It’s Markus Wieser’s 4th Gold Cup…..

RP_140912_GOLDCUP_794 (640x428)Markus Wieser, Sergey Pugachev & Georgii Leonchuk winners of 2014 Gold Cup, sponsored by BMW.

It was a fantastic final day in Medemblik for the 86 International Dragon’s competing on the glorious Isslemere, in a wind of around 10 to 12 kts from the North and a cloudless day.  The most perfect sailing conditions……

The PRO Rob Hoogstra set another excellent course with a 2.6 mile upwind leg and managed to get the fleet underway at the second attempt. With Markus holding a 13pt lead over the second place GBR team of Lawrie Smith, Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling it was  a do or die decision for the former world champion of which way to go…  Did he stay with Markus and hope to put more than 13 boats between them, in order to win the title. Or did they elect to split tacks and go the opposite direction off the line, to see if that gave the necessary “division” between the two boats….

Lawrie told me ” There was no point going the same way as Markus, as he is sailing too well to not be in the leading pack, so we opted to gamble with the opposite side. We have been 2nd before (in Kinsale 2012), so we went for Gold”. Unfortunately, it did not pay off and so Lawrie and his team dropped to 7th overall, still a very respectable position. Meanwhile one of the challengers NED 412 helmed by Pieter Heerma, crewed by Theis Palm and Claus Olesen were having another brilliant race and followed up the previous day’s victory with a 2nd place in the final race, which promoted this excellent team into the runner’s up spot overall…   a most pleasing result.

RP_140912_GOLDCUP_1450NED 412 “Troika” power their way into 2nd overall of the 2014 Gold Cup.

In 3rd place overall was Markus fellow team mate, UAE 8 sailed by Yvgeni Braslavets, crewed by Igor Sidorov and Sergiy Timokhov who had put in some really consistent scores over the 6 race, non discard, series…..

RP_140912_GOLDCUP_1629Final GOLD CUP Presentation, NED 412 2nd (Pedersen & Thuesen), UAE 7 1st & UAE 8 3rd (both Petticrows).

In the Corinthian Division, GBR 775 helmed by the legendary Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen took the title and also finished a fantastic 6th place overall in the main event..  The “Man” could have even won the event had he not slipped up at the windward mark in one of the later races.. At the tender age of 70 he still remains probably the most talented Dragon Sailor the World has ever seen.

RP_140912_GOLDCUP_1015Winner of the final GOLD CUP race.  Frank Berg, DEN 266.  “He did it His Way”…..

Another fantastic photo from Professional Ricardo Pinto, Portugal…

In closing I would like to thank the Volunteers and many helpers of both the Hollandia and Muiden Yacht Clubs for their superb effort in running this fantastic event. All the main and small sponsors, that make such an GOLD CUP possible, but in particular BMW….  The PRO Rob Hoogstra and his fellow International Race Officers, set perfect courses and well balanced starting lines. I would truly recommend Medemblik for any major sailing event, this is a venue that offers all round sailing and social opportunities on a perfect ”fresh” water arena ……

Congratulations Markus you Sergey and Georgii are  ”Higher, Faster, Longer” :-)

Stavros. (GER 1102).




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Pieter has his Day in Medemblik….

RP_140911_GOLDCUP_330A (640x428)Pieter Heerema takes the winning gun in Race 5 of 2014 Dragon Gold Cup, Medemblik.

This superb photo (again taken by Ricardo Pinto) captures the moment Pieter Heerema helmed NED 412 to victory, crewed by Theis Palm & Claus Olesen.

Claus told me after the excellent 3 hour race with a 2.6 mile first beat !  ” We did not take the lead until the second beat as Lawrie Smith GBR 785, had been exceptionally fast down wind. But we managed to get ahead and protect our lead even though Lawrie came close again on the second run. In the end we won by 50m or so and we were all delighted”…

With Lawrie Smith crewed by Petticrows owner, Tim Tavinor and Dutch Professional Joost Houweling, finishing 2nd, it moves this former World Champion into the runner’s up position overall. However, Markus Wieser managed to record a 3rd place and move a step closer to retaining this magnificent cup as he takes a 13 point lead into the final day…

RP_140911_GOLDCUP_339AMarkus Wieser finishing 3rd yesterday to take a 13 point lead into the final day !!!

