Jill will be Greatly Missed…..

20141025_215027 (640x360)Our brilliant  IDA “behind the scenes” Assistant Secretary, Jill Hayward retires after 16 years..

It was all change at the recent IDA “AGM” as various retirements and positional changes took place. But none will be felt more within the IDA than losing Jill Hayward who has been most instrumental in the successful running of the class for the past 16 years.  Her organisational and communicational skills have been second to none and we will all miss Jill now that she has decided to call it a day due to health reasons. We all wish you a happy and peaceful retirement Jill, enjoy life to the full and be happy…

One of the other “significant” changes was our long serving Treasurer, Andrew Craig, has decided to call it a day after devoting 20 years of his life and precious time to the IDA. Over the years Andrew, who is also an excellent helmsman, has kept the “books” in perfect order and has always managed to maintain a small but sensible balance at the end of our financial year. We will miss you Andrew but now we hope to see you sailing a little more at the big events. Thank you also for your kinds words and appreciation of my 676 “Blogs” written to date, on the IDA web site, in which I try to keep our web site alive and kicking.  It’s nice to be appreciated and acknowledge within some ranks of the IDA Officers and Committee….

In closing it was nice to welcome our President H.M. King Constantine to the Dinner held at the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall. After entertaining us all with some very humorous and well versed stories he was pleased to congratulated Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen as a newly elected Vice President. “The Man” Poul-Richard, now joins Christopher Dicker and our two Royal Danish Vice Presidents, H.R.H. Prince Henrik and H.R.H. Crown Prince Henrik.  No one has done more for the International Dragon Class than Poul-Richard, in fact I would not be writing this blog if it were not for Poul-Richard. We, I and the Class owe him a great deal, long live “The Man”…

Higher, Longer, Faster…………..     Stavros.  IDA Sailing Co-ordinator.



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The Italians do the “Job”….. Just!

WINNERS…ITA 54  Jean-Sebastian Ponce, Giuseppe Duca (Helm) and Vittorio Zaoli.

It was a very good last day in St Tropez for the 32 boat fleet as a “Sea-breeze” wind eventually arrive in time for the PRO to squeeze in one final race before the cut-off time of a 2pm start. Looking up the course the pressure looked equal on both sides, however those sailors that elected to start at the committee boat and go “hard” right proved the winners. GBR 633 Ron James with “North Sails” tactician Nigel Young, were quick out of the blocks and were first to the right corner, this gave them an easy victory and this beautiful “Borresen” Cold Moulded Dragon moved up to 8th overall..

Meanwhile the two overnight leaders ITA 54 and GBR 761 were caught out over on the left and in the end both Giuseppe and Gavia recorded one of their worst scores so the Overall Championship went to the Italian Team on count-back..  Yes fellow sailors after a total of nine races & two discards it came down to equal points, but the Italian Team had more 1st places…

10712927_334232200082104_6876927150592745859_n (2)Runner’s Up, Team “Jerboa” GBR 761 Mark Hart, Nick Hartshorn & Gavia Wilkinson-Cox.

I was speaking to Mark Hart the tactician on Gavia’s boat and he said “Although we were in less pressure on the left side of the course, it still looked ok until the final tack. We obviously had our eyes on the Italian boat and for a moment it look like we could just sneak into a winning position. However, we were a little unlucky on the second beat and it was not to be”. Never the less Mark, you and Team Jerboa have sailed a brilliant regatta, well done my friend.

10647124_334232306748760_4816705366966560755_n (2)In 3rd place overall were FRA 412 “Irina” Pierric Bourbin, Morvan Bourbin & Marc Bouet.

In 3rd place overall was FRA 412 owned and crewed by Morvan & Pierric Bourbin and helmed by French “Legend” Marc Bouet. This is a new team into the Dragon Class and have already shown they will be one of the favourites for the Worlds next year in La Rochelle. Well done.

