

From the moment International Race Officer Nino Shmueli gave his first briefing on Sunday 22nd July the whole fleet knew they were about to experience a most enthralling 6 days of their lives 🙂

Race 1, for the Borge Borresen Trophy was won by SWE 320 who showed the top Professionals that on any given day a good Corinthian team are as competitive as any highly trained team! Not only did Per Skoglund, Bjorn Osterblom & Patrik Karlsson get a great start, but they led at the first top mark and extended their lead throughout the 2 hours and 20 minute race.

Bjorn, Per & Patrick with the Borge Borresen Trophy presented at the Gala Dinner.

The prestigious BB Trophy was then filled time after time with 2 bottles of matured Whisky donated by Grant Gordon (Glenfiddich) and Terence Brownrigg (Clyde Yacht Club). A truly proud moment for this excellent Corinthian team, many congratulations Gentlemen.

Race 2 was another light wind race sailed in a southerly breeze. Nino Shmueli skilfully set a line with enough port bias to encourage the fleet to spread along the 750m line knowing that sailors would again favour the right side of the course. This time it was Triple Gold Cup winner Jorgen Schonherr helming his new “African Queen” who took full advantage. Jorgen managed to cross the fleet from the Pin End shortly after the start and played the right hand side of the 2.2 mile upwind leg. Although hard right had paid handsomely for SWE 320 the previous day, there was a sting in the tail for boats who elected to go all the way to the starboard lay-line as a left shift at the top of the beat made a significant difference.

 Race 2 Winners Jorgen Schonherr, Theis Palm & Christian Aaberg Videbaek. 

It was another glorious day on the water for both the sailors and the race management team as although the winds were light boats could sail out of the Helsinki Sailing Club Marina to the race course (3.5 miles) and then return under Spinnakers. It was a pleasure to see the colour and satisfaction on the faces of all the competitors as we passed by onboard the Principle Committee Boat on the way back in.

Day 3 saw a change in wind direction as it turned to the East. This certainly challenged the race management team to set a course within the restricted busy shipping lanes of the Tallin to Helsinki Ferries. Knowing that the Gold Cup rules require a course just of around 12 nautical miles, when possible, Nino Shmueli posted an amendment that allowed a third lap of the course. As anticipated, a 1.7 nm first beat did not allow this competitive fleet to separate sufficiently, but it did not affect the result of another excellent and “fair” Gold Cup race….   This time it was our current World Champions TUR 1212 who made a significant statement as they owned the Committee Boat end of the line, tacked early to the right and led the race from start to finish.

As the leaders approached the top mark for a 3rd time in a dying breeze the sensible decision was made to shorten the course on the “Dog-Leg” and not to risk a 3rd and final lap. This proved to be a masterstroke by Nino as the wind gradually died away and many boats gratefully received a tow back to the marina.TUR 1212 stand on top of the 1952 Olympic Podium, DEN 410 (2nd) NED 412 (3rd)

We then had 2 days of little to no wind. Day 4 saw the Race Committee monitor the Race Area in the suffocating heat and glass like water surface whilst the Fleet sat patiently ashore grateful for any shade. Then on Day 5 the fleet were towed out during the middle of the day to provide the smallest opportunity to squeeze in a race should conditions allow, but alas they did not.  So AP over A was displayed at around 3.20pm and the fleet were towed back into the Marina.

I did hear one bright spark who sarcastically mentioned on the VHF that they would indeed “sail” back in.  But even the funnelled wind that sometime prevails between the islands died away and the foolish sailor who made this childish comment had to eat his words as he embarrassingly threw his rope to one of the official tow boats…  I hope the person in question will think twice before communicating such disrespectful words to the Race Committee in the future.

The “Mini-Bar” for Sailors every day back at the HSK, an Optimist full of refreshment 🙂

So onto Day 6 and a climax to make everyone smile !  Two quality races with wind again from the East, but this time around 10kts for Race 5 and an impressive 14 kts for Race 6. With the Race Committee risking life and limb (Literally) the course was stretched to the maximum boundaries of the Shipping Lanes to allow a 2.1 nm first upwind which allowed two excellent races of the highest level.  Both races were dominated and won by TUR 1212 Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry and Ali Tezdiker, but their early results of 17th & 18th meant that even with three 1st places they would not lift the Cup.

