Dmitry Wins 3rd Winter Series in Cascais…


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Jens Rathsack helm’s his MON 2 to victory in the 3rd race of the winter series in Cascais.

After the excitement of day one, the 23 boat fleet had to be patient on Saturday and wait 3 hours for the wind to eventually fill in around 2pm. The sea conditions were still seeing big rolling waves crash powerfully against the sandy beaches of Estoril which would send clouds of spray many metres into the sky..  This meant for tricky helming conditions and constant sail trimming in order to keep the dragon moving as they rose high onto the crest of a wave, before disappearing into a deep trough of “nothing”….

In race 2 of the series, which was started around 2.30 the wind had settled in from 210 degrees and was anything from 4kts to 10 kts depending how your boat sat on a wave.. The skill of steering up quickly to take full advantage of the “boost” given by the wave, soon had to compensated by an equally quick “bear-a-way” so as to not put the boat head to wind. All in all tricky to say the least..  One boat who again mastered these difficult conditions was last series winner Stefan Winberg SWE 385 “Still Crazy”, who won the race from GBR 786 “Clairvoyant” Martin Payne 2nd and RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” Dmitry Samokhin 3rd.           

RP_150117_CDWS3S_0875 (640x428)                                               Winners of race 2, SWE 385. 

In race 3 of the series it was MON 2 Jens Rathsack (opening photo) who took advantage of an early gybe after rounding the top mark 5th. Jens told me “Although we rounded behind 4 boats we were the first to gybe and seemed to make our gain down the middle of the run”. Jens and his team of Julius Plass and Diogo Pereira held onto their lead after the first gate to win from POR 66 2nd and POR 56 3rd. All 23 boats then sailed back onto the swing moorings to be greeted in the club with superb food and drinks showing off the fantastic hospitality of the Club Naval de Cascais…..

So with the top 5 boats all in with a chance of winning the series everything depended on the final day. Unfortunately, despite nearly 5 hours on the water and one aborted race, the wind just did not materialise as forecast. This meant no discard could be implemented so the results stayed the same….

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The winning team RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” Dmitry Samokhin, Aleksey Bushuev & Andrey Kirilyuk, with Yacht Club Naval representatives at Prize Giving yesterday..

Overall Results Top 5.

1.RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl”  Dmitry Samokhin, Aleksey Bushuev & Andrey Kirilyuk  1st, 3rd, 6th.

2. POR 66 “Drago” Jose’ Matoso, Gustavo Lima & Frederico Melo. 9th, 2nd, 4th.

3. GER 1123 “Pow Wow” Michael Zankel, Pedro Andrade & Philip Blinn.  2nd, 7th, 7th.

4. SWE 385 “Still Crazy”  Stefan Winberg, Per Norgan & Frederick Brotell. 7th, 1st, 10th.

5. GBR 786 “Clairvoyant” Martin Payne, Donal Small & Antonio Matos.   3rd, 2nd, 15th.

So next weekend is the Ski Vole’ in Cannes/Antibes, then onto Monaco for the Primo Cup, then immediately back here for the 4th Cascais Winter Series. :-)

Higher, Faster, Longer……   Stavros.





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Strong Winds and Big Sea’s in Cascais…..

RP_150116_CDWS3S_0588 (640x428) The start of yesterday’s race in Cascais..  26kts of wind from the North West, big sea’s.

Yesterday in Cascais was not for the weak hearted, as it tested every single team of the 23 boats participating in this 3rd Winter Series event in Portugal. It was a great way to see in the New Year blowing away a few cobwebs and seeing if your battery could cope with the “Full On” conditions. 

There was a slight bias at the pin end and that is where “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, crewed by Pedro Andrade and Philip Blinn started alongside “Strange Little Girl”  helmed by Dmity Samokhin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev ..  We (Martin Payne, Donal Small and Antonio Matos) in “Clairvoyant” also started close to these top boats but our genoa sheet snapped which meant some urgent attention was required!  As I looked up the 1.2 mile course seeing the remaining 22 boats slowly disappear I had all but given up any hope of continuing….  However, my excellent team soon managed to re-thread the sheets in a working mode, so we set off in hot pursuit chasing the ever fading white sails which we could still see when on the crest of one of the large waves.