In closing I would like to thank the SNST and all it’s members and volunteers for putting on an excellent regatta. This was a very successful 11th “Edition” of the Dragon St Tropez and I’m sure many sailors are already looking forward to next years event. With the weather we have enjoyed this week St Tropez showed herself at her very best, sailing in short’s and T shirts and completing a 9 race series, what else would a Dragon Sailor ask for…..

Higher, Faster, Longer……………….   Stavros.  (USA 310). 



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Giuseppe Duca takes control in St Tropez…

1186051_333856843452973_8629749995114172862_nPresident du Comite’, Jean-Pierre Mannetstatter gets the 31 Dragons away, a perfect line.

It was another amazing day of racing for the 31 dragons from 12 Nationalities, in this 11 edition of the Dragon St Tropez Regatta organised by the Societe Nautique de Saint Tropez. With continued sunshine and light warm breezes, “Shorts and T Shirts” were the order of the day….  A wonderful sailing day in the middle of OCTOBER….  wow!

The Race Committee included the mark layers had a really busy day as Jean-Pierre had to constantly change the course around to compensate for the ever shifting winds. The SNST  should be very proud of their race management as all the competitors enjoyed a most perfect day of sailing. One competitor who finished the day with a huge smile on his face was 81 year old Edward Sawyer who recorded a 3rd place in the final race to move him into a very creditable 7th place overall….    “Way to Go Teddy”………

1959569_333415053497152_6320476045647844161_nGiuseppe takes the 4th race just ahead of Gavia, these two boats are now 1st & 2nd overall.

There have now been 8 races completed so a double discard has been implemented, this put’s ITA 54 Giuseppe Duca (who is racing in the new “Bear”), crewed by Vittorio Zaoli and Jean-Sebastien Ponce, ahead by 5 pts from GBR 761 “Jerboa helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox. In 3rd place overall is FRA 412 helmed by Mark Bouet who has been consistently at the front end of the fleet. Also having a super regatta is our IDA Vice Chairman Vasily Senatorov in RUS 34 “Even Better”.. who recorded two 2nd places yesterday to now be in 4th place overall. Finally a race win (Race 6) by SUI 291 gave Yves Gaussen and his team in “New Skin” a nice feeling as they finished the day.

Today will see the end of this excellent regatta with another two races scheduled, so it will very interesting to see if the Italians can do the “Job” or can last years winners from Great Britain “steal” the Gold :-)

Higher, Faster, Longer……….    Stavros.  (USA 310).

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“Jerboa” leads in St Tropez….

_3XS9726GBR 761  JERBOA  holds the “halfway” lead after 5 races in St Tropez..

Of the 30 Dragon’s racing in St Tropez it’s Great Britain’s Gavia Wilkinson-Cox who has put together another consistent series of races to hold the overall lead ahead of Italy’s Giuseppe Duca in ITA 56. Gavia who won this event last year, will be extremely keen to hold onto the trophy :-).

It has been wonderful weather for Dragon sailing with all day sunshine, flat water and shifting winds making “tactics” paramount. Today will see three more races which will see many positional changes as a total of 8 races also means a double discard.

One of the teams to watch out for is SUI 315 “Hazbin” helmed by Eddie Warden-Owen, although currently in 4th position, this new  team are quickly getting to grips with the Dragon “Trimming” and “Tactical Negotiations”.

With a very good forecast today all three races should be completed to set up a great finale on Saturday, the last day of sailing…..

Higher, Faster, Longer………….     Stavros  (USA 310).




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Lawrie Smith Wins in Torbole’….

DSC04838cns_Winners2014GBR 785 “Alfie” helmed by Lawrie Smith, crewed by Ossie Stewart and Joost Houweling won the 10th Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup in Torbole’, Lake Garda..

It was a very exciting final day in Torbole’ with teams up very early for an 8am start !!  Yes fellow sailors, 8am start… this was to hopefully catch the early morning “Northerly” (Peler) breeze that so often see’s many wind surfer’s an other keen sailors have a “full-on” two to three hours of fun before a “pasta” lunch…  But, although a race was started, it had to be stopped  on the first down-wind leg as the wind completely died away…..