Also having a fantastic final day was GER 1205 helmed by Otto Pohlmann, with Charles Nankin & Hugo Rocha.  This extremely talented for former Finn Sailor will be a concern for the top teams as a BFD in race 1 was the only thing that prevented Otto and his team from a overall podium finish!  Well sailed GER 1205….

However, consistency is the name of the game, especially in this non discard series which makes the Gold Cup such a magnificent event. So it all came down to the final positions of NED 412 Pieter Heerema and DEN 411 Jorgen Schonherr who had just one point separating them going into the last race.

In the end DEN 411 crossed the line 5th and NED 412 7th, so the Gold Cup went to Denmark’s Jorgen Schonherr and runner up to Netherlands Pieter Heerema…  what a finish, what a Championship.  The final beat of the final race…   and that my fellow sailors is what the Gold Cup is all about !  🙂

The GOLD CUP is Jorgen Schonherr’s, Christian Videbaek & Theis Palm’s for 2018.

Runner’s Up   Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendiksen & George Leonchuk, 3rd Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry & Ali Tezdiker….

A huge thank you to Ted Grondahl from the HSK and all his helpers and volunteers who made this 2018 Gold Cup so special.  We all thank the main sponsor Gurit organised by Rudy Jurg and the many other sponsors for providing an event we will hold dearly in our hearts. Racing Dragons and attending events such as this give us all the opportunity to visit new places, experience different cultures and above all to meet new friends.  In this world of uncertainty and fake news, it’s a breath of fresh air to socialise with true, honest people and forge close friendships that will last a lifetime….

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

More Photo’s, Results, Corinthian news, the fantastic Sami Salomaa Sculpture, Discussions from the Owners Meeting and much, much more to follow…………  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anatoly’s Armistice Cup….in Cannes.

RUS 27 “Anapurna” Anatoly Loginov (Helm) Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin win in Cannes.

23 Dragons competed over the weekend of 9th to 11th Nov for the Grand Prix de L’Armistice held by the Yacht Club de Cannes. With a variety of weather conditions ranging from small “Twisters” to beautiful rainbow filled skies and perfect wind, all teams had a chance to record at least one top position over the 6 races…..  Although Anatoloy and his very experienced team won 3 races, FRA 423, SUI 296 & SWE 389 took victory in race 2, 5 & 6 respectively.

FRA 423 “Ginkgo” won race 2. Pascal DeSantis, Etienne Lafon & Christine Briande.

I spoke with the Ginkgo team after winning the windiest race of the weekend, “We managed to get our lead from the right hand side of the first upwind” Christine to told me, “Then we were able to hold our advantage to the end”. Very well done to this 4 person team (Serge Suzzi is missing from photo).

SUI 296 Justace Kniffka won race 5 celebrating with his team Christian & David in Cannes.

On the final day (Sunday) Justace Kniffka had a convincing win in the first race of the day proving that he is benefitting from attending many events on the circuit, which include Cascais, St Tropez, San Remo and now Cannes. Then in the final race of the series it was GBR 769 helmed by Richard Davies who was first through the bottom gate taking the starboard buoy, whilst SWE 389 Karl -Kustaf Lohr  elected for the port buoy.  As both lead boats cleared the spinnakers on their respective sides, it was indeed SWE 398 who held the advantage to lead at the 2nd upwind mark then continued on to win the race and finish runner up overall.

GBR 769 Nigel Cole with Richard Davies (Great to see Richard back again after 3 years out of the class).

By winning the final race SWE 389 just managed to pip, ( just 1 point), FIN 85 into the runner’s up spot, so Christian Borenius had to settle for 3rd overall.

2nd overall SWE 389 “High Times” Jasper Bendix, Mads Hansen & Karl-Gustf Lohr (Helm).

3rd overall FIN 85 “Thouban” Christian Borenius, Richard Pernici & Chris Winter.

The Yacht Club de Cannes were quick to organise craning out and as most teams will be competing at the next Cannes event “Coupe d’Hiver” Nov 30th to Dec 2nd, many boats were quickly washed down and covered leaving their masts up. 