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A superb action shot on the first beat from “Professional” Photographer Ricardo Pinto.

At the top mark it was indeed “Pow Wow” leading with “Strange Little Girl” right behind him. POR 55 “Drago” with Jose Matoso at the helm was also in good shape as was Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi in his HUN 57 “Luca”.. It was also great to see Patrick De Barros back in his Dragon after 14 months out of the game with a few health issues..  What a baptism of fire for Patrick this was, he told me this morning “I feel like a Matador who has gone 3 rounds with a 17 ton Bull ” !! We are all pleased to see you back sailing again my friend.

With the odd black cloud passing over the towns of Estoril and Cascais certain advantages could be taken by experienced crews to make huge gains. Indeed we slowly managed to crawl our way back up through the fleet as boats “rock and rolled” down wind and surfed big time on different gybes.. It was exciting racing and we eventually took great pleasure in passing both Vincent Hoesch and Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi at the top of the final beat to finish 3rd..! Never say die….

Meanwhile just ahead Dmitry Samokhin had just managed to get pass Michael Zankel to take the win..  A great race won by a superb team…

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“Strange Little Girl” takes the victory, from “Pow Wow” 2nd and “Clairvoyant” 3rd…

We all now wait for the wind to settle in today for some more competitive racing, the sun is out and 10 kts of breeze is forecast for around 1pm. Tomorrow we will see the strong winds return but at least the teams will have a relatively easy time today….

Higher, Faster, Longer………..      Stavros.  (Clairvoyant).





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World Championship in La Rochelle, France.

20140526_204451 (640x360) (2)The magnificent Marina of La Rochelle, where 90 Dragons will berth in June for the Worlds..

Yes fellow sailors all over the world the count down has begun for the “Premier” event of the 2015 calendar, the International Dragon World Championship, in La Rochelle, June 4th to 12th. Preparations are well underway in this historic city to host the 90 best Dragon Sailing Teams in the World who have qualified to represent their country at this prestigious event.

Formal Registration will open Feb 1st on the web site  “” ..  For those of you planning a build up to the Worlds why not take part in Douarnenez early May and La Baule end of May. All of these venues are within “touching” distance on the beautiful west coats of France, with each showing their charm and individuality…

20140526_204437 (640x360)Low tide in La Rochelle harbour and the Red Lighthouse marks the outward channel to a most excellent race course.

In addition to the overall World Champion and Corinthian Champion a brand new Trophy is up for grabs this year…   The Masters Trophy.

This Trophy will be awarded to the highest ranking “Team” who have a combined age of 165 years or more on the first day of racing. Further more each member of the crew must be aged 50 or over. The concept is borrowed from the Finn Class who deeply respect their Masters, there will be plenty of crews that will qualify, so plenty of excitement all round to see who will be the first winners……..

In closing the organising committee have their next meeting during February in which we will be co-ordinating all the expertise and knowledge of a fantastic group of helpers and volunteer’s in order to make this World Championship as good and enjoyable as it can possible be……….

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



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Merry Xmas from Palma……

la_foto       The Magnificent Cathederal in Palma will see Dragon Racing once again in 2015.

So it’s Xmas time once again my fellow Dragon Sailors all over the World. As we all settle down with our Family and Friend’s, to enjoy these festive times, I would like to wish you all on behalf of the IDA a very Merry Xmas & Happy New Year.

With our beloved Dragon Class now as popular as it’s ever been and with so many more fixtures on our 2015 calendar, it requires little prompting from me to organise your intinerary for next year…  However, one regatta which is worth a mention is the return of the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma..

This venue is particularly close to my heart as it’s where I won my first International Title in 1999 with Michi Lipp and Martin Dazler both from Germany. At the prize giving Princess Sophia stepped to one side and allowed the King of Spain “Juan Carlos” to present the magnificent Dragon Trophy, quite an honour which we will always cherish ……

So the Spanish Dragon Association would like to invite us all to join them in 2015, racing days are April 1st to 4th. Big discounts on Ferry Crossing’s from Barcelona and Valencia, plus huge Hotel discounts are promised to make this popular holiday destination, once more a premier event on the Dragon Circuit.

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In closing don’t drink and drive…..keep taking the pill’s and enjoy your “Time Out” so that you come back refreshed for a fantastic 2015 season…………

Higher, Faster, Longer………………  Martin Payne.   IDA Sailing Co-ordinator.