However, the ever reliable “Southerly” (Ora) wind arrived by 12.30 and teams were quickly assembled by the very experienced International Race Officer, Carmelo Paroli and his assistant Carla Malauvovia (pictured below), so racing began under an immediate Black Flag at around 1pm, with a view to get a second race started before the 2.30pm final warning signal limit…..  :-)

DSC03465cns_Carmelo (640x426)Our excellent International Race Officer Carmelo and his team relax between races in Lake Garda.

In the first race both GER 10 Vincent Hoesch and GBR 785 Lawrie Smith made a “jump” on the fleet from the pin end of the line to have their own “private” battle which Lawrie eventually won to give him the overall lead. Whilst fighting hard to maintain a top “podium” position, GER 1125 helmed by Stephan Link, Frank Butzmann and Michi Lip were sailing well and indeed maintained their form to finish a very creditable 3rd overall..

DSC04633cns_Link_Frank (640x426)                        3rd Overall, GER 1125  Stephan Link, Frank Butzmann and Michi Lip..

Another team having an excellent day were UAE 9 “Desert Eagle” helmed by Henrik Witzmann and crewed by Theis Palm and Georgi Leonchuk, in fact their final two results pulled them up to 2nd place over as GER 10 “Billy Boy” (Vincie Hoesch) team’s challenged slipped away during the final race.

DSC04753cns_Desert_Eagle (640x426)Runner’s Up, UAE 9 “Desert Eagle” Henrik Witzmann, Theis Palm & Georgi Leonchuk.

But there was no stopping the overall winner’s…  the GBR 786 team in “Alfie”. Who after finishing in 2nd place last year, made no mistake of taking this years “10th Anniversay Title” of this wonderful event…. Very well done to Lawrie Smith, Joost Houweling and the ever young Oswald Simon Stewart !!

In closing, we would all like to thank once again, the excellent helpers and volunteers of the Circolo Vera Torbole’, with President Gianfranco Tonelli at the helm, this club is in such excellent hands….

Once again all these wonderful photo’s have been kindly supplied by the Free Lance Professional Christopher Nordhoff…   visit his web site for many more “action” pictures!

Higher, Faster, Longer……………..     Stavros.  (USA 310)…



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2 Wins for Vincent Hoesch in Torbole’

DSC04247cns_Vinci_Luvtonne (640x426)Vincie Hoesch, Marc Pickel and Peter Liebner round the windward mark in Torble’..

It was a fantastic day of racing here in Torbole’ on day two of the Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup with three testing races in 8 to 12kts of southerly breeze. It was more like normal out on the race course with sunshine, colourful mountains and tight racing at the very highest level.


DSC04181cns_Hendriksen (640x426)Full concentration from Carl Henriksen as they try to pass overall leaders GER 1125….

Race two and three were won by “Billy Boy” GER 10 helmed by Vincie Hoesch and his team pictured rounding the top mark (first photo). They put right their poor start on day one by fighting back hard yesterday to now be in contention again and are currently 3rd overall. However, in the lead overall and sailing very consistently is GER 1125 helmed by Stephan Link.

DSC04135cn_Link_Kreuz3s (640x426)Michi Lip and Frank Butzmann hike hard for overall leader Stephan Link in GER 1125.

By the way GBR 786 “Alfie” helmed by Lawrie Smith, crewed by Joost and Ossie are on equal points with Stephan so today is going to be a great showdown. With these two boats on 13pts and Vincie on 15pts, it will be a close finish to this wonderful event……….

I would like to thank top freelance photographer Christopher Nordhoff for these excellent pictures, that capture the intensity of the racing….

Higher, Faster, Longer…………..  Stavros  (USA 310)….



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A 10th Anniversary in TORBOLE’

20141009_110626Gianfranco, the President of the Circolo Vera Yacht Club in Torbole’ welcomes everyone!!..