Armistice Cup 2018

Many thanks to Organisers Karine Green and Gerard Blanc plus all the voluntary members and helpers of the YCC for a very well organised and thoroughly enjoyable regatta….

Higher, Faster, Longer…………       Stavros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Swedish 2K Success … in Vilamoura.

John Magnusson, Gutta Johansson (Helm) & Bjorn Hansen win the 2K Regatta in Vilamoura.

Pedro Andrade’s “Dream” to have 8 new Petticrows “V6” Dragons in Portugal became a reality at the weekend when 10 top International Teams took part in the 8Dimension 2K Team Racing event organised by Vilamoura Sailing.

4 of the 8 Dragons “Mercury”, “Venus”, “Earth” & “Mars”… built by Petticrows now in Vilamoura.

The 2K team racing idea was first introduced to the Dragon Fleet by Klaus Diederichs and myself a few years ago in Venice. Since then this popular 2 verses 2 type of team racing has gone from strength to strength. With 45 races over 3 days it was eventually the strong Swedish Team led by Gutta Johansson who eventually took the victory just ahead of Markus Brenneke in 2nd and Pedro Andrade 3rd.

When teams were not racing, they could view the action from the “Mother Ship” Catamaran.

Racing without Spinnakers is tight, as each team tries not to be the “Last” boat to finish!

All action as teams manoeuvre during pre start and protests are made to keep the umpires busy.

Results :  1st  Gutta Johansson, John Magnusson & Bjorn Hansen     18 races  14 Wins

2nd  Markus Brenneke, Jochen Schumann & Ingo Borkowski    18 races 13 Wins.

3rd Pedro Andrade, Charlotte & Juliette Ten Wolde & Janka Holan.    18 races 12 Wins.

This was just the start of Pedro Andrade’s and Vilamoura Sailings winter plans…  with more Fleet and Team racing organised throughout the winter. It’s great that we have so many venue’s to continue racing our beloved Dragons with events in Cannes, Palma, Cascais and now Vilamoura. Why would you need to look further than the Dragon Class.

Higher, Faster, Longer…………    Stavros.

 

 

 

 

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Very Successful IDA Meeting, in London.

Tim Pearson (Sec) addresses the AGM. With Helmut Schmidt, Vasily Senatorov, Stephane Baseden & Gerard Blanc.

It was an extremely well structured IDA “AGM” with a total of 28 voting Secretaries and Officers in attendance at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Knightsbridge, London. In addition were 2 Vice Presidents Chris Dicker and Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, also Chief Measurer Gunter Ahlers, Sailing Co-ordinator Martin Payne and Chairman of the Technical Committee Klaus Diederichs. (All non voting).

The meeting was both informative and refreshing as Chairman Vasily Senatorov, outlined the continued success and forward vision of our popular Dragon Class. He also thanked Treasurer Kasper Harsberg for his 4 years of valued service (resigned due to work commitments) and welcomed Anne Vanneste into the role.

2 Vice Presidents, Secretaries and Officers from all over the World in attendance at the IDA “AGM”.

Updates were given by representatives from Medemblik (Gold Cup 2019), Kinsale (Gold Cup 2020), Palma (Europeans 2020), Kuhlungsborn (2021 Worlds) and Marstrand (Gold Cup 2021).  In addition due to successful presentations Ostend will host the 2022 Gold Cup, San Remo 2022 Europeans and Abersoch or Torquay confirmed for the 2023 Gold Cup….

Tim Pearson (Sec), Helmut Schmidt, Anne Vanneste, Vasily Senatorov, Gerard Blanc, Marc Castagnet & Stephane Baseden (far right).

During Dinner Chairman Vasily Senatorov made a presentation to outgoing Vice Chairman Stephane Baseden for all his hard work and commitment. It was a moving speech and everyone showed their appreciation to Stephane for his voluntary service over the past years.  His position will now be filled by Gerard Blanc (France).

More details and Minutes of the Meeting will be available soon.  However, you can be sure that the “Elected Officers” and all concerned will continue to do their very best for the Class as we look forward to a bright future sailing our superb “One Design” Keelboat.

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

 

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TUR 1212 “Provezza Dragon” Win in St Tropez…..

Winners TUR 1212 “Provezza Dragon” (Centre) Simon Fry, Ali Tezdiker & Andy Beadsworth.

