Two more races were sailed to complete the 2013 Coupe d’Hiver in Cannes on Sunday in a light westerly wind that saw two more different boats take the winners gun and the most consistent boat take the overall Trophy.
In the first race of the day FIN 83 helmed by Jouko Lindgren made an excellent start and held a comfortable lead by the top mark. His nearest competitor was former World Champion Lawrie Smith helming his new GBR 785 “Alfie” crewed by Joost Houweling and Adam Bowers, who gradually took “chunks” out of distance between the two boats. Then on the final downwind leg, Lawrie and his top professional team slid quietly passed Jouko to take the win.
At the start of race 2 GBR 771 “Finito” helmed by Martin Payne and crewed by “Dutch Duo” Olivier and Dominic Bakker, made an excellent start from the pin end and “hard left” paid dividends. Although Frank Berg helming DEN 403 passed the “Finito” team during the second beat, superb spinnaker trimming and tactical awareness on the final downwind leg, saw the Finito’ boy’s “cross” ahead of Frank to take the gun.
However, overall and without a race win, Dmitry Samokhin helming his RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” was again sailing more consistently than any other team. With Andrey Kirilyuk calling the shots and the “Biggest Man in Russia” Aleksey Bushuer pulling the ropes, this fantastic Russian Team dominated once again. There is no doubt that not only is Andrey Kirilyuk regarded by his fellow competitors as the number 1 tactician in the world, he simply is !!
2nd place overall was GBR 785 Lawrie Smith and his team in “Alfie”, following in 3rd overall was “newcomer” Tom Vernow helming his new GBR 790 “Excite”. This was a fantastic result for Tom and his crew Neil Payne & Tim Tavinor (some of the time), as it was Tom’s very first Dragon event. This is great news for the class as we continue to attract top sailors from different one design classes all over the world. Very well done to Tom and his team.
In closing I would like to thank “Karine” and Gerard from the Yacht Club de Cannes and their so many helpers who put on a fantastic regatta. The PRO Jerome Nutte did an excellent job in course setting and all the lines were perfect. He had no need to use the Black Flag as Jerome not only had control of the fleet but also earned their respect. We can all look forward now to an exciting GRADE 1 Cannes Grand Prix in Feb 2014. Early registration is recommended as entry may have to be limited to 70 boats.
Off now to Cascais for the final winter event of 2013 , so more to follow…..
Higher, Faster, Longer……… Stavros. (GBR 771).