With UAE 8 helmed by Yevgeni Braslavets having another good race yesterday the UAE boats (both Petticrows) just have Lawrie Smith in between them to spoil a complete “Tansbunker” domination….

However, 2 years ago a certain Mr Smith held a 25pt lead in Kinsale’s Gold Cup and Mr Tommy Muller managed to produce something very special on the last day to upset Lawrie’s celebrations….   Is it destiny that Lawrie does the same to Markus in the final race of this fantastic Gold Cup ??

Let the final show begin !  Will it be Markus, Lawrie or Yevgeni this year ?

Higher, Faster, Longer………….   Stavros (GER 1102).


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Race Wins for Gavia & Lars in Medemblik…

RP_140910_GOLDCUP_9623Gavia Wilkinson-Cox wins race 3 of the 2014 Dragon Gold Cup in Medemblik.

It was a most thrilling and tough day in Medemblik yesterday as two races were completed in a Northerly breeze that produced a most difficult “chop” across the shallow waters of the Isslemere.. With short, steep waves it is very easy to stop the boat if pointed too high. On the other hand, you simply give away too much ground if you allow the boat to run low a fast..  So the technique required is a combination of the two….

Two top teams that got it right yesterday were GBR 761 helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, crewed by Mark Hart & Nick Hartshorn.  Along with DEN 138 helmed by Lars Hendriksen, crewed by Frithjof Kleen and Pedro Andrade.

RP_140910_GOLDCUP_9861ALars Hendriksen steers his beautiful “Eva” across the line to win race 4 of the Gold Cup.

However, it remains a most riveting competition to see who will lift the Gold Cup on Friday evening as even the overall leader, Markus Wieser recorded a rare high score in race 3! Yes fellow sailors, after winning race 1 and 2 Markus slipped to 25th in race 3, but bounced back with a 5th in race 4. This now gives him a lead of just 5pts from GBR 775 the “Man” Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, who is really turning on the power this week……

RP_140910_GOLDCUP_9769 (640x426)The one & only “Double Olympic Gold Medallist” Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, with Noddy & Hamish.

It was a great day for the PRO Rob Hoogstra, and all the organisers of this event, as this now catches up the sailing programme and leaves the overall title in the balance!

With two more races to go anything can and probably will happen…   :-)

Higher, Faster, Longer…………………..    Stavros.  (GER 1102).





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Markus takes charge in Medemblik…..

RP_140909_GOLDCUP_9059A (640x426)Markus Wieser looks back at the fleet in Race 2 of the 2014 Gold Cup, in Medemblik.

Markus Wieser crewed by Georgii Leonchuk  and Sergey Pugachev helming UAE 7 (Petticrows) recorded another win yesterday to maintain a 100% record so far in the 86 boat Dragon Gold Cup, sponsored by BMW.

As the current holder of this wonderful “Golden” Trophy, which Markus won last year in Douarnenez, he is most determined not to let it go ! Although it is still early days, (with 4 more races to go), it is going to take a very strong team to beat him.

Yesterday’s race started surprisingly under a Black Flag, I say surprisingly as normally the fleet is allowed at least one start without penalty. However, due to the many recalls and time wasting on the previous day, the Black Flag came out of the PRO’s box. Then in the final minutes of the countdown, a right hand shift may have caused a number of boats to jump across the line. No one wants to see their boat number on the dreaded blackboard on such occasions, but sometimes a deterrent such as this must be used and the consequences of a premature start must be taken on the chin.