After 6 super competitive races over the first two days, with winds between 10 to 18kts the 19 boat fleet had a great time sailing in the beautiful Gulf of St Tropez.  Unfortunately, after the weather cleared up and the rain clouds disappeared so did the wind…  So for the second half of the regatta no races could be sailed. However, it did not stop this joyous group of sailors from enjoying their liquid lunches and delicious seafood extravaganza’s 🙂

Not even the experienced SNST Race Committee can do anything but wait, when there is no wind.

Therefore, the overall leaders TUR 1212 were confirmed winners and will hope to continue their form onward as Andy Beadsworth, Ali Tezdiker & Simon Fry look to win “Back to Back” World Championships in Australia early in 2019…  Who is going to bet against them ?   Not me!

Runners Up overall were GER 1205 “Meerblick” Otto Pohlmann, Hugo Rocha & Charles Nankin. This was another excellent result for Otto and his team as they continue to impress recording consistent podium positions….   Well done.

3rd overall on equal points with Otto, but losing on countback was a team from Russia sailing GBR 422 “Heuschrecke” helmed by Dmitry Bondarenko (Top Photo, 5th left), crewed by Alexandre Shaligin (3rd left) and Vadim Statsenko (4th left).  Dmitry is enjoying sailing his choice of two beautifully restored Pedersen & Thuessen’s, this time he was using GBR 422, he also has GBR 408 back in Russia… He recently told me “I like having two wooden boats because when one is in the yard having a small repair, I can race the other”  🙂   I like your thinking Dmitry !

Great to welcome American Mike Breivik, into the class with Ron Rosenberg & Will Willett. (Two 7th places in his first ever Dragon Regatta!).

This was another good regatta organised by the experienced SNST and all the sailors would like to thank the members, volunteers, office staff and especially the PRO Michele Urando. This is certainly an event you should put into your diary for next year… Why not stay on for this regatta if you are coming for the 90th anniversary in Cannes next year? Join the fun in St Tropez in 2019…

Higher, Faster, Longer…………    Stavros.

 

 

 

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Six Races so far in St Tropez….But no wind today.

The Dragons are back in St Tropez, with 6 races over the first two days….

Great drone photo of all 19 boats ready to start.

19 Dragons are having a great time in the South of France now that the rain has passed and the sun is out in this beautiful sailing Gulf between Saint Maxime & St Tropez…

Another super photo from Jean-Louis Chaix.

The SNST (Societe’ Nautique de Saint Tropez) are putting on a nice regatta with sensible 1nm courses which are completed in around 60mins (only possible with a smaller fleet). This meant that 3 races were sailed on both Wednesday & Thursday, but unfortunately, no wind today (Friday). However, the organisers are hopeful that tomorrow (Saturday) will see two more races to round off a very successful event.

TUR 1212 Provezza leads the fleet

Although World Champion Andy Beadsworth (TUR 1212) is currently leading the event the “Provezza” team have not had it all their own way. Indeed both GER 1205 Otto Pohlmann and Russian helm Dmitry Bondarenko GBR 422 are just 4pts behind, both equal on 12pts.

One team that had a nice race yesterday (Race 4) were Ron James & his wife Julia sailing their beautiful cold moulded Borresen “GBR 633” , as they were first to round the windward mark in front of “Provezza”.  Their Professional tactician Ian Turnbull told me “We started near the pin, went left and came in just in front of Andy (Beadsworth). Managed to hold the lead down the run, then Andy split leeward marks with us. When we came together halfway up the 2nd beat they were just ahead and managed to cover us. After that it was just about not getting swallowed up by the group behind and we were happy to finish 3rd in the end”.  Well done and great to see Ron & Julia still enjoying competing on the International Circuit.

GBR 633 Ron James, Julia Walsh & Ian Turnbull lead around top mark in race 4.

So even though there is no racing today (Friday), I think there are many sailors happy to have a easy day sitting around enjoying the sun after a “full on” party hosted by Dirk Oldenburg last night! On behalf on the sailors can I thank Dirk for his generous hospitality and promise that I will be joining you all for sure next year 🙂

More to follow after racing tomorrow………..