Yes fellow sailors this is the 10th anniversary of the Hans-Detmar  Wagner Cup for Dragons in Torbole’ situated at the Northern end of the magnificent Lake Garda…..  The 34 boats enjoyed two races today in a lighter than normal southerly wind of around 6 to 8 knots. In race one USA 310 helmed by 81yr old Ted Sawyer won the pin end of the line and looked famous half-way up the first beat until a left hand wind bend saw Ted and his team over-stand the first mark by 200m.  This allowed GER 1068 helmed by Ingo Ehrlicher to round in first place closely followed by GER 998 Rudi Houdek & GBR 785 Lawrie Smith in 3rd place. Rudi managed to slip past Ingo on the second beat to win the race with Ingo 2nd and Lawrie 3rd. (Sawyer finished a creditable 7th).

20141009_101628 (640x360)The three main sponsors, BMW, Marine Pool & Trentino displayed on each boat.

In race two the wind was first on the right, then on the left, then in the middle….. !! Massive gains were made and lost up the first beat however, it was RUS 34 Vasily Seneratov our own Vice Chairman of the IDA who was leading through the first leeward gate and sailed brilliantly to nearly win the race. In the end he was just over-taken by GER 1125 Stephane Link who had a marvellous second upwind leg. Staying in the game and as ever so consistent was GBR 785 Lawrie Smith who followed Stephane and Vasily in to record another 3rd place and also take the overall lead after day one…….

Second place overall and just one point behind Lawrie is Stephane and the boys from the Bavarian Yacht Club GER 998 are in 3rd place….  with 5 more races to go over the remaining two days, any thing could happen….

Higher, Faster, Longer……………..   Stavros. (USA 310).



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GBR 375, Blue Haze Wins Cannes….

foto_1-1-640x640Lars Hendriksen lifts the Trophy (on behalf of Ivan Bradbury), winners of the Regates Royal 2014..

It was another beautiful sailing day in Cannes as the 46 Dragons prepared for their final race of the 2014 Panerai Regates Royal.  PRO Philippe Faure, who did an excellent job throughout, sensibly held the fleet in the harbour until a sea breeze started to build. Eventually at around 12.30 the fleet made their way over to the bay of Golf Juan to complete their exciting 7 race series.

After waiting another hour, the race was eventually started around 2pm in around 6 knots of breeze and a lovely flat sea which allowed these wonderful one design keel boats to glide across the smooth water surface building speed and gaining height as they all searched for the extra wind pressure.

It came as no surprise to me that GER 1071 “Kleine Brise” won the race as Helmut Schmit and crew Andreas List & Mike Berenbach are excellent sailors particularly in these conditions similar to the German Lakes where teams like this excel. This moved Helmut and his team up to 8th place overall.

In second position was GBR 375 “Blue Haze” normally helmed by Ivan Bradbury, but on the last day helmed by Lars Hendriksen, crewed by Claus Olensen and substitute crew Catja Everhalt Blom. In doing so won the overall trophy for owner and helm Ivan Bradbury. This is the second time Ivan has won this event who I’m sure will be back sailing in October at the St Tropez event.

In runners up position overall was RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko and Alexander Shalagin who were just one point ahead of fellow Russian RUS 76 helmed by Dmitry Samohkin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Alexsey Bushuev. These two teams are always up the front of the fleet and have both won too many championships to mention. Well done to you both !!

Special mention must go to EST 17 “Abb-Fun” helmed by Kosk Mihkel, crewed by Niklas Jasson and Catherina Gylliny who finished in a superb 4th place overall. This young team are new in the class and although they have won European events in bigger keelboats, will now be a “Hot” team to be watched. Also in 5th place overall, GBR 761 “Jerboa” (winners in 2013) helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox had another good regatta, with a 1st and two 2nd places, Gavia and her team were always sailing fast and deserved this top 5 position.