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Stefan Winberg Wins in Cascais….

RP_141207_CDWS2S_1094 (640x426)“STILL CRAZY” SWE 385 powers to windward in Cascais to Win 2nd Winter Series..

19 Dragons participated in the 2nd Winter Series in Cascais over the weekend Dec 5th-7th under a balmy sun with blue skies and medium to light wind conditions. As in Cannes the first day was lost, but this time  due to the lack of wind, whilst Cannes had too much !!

However, Saturday and Sunday gave the competitors some excellent sailing conditions and now “Local” helmsman Stefan Winberg won the event in his “Still Crazy” SWE 385 crewed by Markus Lagerquist and local 49er Olympic Sailor Bernardo Freitas. This team put together a very consistent series despite recording an OCS in the final race….


RUS 76, (Light Blue Spinnaker), helmed by Dmitry Samokhin finished 2nd overall.

In 2nd place overall was RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” helmed by Dmitry Samokhin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev who continue to maintain their form after winning series 1.  Another top team showing great consistency is HUN 57 “Luca” who repeated their first event position of 3rd overall. This team helmed by Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi and crewed by Karoly Vezer and Tamas Kiss had a great showing at the last Worlds in Weymouth and will be one of the favourites to do well in La Rochelle.

RP_141207_CDWS2S_1242 (640x426)                      3rd Overall the team from HUN 57, Ferenc, Karoly and Tamas.

The Corinthian Winner was POR 57 “Whisper” helmed by Mario Quina and crewed by Pedro Costa and Fernando Passeiro.  Mario has been racing Dragons in Cascais for many years and like all the other competitors his team enjoyed the usual apres “Food & Wine” served on the Club’s Terrace Bar over looking the Marina and “swing” Moorings right beside this magnificent Yacht Club.

RP_141207_CDWS2S_1248 (640x426)Corinthian Winners of the 2nd Cascais Winter Series, Fernando, Mario and Pedro.

At the Prize Giving, Club President Jose’ Matoso congratulated all the prize winners and invited more sailors to join the fun down in sunny Portugal in 2015. With another 6 – 8 boats arriving in January the 3rd Winter Series over the weekend of Jan 16th to 18th should see at least 30 boats on the start line…


The Dragons at rest in Cascais…  why not come and join us in 2015…..

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

p.s.   Thanks once again to RICARDO PINTO for these excellent photo’s…visit his web site!


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FIN 83 “Lisa” Wins the Coupe d’Hiver in Cannes….

20141207_182324Calle Lindfords, Jouko Lindren (helm) and Hendrik Andersen Winners of Coupe d’Hiver..

23 boats participated in this years final event in Cannes, the Coupe d’Hiver over this first weekend in Dec. We had a complete mixture of weather with a 30 kt wind on Friday seeing all racing cancelled, followed by three great races on Saturday and one light wind race yesterday (Sun).

Olympic Helmsman Jouko Lindgren helmed FIN 83 “Lisa” extremely well & consistently to record three 2nd places on the Saturday which was enough to see him and his team of Lindfords Calle and Hendrik Andersen take the trophy. Jouko won an Olympic Medal back in “Tallin” 1980 and also won the opening race in this years European Championships in San Remo back in March. When I interviewed Jouko back in March at the Europeans he told me they only tacked once on each beat, well here they tacked twice so I hope that did not upset his rhythm too much….  :-)

In 2nd place overall was FIN 85 “Thouban” helmed by Christian Borenius and crewed by Richard Pernici and Chris Winter. At this event there is also an overall Trophy presented by Gavia for the best team without discard, this was also won by Christian and his team, pictured below.

20141207_181813         Runners Up FIN 85 Christian Borensen, Richard Pernici and Chris Winter.

In 3rd place overall was GBR 761 “Jerboa” helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox and crewed by Mark Hart and Charlie Cruise who by winning the final race yesterday, just beat SWE 372 “Dancing Queen” on count back. However, Johan Larson crewed by his wife Catharina and local expert Partick Aucour sailed a very good regatta and were rewarded with 3rd place overall without discard. So well done to all the above teams, a nice way to finish the season.