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

Many thanks to Jean-Louis Chaix for the action photo’s…

 

 

 

 

 

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Stephan is “Linked In” at Torbole’

GER 1162 Stephan Link, Michi Lip & Frank Butzmann  dominate in Torbole’. 4th-6th Oct.

7 races sailed in sunshine and 15kts over 3 days on the picturesque water’s of Lake Garda, saw 3 sailors stand out amongst the 41 teams competing for the Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup. Yes, the 2017 Gold Cup winners, Stephan Link, Michi Lip & Frank Butzmann started with 1st, 1st & 2nd on the opening day and never looked back, only to see their opposition :-).

Michi Lip, Frank Butzmann & Stephan Link presented with the H-D Wagner Cup, Torbole’

Following a fantastic opening day this experienced lake sailing team recorded a 6th, 2nd & 2nd which allowed them the luxury of not needing to sail the final race, which is always a huge relief at any event, particularly of this quality. So very well done to the GER 1162 “Desert Holly” team.

The regular afternoon “Ora” Wind which blows from the South delighted the Sailors…

The runner’s up, just 3pts behind, were the team of 4 sailing GBR 820 “Louise” helmed by Grant Gordon who recently spent time training in Torbole’ along with 3rd placed GBR 819 “Fever” Klaus Diederichs.   Grant followed up his podium place at the Edinburgh Cup in Torquay, with a creditable 4th place in San Remo and now this 2nd in Torbole’.  A truly great season, Grant now packs his new V6 “Louise” for the trip to Perth for the January Worlds, many congratulations to Team Louise….

2nd Overall GBR 820 Jimmy Williamson, Grant Gordon, Ruairidh Scott & Sophie Weguelin.

The final podium place went to GBR 819 “Fever” helmed by Klaus Diederichs  crewed by Jamie Lea and Gustavo Lima who replaced Diego Negri this time, while Diego competes at the Star Worlds. Klaus told me “It was great organisation both on and off the water. Stephan sailed a perfect regatta and did not put a foot wrong. Also Philip Dohse was very strong and finished top Corinthian. Although one boat lost its mast on the last day, its a great venue with many classes hosting their Worlds here”. Well sailed the Fever Team, good luck in Perth.

PRO Carmelo Paroli with 3rd Overall Gustavo Lima, Klaus Diederichs & Jamie Lea.

As Klaus mentioned, the top Corinthian Team were GER 1151 Puck IV helmed by Philip Dohse who finished just 4pts off a podium position and once again in a great position of 4th overall. A fantastic result from this Husband & Wife team.

Top Corinthians, GER 1151 Nicola Dohse, Volker Kramer, Christian Moeller & helm Philip Dohse.

So another first class regatta with over 40 boats and a full program of races sailed. As usual there were winners and losers but everyone enjoyed the fantastic sailing Lake Garda offers, year in year out. I spoke with top Professional Lars Hendriksen who for once, did not have a good regatta on board NED 412, he explained ” When we went left, right was right. When we went right, left was right and right was wrong :-). Same thing on the downwind legs, seems like we get everything wrong here. Any attack on the fleet is punished, so it was best to follow the leader and be a good boy”.  But as Lars told me, that is not his style !  :-)..  

Is that not the great thing about Sailing… ?  Every where is a different challenge, every day we all start with a clean sheet of paper…. Be different, be bold, be adventurous but above all, have fun………

And remember fellow sailors…..  Treat every day as though it’s your last…  because one day it will be true”…

Higher, Faster, Longer……….   Stavros.

p.s.   Many thanks to my friend Christopher Nordhoff for these excellents photo’s…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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San Remo Winners at the Final Grade 1 of 2018.

NED 412 Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk win the San Remo Grand Prix.

Organiser Tatiana Kurbatova (left) at Prize Giving was joined on the Podium by the top 5 teams of the final Grade 1 event of 2018 in San Remo.

Proud Champions NED 412 Pieter, Lars & George (Centre) were pushed all the way by runner up GER 1207 Nicola Friesen (second right). 3rd place went to ITA 77 Yevgen Braslavets (light blue shirt), 4th was GBR 820 Grant Gordon (third left) and 5th place to RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin (fourth left).