However, the start was allowed to continue and most of the leaders decided to tack as soon as possible to the right. I personally thought the wind would eventually go back to the left as it had been oscillating all morning, However, this only happened very briefly before another right hand shift saw the boats that had taken the early decision to go right, simply miles ahead.

RP_140909_GOLDCUP_9074A (640x426)Jens Christensen DEN 410 with Kim Andersen and Erik Hansen, currently 3rd overall.

The two boats who are currently closest to Markus are SWE 358 helmed by Hans Liljeblad (9th & 2nd) and Jens Christensen 6th & 5th (pictured above), who are both sailing superbly well to stay in touch at the top of the leader board. Meanwhile in the “Corinthian” division (Non Professional Sailors), it is GER 1151 helmed by Philip Dohse who heads the table, closely followed by Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen. Strangely enough, Poul Richard is ahead of Philip in the main overall standings in 4th place, but such is the format of the Corinthian scoring (whereby all the Professional boats are taken out, then the teams awarded 1, 2, 3, 4 etc), that Philip is ahead……

Moving on to today, we have 2 races planned to hopefully catch up the race missed on Sunday. So it will be a very long day for all especially after the excellent party that the sponsors organised last evening. It was a first class meal and gave an opportunity for the sailors to meet and thank the people who make it possible to help run a fantastic event such as this…….

(Once again I thank RICARDO PINTO for these superb photograph’s).

Higher, Faster, Longer………….   Stavros.  (GER 1102).





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Markus Wieser wins 1st race of 2014 Gold Cup.

Racing eventually got underway yesterday in the most perfect Dragon sailing conditions here in Medemblik, Holland. Although it took several attempts to start the fleet of 86 boats, race one was completed in an oscillating wind predominately from a direction of 300 degree’s in 8 to 12 kts of breeze.

Markus Wieser UAE 7 (the current Gold Cup holder) sailing a new Petticrows Dragon, took an early lead at the top mark after a 2.2 mile first beat. With the wind shifting it was important to keep alert on the long downwind leg’s as much as the upwind leg’s. Also having a fantastic race was our “Vice Chairman” of the IDA Reemt Reemtsma in GER 1121 who, crewed very well by his wife Petra and Lorenz Jensen, sailed themselves into 2nd place behind Markus.

In 3rd place was GBR 775 helmed by “The Man” Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen who can never be counted out of these big events, due to his vast experience and superb sailing skills. Now at the proud age of 70 years old, he would like nothing more than to be holding onto this prestigious trophy once again that was originally donated by the Clyde Yacht Club.

In 4th position was Sui 313 helmed by Dirk Oldenburg, who sailed a great race to finish just ahead of former World Champion Lawrie Smith in GBR 785 in 5th.

Although the PRO had hoped to catch up for the missed sailing day on Sunday and get in a second race, unfortunately this did not happen. Apparently there were a number of “Technical” issues with one or more of the committee boats anchorage.

We all hope for a better outcome today………

Higher, Faster, Longer……  Truthfully …     Stavros.  (GER 1102).



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Gold Cup begins in Medemblik…

get-attachment (20)GBR 789 leads the final race of the “Tune Up”, alas only 3 races were completed.

With 90 International Dragons prepared to take to the waters in Medemblik today, this will be one of the best Gold Cup’s ever…..  The “Who’s who” of sailing will battle it out for 6 days, one race per day, until one happy team eventually lift this prestigious trophy on Friday evening.

With all 90 boats now safely moored at the inner harbour of Medemblik, a real “party” atmosphere is building throughout the town. The main sponsor, BMW, are showing off some of their beautiful cars and the beer will be flowing when the teams return each day and gather around the purpose built pontoons.

Unfortunately the “Tune Up” regatta could not be completed due to lack of wind on Friday, however the three top boats NED 402, DEN 332 & RUS 76 will all take a certain amount of confidence into todays first race at 12.00.