In closing I would like to thank the PRO Jerome Nutte who managed to complete 4 races over this “testing” weekend and give the competitors as much sailing time as was possible despite some “mixed” weather conditions. The hard working staff and helpers at the Yacht Club de Cannes, led by Karine Grene’ really did a great job to get all the boats quickly out of the water and ready for the Prize Giving co-ordinated by President Jean Pierre Gailes. 

Jean Pierre invited everyone back for the Ski-Vole in January next year and also advised all of us to register early for the first Grade 1 of the year, the Cannes Grand Prix which will take place in February..

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

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Cannes or Cascais in December ??

20140226_182233 (640x360) (2)Cannes will be On Fire again next weekend..  So will be Cascais, we are spoilt for choice !!

Bandeira_CNC.novomastro (480x640)The Club Naval de Cascais proudly fly their club flag on the new pole outside of the Marina

So here we are fellow Dragon Sailors, just one more weekend of racing in December to go! I am told there will be around 40 boats fighting it out in Cannes for the Coupe d’Hiver 5th to 7th Dec… Whilst 20 to 30 boats will be competing in the 2nd winter series regatta in Cascais, Portugal.  It is unfortunate the two events clash this year, but a weekend later is simply getting too close to Xmas and Family Holidays, so the dates are as they are…..

I personally will be visiting Cascais next week to prepare two of my boats for the winter, but then flying across to Nice on Thursday to compete in the Cannes event. This will be my 32nd regatta of the year (with all that practice you would think I should be better :-) and I hope you have all enjoyed my blog’s in which I have tried to keep you all entertained but also up to date with everything that goes on at these wonderful events…

I will do my best to cover both of these event’s and look forward to ending the year in style….

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

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Dmitry Samokhin Wins 1st Cascais Series.

facebook_1416214847223Winners….RUS 76 helmed by Dmitry Samokhin, with Aleksey Bushuev & Andrey Kirilyuk..

With a flat calm day and no sign of wind yesterday, the Club Naval de Cascais had to cancel any hope of adding more races to their exciting 1st Winter Series event. No doubt some of the crews were relieved not to be sailing in such tough conditions as was served up over the weekend.

Overall winner Dmitry Samokhin told me “It’s great to sail here-Cascais has shown once again that it’s a ‘no nonsense’ venue :-) I guess at some moments, in the squalls, it was 35kts of wind”….  It was one of these squalls that unfortunately caught GER 1123 “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, crewed by Phillip Blinn and Pedro Andrade, by surprise and they “Chinese Gybed”, this amazing photo below shows Pow Wow just before trouble hit!

.facebook_1416214996274With Spinnaker up, Pow Wow begins to roll to windward, during a wind squall in Cascais.

RP_141115_CDWS_4180 (640x428)After the gybe, Pow Wow comes up full of water, as the spinnaker continues to pull sideways.

RP_141115_CDWS_8340 (640x426)Phill pumps out & Michael battle’s to get the water out, whilst Pedro recovers the Spinnaker….

Back to the prizes and in 2nd place overall was Local Helm Alvaro Marinho.

RP_141116_CDWS_8370 (640x426)POR 64 Alvaro Marinho, Diago Barros & Rodrigo Vantacich receive their runners up prize from President, Jose Matoso.

In 3rd place overall was HUN 57 helmed by Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi..

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HUN 57 Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi with his team Karoly and Tamas take 3rd place overall.

The next Winter Series in Cascais is on the first week in December, which unfortunately clashes with the Coupe d’Hiver in Cannes. However, I’m sure both events will be very well attended to round off a wonderful year of Dragon Sailing…  Then we have 2015 to come…  and what a year that will be……….

All these amazing photo’s were taken by Top Professional Ricardo Pinto…  Visit his fantastic web site for more action shots taken at the very highest level.

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


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RUS 76 leads in Cascais….

RP_141114_CDWS_7311Dmitry Samokhin surf’s “Strange Little Girl” RUS 76 down the big waves in Cascais..

A record number of 24 boats have gathered for the first winter series weekend in Cascais, Portugal, to enjoy tough but exhilarating conditions. Coping best with the sea and strong winds so far is the team from RUS 76 helmed by Dmitry Samokhin and crewed by Aleksey  Bushuev  and Andrey Kirilyuk. They have sailed consistently well despite some “hair-raising” moments which saw one of the German boats sink yesterday during a very nasty squall. I’m pleased to report that all the crew are safe and it is hoped to find and recover the boat today….