Although the final day of racing did not materialise through lack of wind, spirits were not diminished. As usual the cream rises to the top  so the best teams over the 5 completed races found their way into the top 5 of this competitive 35 boat fleet. There is no question the standard of Dragon Sailing is getting better and better. The quality of boats, both old and new continues to excel. A total of 4 different sail brands were used in the top 6 boats and the importance of teamwork could not be more apparent! Congratulations to All. 🙂

Top Corinthians GBR 770 David & Lynne Brown & Son Jono with Gilly Hamilton.

Finishing a very creditable 11th place overall this excellent Corinthian Team showed great form again and proved that their 2nd place finish at the 2016 Regates Royal was no fluke. After a fantastic 2nd day, GBR 770 “Storm” recorded consistent results against some of the best teams in the World and now look forward to Cannes next week…  Very well done to this popular “Family” team..  🙂

So there we have it fellow Sailors, another European Grade 1 season over.  We began with February Snow in Cannes (Winner Markus Brenneke).  Then Douarnenez in May (Andy Beadsworth), followed by Dragor in June (Pieter Heerema). Finally San Remo in Sept (Again! Pieter Heerema).

In 2019 Following the World Championships in Perth, we will have Cannes (April), Cascais (May), Kulungsborn (July) and Palma (Nov) then Grade 1 Finals in Palma immediately after…..    With a Gold Cup in Medemblik which “hopefully” will attract up to 90+ boats… the future looks good…

In closing I want to thank the Yacht Club of San Remo for their excellent hospitality, Tatiana and her many helping Ladies for efficient the friendly registration and presentations plus the 35 teams for making this event so memorable….   With special thanks to ELENA RAZINA for her wonderful action photo’s!   What we do in Life… Echo’s in Eternity…

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Surf’s Up in San Remo….

NED 412 “Troika” Pieter Heerema is the overall leader after 5 races in San Remo.

Day 3 of the Paul & Shark Dragon Grand Prix provided excellent conditions for the 35 teams competing at the final IDA Grade 1 regatta of 2018.  After losing Day 1 through lack of wind, the San Remo Race Committee managed to organise 3 races by skilfully adjusting the race area along the beautiful Ligurian coast. This got the event back on track and sets the scene for a great battle today between the two front runners, NED 412 Pieter Heerema & GER 1207 Nicola Friesen. With wind between 10 to 15 kts from the East and great surfing waves it was a fun day on the water..

“Girl Power” NED 411 Charlotte Ten Wolde drives “Olinghi” through the waves with precision.

It was a super day for not only Nicola Friesen helming GER 1207 “Khaleesi” who backed up her fantastic first two races with another win in race 4 but also Charlotte Ten Wolde.  Charlotte sailing with her Sister Juliette, best friend Janka Holan and Pedro Andrade added two 4th places to their results and now stand a very healthy 6th overall in this extremely competitive field.

ITA 77 “Bunker Prince” Yevgen Braslavets, fighting hard and currently 3rd overall.

With NED 412 winning two of yesterdays races and GER 1207 taking the other victory both boats have a total of 12 points. Although Pieter has a 3pt advantage over Nicola with discard, it will be very interesting today to see how things pan out….

In 4th place overall is Grant Gordon helming GBR 820 who is just ahead of RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin in 5th. Although these top teams have been very consistent they have not been able to secure a race win such has been the dominance of the leading two boats.

Sometimes things go wrong “even” for the current World Champions, Provezza. (Top Mark Race 3).

Today will see lighter winds and although two more races are planned my gut feeling  is the Race Management will be happy if they can complete one final race. Whatever the outcome on this final day it has been an excellent regatta and the beautiful town of San Remo will always be a special place for the Dragon Fleet…..

Current Points after 5 races with 1 discard :

NED 412  5 (12),  GER 1207  8 (12),  ITA 77 17 (23),  GBR 820  22 (36), RUS 76  25 (41).

Finally a big thank you to Elena Razina  for her usual excellent action Photo’s.

Higher, Faster, Longer……      Stavros.

 

 

 

 

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It’s a Game of Thrones in San Remo….

“Khaleesi” GER 1207 wins Race 1 of the San Remo Grade 1 Grand Prix.

