At last the wind coincided with the tide to allow three more races to be sailed in this beautiful bay of La Baule-Escoublac situated on the west coast of France. In race one of the day, former French Champion Luc Pillot helming FRA 386 “Lady Jane” showed good speed off the line as the fleet split right & left. Half of the 52 boat fleet opted to head for the beach hoping to gain a “lift” from the shore, whilst others held onto their starboard tack keeping in a lane of wind that favoured the left hand side of the course. RUS 27 (AnatoloyLoginov) was one of the boats that gained on the shore side with GBR 633 (Ron James), while FRA 386 came in strong from the left hand side with NED 309 (Guus de Groot).
However, it was the first downwind leg that opened a gap between this leading bunch and the chasing pack, seeing GBR 633 slip into 2nd place finishing closely behind FRA 386 who won the race. In the end RUS 27 just got the better of NED 309 to take 3rd place.
NED 309 “Furie” helmed by Guus de Groot had a good first race after leading at the top mark.
In race 2 of the day, a left hand shift came in with more pressure just after the start, so the boats heading right for the shore were left completely frustrated as there was nothing they could do to recover. However, those boats that started at the pin end of the line were in great shape and more or less made it to the windward mark without tacking. This saw RUS 98 helmed by Igor Goihberg helped by his brilliant tactician, Dimtry Berezkin take the lead and never look back as they went on to win the race. In 2nd place also making a good profit from the left hand shift was French legend Marc Bouet helming FRA 412. Marc managed to just keep ahead of the overall leader RUS 27 Anatoloy Loginov who had another excellent race to finish 3rd.
Finally, in race 3 of the day, the breeze really settled in and we had a “Full On” race with all three sailors sitting up on the top side and the dragons really picking up speed. The line was well set by PRO Yves Pottier and the windward mark extended to suit the favourable conditions. With the fleet using the full extent of the bay it was 50/50 which side of the beat would pay as the tide was more or less ebbing consistently across the race area. In the end FRA 365 “Ar Youleg” helmed by Christian Guyader rounded the top mark, just ahead of GBR 755 “Danish Blue” Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen and GBR 585 “Full Speed” Martin Payne. These three boats made a jump on the fleet on the downwind leg and with the course shortened on the next upwind (due to the tidal level required to get back into the harbour), this remained the finishing order..
Victorious Christen Guyader sails his beautiful wooden Dragon back into the marina.
So the points overall still favour RUS 27 “Annapurna” Anatoly Loginov but today he will need to keep a watchful eye on fellow RUS 98 “Zenith” Igor Goihberg who is just 4pts back and FRA 386 “Lady Jane” Luc Pillot a further 6pts. With a possible two more races today anything could and probably will happen…
Higher, Faster, Longer………. Stavros. (GBR 585).
Many thanks once again to these superb photo’s from professional Stephanie Billiarant.