In 2nd place overall at the moment is Local Professional Alvaro Marinho who is helming POR 64 on behalf of Patrick de Barros. Whilst currently in 3rd place is the popular team from Hungary, helmed by Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi.

RP_141114_CDWS_7815 (640x426)HUN 57 Helmed by Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi with Karoly & Tamas “Power” upwind in Cascais.

Today looks like being less breezy and nicer conditions for the rest of the fleet to enjoy. With more boats travelling down to Portugal this winter, it looks like being another “Terrific” programme at the Club Naval. Up to 40 boats are expected to be racing after Xmas and with the Grade 1 Juan Carlos Trophy in April, preceded by the 4th Stavros Match Race Championship, Cascais looks like being one of the “busy” places to sail this winter……………

RP_141114_CDWS_7463 (640x360) The “back-drop” of the old town of Cascais makes an excellent picture as the fleet start yesterday…

I would like to thank Top Professional Photographer, Ricardo Pinto for these great pictures, make sure you visit his web site to see the other 300 photo’s !


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

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Coupe de Armistice in Cannes……

Winner’s RUS 27 “Anapurna”  Alexander Shalagin, Anatoly Loginov & Vadim Stetsenko..

36 boats took part over the weekend in the traditional “Coupe de Armistice” in Cannes, opening the winter season for many excited travelling sailors for another year. On the Friday and Saturday, the weather was filled with glorious sunshine all day but not so much wind. Then on Sunday the skies turned grey and down came the rain and in came the wind which made it a very interesting series of 4 races, with 3 to count.

In fact there were 4 different race winners which proved how difficult the conditions were at times for this “Star” studded fleet. In race one, which was sailed on Friday afternoon in the west bay, PRO Philippe Faure successfully got the fleet away under a black flag and it was RUS 98 who managed to play the shift’s correctly as neither the left or the right side was favoured. Indeed Igor Goikhberg helmed “Zenith” beautifully to keep his lead and won the race with the help of his crew Dmitry Berezkin and Roman Sadchcov.

In race two that took place in the bay of Golf Juan on Saturday, just around the corner from Yacht Club de Cannes, it was FRA 380 “Pas de Cartier” helmed by Vicent Jeantet , crewed by his wife Brigitte and Alain Bertrand, who sailed brilliantly to gain a good lead at the first mark and keep his advantage to take the winners gun. It was an even more remarkable win for Vicent, who just 3 weeks ago was having a “Stent” put into his Coronary Artery ! So this has obviously given Vicent renewed energy and enthusiasm :-)

Although it was impossible to get more than one race completed on Saturday, the event was saved by some of the most exciting sailing ever in Cannes with a 20 to 22 kt breeze on Sunday. With the first race won by ITA 56 “Cloud” helmed by Giuseppe Duca, crewed by Jean Sebastien Ponce and Vittorio Zaoli and the second race won by GBR 789 “Bear”, Martin Payne, Olivier Bakker and Gillian Hamilton, the overall positions were to be decided by the consistent sailing of the top two boats…    GBR 785 “Alfie” helmed by Lawrie Smith and RUS 27 “Anapurna” helmed by Anatoly Loginov.

Both Duca and Payne had shown great speed particularly on the downwind legs surfing the huge waves to comfortably win their races, but it was RUS 27 who just managed to hold out and beat GBR 785 overall by one point after discard. This left Lawrie and his team of Simon Stewart and Joost Houweling as very creditable runner’s up. RUS 98 finished well to take the final podium position.

Podium_Armistice_Cup_2014 (640x359)Overall Prize Winners of the Armistice Cup in Cannes.  Photo by Karine Green.

The photo shows Lawrie and his team centre, with Anatoly’s team left and Igor’s crew on the right.  Unfortunately both Anatoly and Igor were not present. So in closing it was another successful regatta held by the Yacht Club de Cannes and we all now look forward to the “Coupe d’ Hiver”. We sailors thank Karine Green and Jean Pierre Gailes with all their helpers for running such a nice regatta and I am sure we will have another good turn out in December………..5th, 6th & & 7th.

Higher, Faster, Longer…………    Stavros. GBR 789 “Bear”.






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