First blood in this extremely competitive final Grade 1 event of 2018 went to Nicola Friesen helming her new V6 named after the Queen of Dragons Khaleesi (Game of Thrones)… With Germany’s most experienced Dragon Sailor Vincie Hoesch and the best Star Crew in the World Frithjof Kleen (so he tells everyone), Nicola held on the from the mighty Pieter Heerema NED 412 to take the victory.

It was a light wind race sailed in an easterly wind and a difficult sea. Most gains were made on the left towards the shore although a right hand shift halfway up the first beat saw GBR 770 “Storm” lead at the top mark.  Over the course of two up winds and two down wind legs GER 1207 pulled through to finish just ahead of NED 412 in 2nd and GBR 770 Jono Brown 3rd.

“Troika” NED 412, Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk win race 2.

In the second race of the day sailed in similar conditions it was Pieter Heerema fresh from his recent win at the Dutch Nationals who “nailed” the pin end at Full Speed to reach the left hand corner first and take to clear the fleet by a considerable margin…  Pieter extended his lead throughout the race to win comfortably from GBR 820 Grant Gordon in 2nd and GER 1193 Dirk Pramann 3rd.

The strong fleet gather before the start at the Paul & Shark San Remo Grand Prix.

It is hoped that 3 races can be completed today to make up for the lost time on Day 1..  where two races were attempted, but both had to be abandoned as the wind died away….

Higher, Faster, Longer……   Stavros.

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Another Dutch Title for Pieter Heerema….

“Dutch Champions” NED 412 Pieter Heerema, crewed by Claus Olesen & Lars Hendriksen.

All 42 teams enjoyed another great competitive race to conclude the Open Dutch Championship on Sunday in Medemblik, Holland.  The fleet started with a clear line under a “U” flag in a south-west wind of 10-14 knots and the usual Ijsselmeer chop which certainly concentrates the mind 🙂

At seconds to go a clear line “sag” is visible due to the “U” Flag one minute rule deterrent.

Starting right at the pin was NED 422 Jan Bakker sailing with his son’s Olivier & Dominic. Despite a building breeze with a variety of shifts and enormous pressure from overall Leader NED 412 and GBR 585 the “Bakker’s” held onto their lead to secure a much needed race win. This moved this popular family team up to 6th overall.

During the race Pieter Heerema and his experienced team were keeping a watchful eye on their closest rival JPN 56 Peter Gilmore, who was trying everything he could to recover a 5pt deficit. In the end JPN 56 had to settle for 4th place in the final race and a very creditable runner’s up spot overall.  Very well done to this newly formed team representing Japan.

2nd Overall (left) were the team from Japan, helmed by Pieter Gilmore, crewed by his Son Sam Gilmore & Yasuhiro Yaji JPN 56.

3rd Overall (right) sailing BEL 79 Floris Mortlemans (helm), crewed by Dries Van den Abbeele & Richard Van Rij.

These podium sailors worked well as a “team” and were always quick to react to the wind shifts and various pressure changes that required constant sail and runner tension trim. The Ijsselmeer “chop” can really stop a boats momentum unless all 3 or 4 crew make the necessary changes and adapt to the ever changing conditions.

My team on board GBR 585 put together a very solid set of results to finish 4th overall and I am extremely grateful to Frank Dobbels from Belgium and Niklas Jansson from Estonia. All our results were inside the top 10 and I really enjoyed getting back into competitive racing after assisting at various events this season on the Committee Boat. 

NED 411 just ahead of  GBR 585 at the final “Right Gate” NED 422, 412 & JPN 56 rounded the left hand gate.

5th overall was BEL 80 helmed by Ben Cauwenbergh who recorded three 2nd places throughout the seven races and were always a threat to the top teams.

BEL 80 Ben Cauwenbergh, Pier de Longh & Siebe de Boo finished 5th overall.

This was an excellent Championship and the friendly Dutch Sailors always make the visiting teams welcome so the scene is set for the 2019 Gold Cup. Medemblik offers a variety of Accommodation near to the Olympic Sailing Centre where all boats will be rigged and trailers parked. The sailing is great fun on the non salty enclosed waters of the famous Ijsselmeer so make sure you put next years Gold Cup in your diary….  you will not be disappointed 🙂

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

 

 

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