Keep watching for videos and daily updates on each race of this “non” discard series, which means that it’s most certainly “Never Over till it’s Over”………

Higher, Faster, Spicier………..     Stavros.  (GER 1102)



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“Decibelle” leads the Tune Up……

get-attachment (17)Jan Bakker helms “Decibelle” NED 402, crewed by his Son’s, Dominic & Olivier..

Day two of the “Tune Up” event in Medemblik, saw the wind start promisingly enough, but sadly died away to nothing by 2pm. However, one race was completed as this time there was no general recall, just an individual recall.

This allowed the 28 boat fleet to complete a full course of three upwind legs and two runs, giving the “cream” time to rise to the top…. On this occasion it was GBR 789 (Bear), for this regatta “No Dramas” helmed by Chris Larson from America who, in his very first Dragon event, eventually won the race.

get-attachment (19)

Chris Larson helms GBR 789 across the finish line, to win Race 3 of the “Tune Up” event.

Now although Chris Larson maybe new to the Dragon Class, he has already won no less than 8 “One Design” World Championships!! In fact his crew Simon Fry is not far behind him with 6 World Championships…….  So when these guys passed you yesterday, don’t beat yourself up too badly as they know something about the game :-)  It’s great to see that our wonderful class is still attracting more and more “Top” sailors from all over the world….

In 2nd place yesterday was RUS 76 and 3rd GBR 758. Both Dmitry and Klaus are beginning to show the form that has gained them world recognition. With Klaus having been Black Flagged in race one, he and his top Professional team of Andy Beadsworth and Jamie Lea are hoping for a few more races today so that a discard can be implemented. Since winning the Worlds in Weymouth last year, Klaus took some time out, but now he is refreshed and back in the game so this team must be one of the favourites for the Gold Cup next week..  Like wise Dmitry Samokhin crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk (who was runner up at the Worlds), and Aleksey Bushuev are also up for the cup..

Meanwhile slipping along nicely is DEN 332 helmed by David Holm. Counting a 2, 14, 2, sees David, crewed by Bo Selko and Jakob Groth currently in 2nd place overall, just ahead of Dmitry. However, still holding onto the lead are the “In Form” Bakkers, NED 402…  who with the “clubhouse” lead, must be still favourites as with the weather forecast I have seen today, we will be very lucky to get one more race completed, even with the advanced start…

get-attachment (15)Overall leaders, NED 402 “Decibelle”, Jan Bakker, Dominic Bakker, Olivier Bakker…

Another superb photo from our “Ace” Professional Ricardo Pinto !!!!!!!

Higher, Faster, Longer…………..   Stavros.  (GER 1102).






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The “Bakker’s” in Tune, Medemblik….

The first day of racing in Medemblik yesterday saw 30 boats registered for the “Tune Up” regatta & 27 teams made it to the start line for the initial two races..

With the wind just above 6 knots the first race got away on the second attempt under a Black Flag, which saw the current World Champion, Klaus Diederichs, GBR 758 as the only casualty… The slight starboard bias, shifted to a port bias just before the start and so most gains were made from the left side on the first beat. Racing was tight and competitive and in the end it was the “home” team of NED 402 helmed by Jan Bakker, crewed by his son’s Dominic and Olivier who took the winning gun.

In race two, again started after an initial general recall, so under a Black Flag, it was the extra pressure on the right side of the first beat that saw GBR 708 helmed by Quentin Strauss, crewed by his brother Simon & Nigel Young take an early lead. Despite some good sailing from NED 311 Bram de Wilde, GBR 708 held their lead to win in the end by a comfortable margin….

With the Bakker’s finishing 6th in the second race, it was enough to give them the overall lead after day one….It was a beautiful sunny day here on the Isslemeer and a very nice relaxing sailing day was had by all. I expect the fleet to get a little larger today for race 3 and 4 which start at midday, as more boats come out for a bit of practice prior to the main Dragon Gold Cup event, sponsored by BMW which begins at the weekend.  With 90 boats now registered it should be an unbelievable regatta…..

Higher, Faster, Longer……………   Stavros.  (GER 1102).