In closing I would like to congratulate the Yacht Club de Cannes on yet another wonderful event. The weather was fantastic the racing very competitive and well structured. The PRO Philippe Faure was excellent and all the Yacht Club helpers, volunteers and management did a first class job.

Many boats will return to Cannes for their “Winter Series” which begins in November with the Coupe de Armistice”..  8th, 9th & 10th. Will you be there ?

Higher, Faster, Longer………….   Stavros.  (GBR 789).




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There is a “Blue Haze” over Cannes………

Three more races were completed yesterday at the Regates Royal here in Cannes yesterday, in crystal clear Blue water, under an Blue sky and in a “Blue Haze”…  Yes Ivan Bradbury helming his beautiful varnished Petersen and Thuesen GBR 375 built in 1957 not only won the first race of the day, but also followed it up with two more excellent results to take the lead after 6 races..

In 2nd place overall is RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” helmed by Dmitry Samokhin, who sailed very consistently all day in the three “tricky” races. I say tricky because despite a wonderful sunny day with a wind between 6 to 8 knots, it was extremely difficult to read the shifts or spot the different pressure. However, another boat that is getting it right this week is GER 1123 “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, who despite a Black Flag in the first race of the day, bounced back with two very good ones and is now 3rd overall.

Race two in fact was won “By a Mile” by RUS 27 helmed by Anatoly Loginov, who chose the right side of the course for both his upwind legs and held a comfortable lead at the end. Race three was won by a new team to the fleet EST 17 “ABB FUN” helmed by Kosk Mihkel, crewed by Niklas Jansson and Catherina Gylliny, who read all the shifts well, particularly downwind.. It is great to see more talented “Young” sailors join the class and I know Kosk is very pleased with his new Quantum Sails….

In the evening everyone enjoyed a fabulous “Beach Party” organised and run by the main sponsors “Panerai” and a great time was had by all Dragon and Classic Boat participants after another fantastic day on the water…..

Two more races today to decide this exciting and competitive series…..

Can the Strange Little Girl find her way out of the Blue Haze ??

Higher, Faster, Longer………..   Stavros (GBR 789).


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“Pow Wow” takes early lead in Cannes….

Michael Zankel helming GER 1123 “Pow Wow” crewed by Pedro Andrade and Phillip Blinn were the most consistent sailors yesterday in the first three races of the 2014 Regates Royal here in sunny Cannes…

Philipp Faure, the President of the Race Committee,  did an excellent job to complete three races for this fleet of 44 boat’s after the first day of racing was lost due to strong winds. By setting the course with two upwind and two down wind leg’s, Philipp was able to turn the races around quickly so that these competitive teams could enjoy catching up some of the missed races from Tuesday. Hopefully another three races can be sailed today, with two more on Friday, which will complete this eight race series….

Race one was won by GBR 761 “Jerboa” helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, crewed by Mark Hart and Phillip Catmur, who made the most of a pin end start and a favourable left-hand-shift halfway up the first beat to cross the fleet. Although FRA 412 and RUS 98 took the lead on the second up wind mark, Gavia won the race by “Gybe Setting” and gained the inside berth for the final “dog-leg” finish.

Race two was won by RUS 76 Dmitry Samohkin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Alexsey Bushuev..  Despite a very spirited effort by the new UAE 9 boat from Dubai, helmed by Henrik Witzman, RUS 76 got the inside berth for the final all important turn..

Race three was won by GBR 375 “Blue Haze” helmed by Ivan Bradbury and crewed by current European Champion Lars Hendriksen and Claus Olesen. An early gybe at the top mark in a dying wind gave Ivan and his team a comfortable lead at the bottom gate, which lead to an easy victory and an overall runners up spot to Pow Wow GER 1123, 1st with RUS 76 currently 3rd.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that we are blessed with the same beautiful weather as yesterday…  Sunny, 8 to 10 knots of breeze from the west, a warm sea and many happy smiling faces…….

Higher, Faster, Longer………..  Stavros.  (GBR 789)….




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