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Marblehead Trophy is going to Denmark…

Christian Videbaek, Jan Eli Gravad & helm Jorgen Schonherr win the Marblehead Trophy..

It was a most exciting final day in Kiel to decide where the “Famous” Marblehead Trophy would be challenged for in 2015… With the wind sometimes gusting up to 30 kts it was not a day for the feint hearted!

Tommy Muller had held this prestigious trophy for 4 years and all comers to Kiel had not been able to beat Tommy and his “Bavarian Dream Team” of Hoesch and Lipp…  But in the end the superb heavy weather sailing of the “African Queen” with Jorgen Schonherr at the helm guided his brand new Petticrows to victory by just 1pt !!

Yes fellow sailors, it came right down to the wire and not with Tommy, but with Yvegen Braslavetz who was also sailing a Petticrows Dragon UAE 8. Yevgen pushed Jorgen all the way in the extremely physical conditions leaving Tommy and his team in a very respectable 3rd overall position.

Tommy-awards-trophy (240x320)The moment Tommy Muller awards the Marblehead Trophy to Jorgen Schonherr.

Organiser Tommy Muller on behalf of the NRV Yacht Club in Kiel, said “The end result was so close, just 1pt the difference. So Jorgen will organise it in Koge, which is just south of Copenhagen. He has promised to keep with tradition and invite all competitors to a big party!”

Very many congratulations to Jorgen, Christian and Jan and also to the runners up Yevgen, Igor Sidorov and Sergey Timokhov,.  Lastly, well done to Tommy and his team for holding the Marblehead Trophy for so many years ( 5 in total, as Tommy had won it on another occasion before his 4 year reign).

So now it travels in the safe hands of Jorgen Schonherr……  be ready to defend my friend in 2015…….  :-)

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


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Belgium National Championship in Ostend…..

Martin Payne, with Donal Small and Olivier Bakker, sail “Little Hook” to Victory..

(All Photo’s taken by Ricardo Pinto)

Without needing to sail the final day, the team of Little Hook celebrated becoming Belgium National Champions on Saturday evening at the Gala Dinner in Ostend. Counting five 1st places and one 2nd, during the superbly organised Championship run by the Royal North Sea Yacht Club, Payne and his team just had the edge on the rest of the highly competitive fleet.

2014-08-23 17.22.18                                        Donal Small, Olivier Bakker and Martin Payne..

In second place overall was Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen helming his new Petticrows, “Danish Blue”. Crewed by Andrew (Noddy) Norden and Chris Brittain. The “Man”  showed great speed but had to put up with some heavy “covering” tactics by the Little Hook team at times. Olivier Bakker explained ” With such a strong tide and medium to heavy winds, the slightest mistake could cost you a 200m loss”.  “When you have someone of Poul-Richards ability behind you, it’s vital you give him no room to break free”….

10639480_858866600791951_6974601533647603484_nThe runner’s up team from “Danish Blue” Noddy Norden, Poul-Richard & Chris Brittain.

In third place overall was the local team sailing BEL 79 “Princess Sofie” helmed by Alex Helsen, crewed by Floris Mortelmans and Willy Hambrouck. Alex and his team were never far behind the leaders and considering it was one of their first events of the year, did an excellent job.

10312541_858866617458616_5749876372501154346_n (2)Alex’s team 3rd overall, with members and sponsors of the Royal North Sea Yacht Club.

It was once again the most fantastic regatta, offering superb long 3 upwind courses, with every course changed signalled perfectly to compensate for the tidal variations and wind shifts. The Yacht Club hosted a party every night, with Bar-B-Q’s, Gala Dinner and Prize Giving. The sheltered harbour offers easy access to the race course and a great comradery atmosphere after racing, where copious amounts of free beers were consumed and many stories told…  It’s a great venue, with really nice friendly people and excellent fun !!

Higher, Faster, Longer…………………   Stavros.  (Little Hook).

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