Prize Winners in Cannes…..

20150228_220202 (640x360)Gerard Blanc present’s Winners STEPHAN LINK & MICHI LIP (Frank Butzmann had to fly home, so unfortunately missed the excellent Prize Giving, with the Mayor of Cannes :-).

20150228_215944 (640x360)Runners Up RUS 27, Alexander Shalagin, Vadim Statsenko & Helm Anatoly Loginov.

20150228_215930 (640x360)In 3rd place overall, BEL 80 Dominic Bakker, Ben Cauwenbergh & Thibuad Den Hartigh.

Yes fellow sailors, it was an excellent Prize Giving to round off this first Grade 1 event of the European “Circuit”…. With the Town Mayor stating how the elegance and class of the Dragon fit in perfectly with the ambience of Cannes…..

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



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Stephan Link Wins Cannes Grand Prix…

DSC04634cnL_Link_Team14Michi Lip and Frank Butzmann the winning crew in GER 1125, helmed by Stephan Link.

No race today in Cannes so the Championship goes to overnight leaders, GER 1125 ” Dragoni Holly” helmed by Stephan Link, crewed by Michi Lip & Frank Butzmann.. 2nd place RUS 27 Anatoloy Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko and Alexander Shalagin … 3rd BEL 80 Ben Cauwenbergh, crewed by Thibaud Den Hartigh and Dominic Bakker…….  

Full report and more photo’s of the Prize Giving to come….

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

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Day 3 in Cannes brings new Leader’s….

It was an overcast sky that greeted the sailors as they arrived at the Yacht Club de Cannes yesterday morning, so no hope of a sea breeze. However, at around 1pm quite a strong breeze surprised many of us who even elected to change Genoa’s, from light/Medium to Heavy. Alas, as all 53 boats enthusiastically made their way out onto the race course in the West Bay, the wind died away to nothing… So patience was the name of the game….

In the end our experienced PRO Philippe Faure managed to get the 4th race of the series away in an unstable wind of around 200 degrees, at the second attempt under a Black Flag. The majority of the fleet tacked immediately and chose the right hand side of the beat, whilst a few of us elected to head out towards the open sea and hope for more pressure…. RUS 98 “Zenith”, looked to have a good advantage as they came in with speed from the left hand side, but also GER 1123 “Pow Wow” looked good from the right! Yes it was one of those days… Lots of shift’s, lots of place changes and a few costly Black Flags, one in particular was the overnight leader ITA 56, who just put their bow over in the final second…  a tough call but with two more races planned for today, a discard will apply.

Finally after various course changes to compensate for the ever changing wind, the full course 3 was completed and it was GER 1150 “AIGH” who took the winning gun, helmed by Ingo Kohn, crewed by Mario Wagner and Stefan Waack. In 2nd place was GER 1151 “Puck IV” helmed by Philip Dohse, crewed by Christian Moeller and Volker Kramer. Then in 3rd place and now the overall leaders were GER 1125 “Dragoni Holly” Stephan Link, Frank Butzmann and Michi Lip. After the race Michi told me “At the final beat we were lucky and finished 3rd, lets wait and see for the discard today!”  Yes my friend lets see what the final day brings !!

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

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Today in Cannes, at the club waiting for wind….   The Final Day of the Grand Prix !!

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Perfect Conditions in Cannes….Day 2.

Day 2 of the Cannes Grand Prix started with a slight delay until the predicted sea breeze began to fill into the West Bay at around noon. Although the wind was very light at the start of the first race of the day (race 2 of the series), it slowly began to increase in strength as the beautiful town of Cannes bathed in sunshine this allowed the colder air above the sea to sweep in towards the land replacing the hot air that was now rising from beaches, buildings and land… A typical “Sea Breeze”…..  from around 160 degrees. Perfect sailing conditions for all 53 multi-International teams on the 26th February 2015….

The boats that started at the Pin end of the line and could tack immediately (RUS 27 and FRA 391), made a nice “jump” on the fleet as they were able to cross many of the boats who were prevented from tacking due to being “locked in” off the start line on starboard tack. This can be very frustrating for a sailor when they know they should be tacking onto port to take advantage of the “favoured” tack, but are prevented from doing so by the boat immediately to their right. Picking the right opportunity of when to tack is an experienced skill and sometimes a “gutsy” call as you need to be able to clear the oncoming “right-of-way” starboard tack boat or risk a penalty….

At the other end of the line and using all of his “local” knowledge was experienced tactician Jean Sebastien Ponce, who was guiding his helm of ITA 56 “Cloud”  Giuseppe Duca towards the right hand side of the race course. As the 1.4 mile first beat developed, it was indeed RUS 27 “Annapurna” helmed by Anatoloy Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko and Alaxander Shalagin, who had continued from the pin all the way to the favoured right side before tacking on the starboard “layline”, who held the lead. Closely followed by FRA 391 “Ulysse” helmed by Jean Breger, crewed by Clement Soulet & Simon Troel in 2nd place and then ITA 56 3rd… This is indeed how it remained to the finish.

In the second race of the day (race 3 of the series), the line was set perfectly and the start got away first time under a “P” flag (which is a compliment to the PRO of a well set line), and the fleet split tacks up the first beat in a slightly oscillating breeze that was still predominately from 160.. Although the left hand side looked good halfway up the 1.5 mile beat, it was again the right that saw the most gains. The only “Cloud” to be seen was ITA 56 who came “storming” out of the far right, to hold a comfortable lead at the top mark. Giuseppe Duca, Jean Sebastien Ponce and Zaoli Vittorio got it correct again and made no mistakes to hold their position to the end and win the race. FRA 391 finished the day with another brilliant 2nd place, well done Jean Breger and BEL 80 “Way Out” was “Way In” ! By sailing well to creep up to 3rd place (nearly taking 2nd on the line), so I was told by crew Dominic Bakker, who was on board with helm Ben Cauwenbergh & Thibaud Den Hartigh. Ben is settling in his recent boat after upgrading from his success in “Blackout” the boat we all know and love that starts off Black and gets Whiter..

I congratulated Jean Sebastien after the races, he told me ” I went right in both races. Sometimes in this kind of wind, you can expect a constant veering with some Oscillation”. Now why did I not speak to him BEFORE the race !

So with 3 races sailed it is ITA 56 who lead overall, with GBR 761 “Jerboa” helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox in 2nd place and RUS 27 “Annapurna” 3rd. Two more races are planned today and likewise tomorrow, as the final day’s “cut-off” time is not until 4pm, which will give PRO Phillip Faure every opportunity of completing a most exciting series…..

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




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FRA 412 Wins First Race in Cannes….

53 Dragons took to the water yesterday for the first race of the Cannes Grand Prix, the beginning of the European Grade 1 events for 2015. After a 2 hour wait, conditions were “stunning” as the wind came in from 160 degrees and the sky stayed blue without a cloud to be seen…..

Although it took 4 attempts to get the fleet away, with 6 Black Flag DSQ’s (including the event favourite and last years winner Lawrie Smith), the remaining 47 boats had a fantastic race over a superbly set course by PRO Philip Faure, who is also in charge for the Worlds in La Rochelle in June.

First advantage went to German sailor Helmut Schmidt and his team in GER 1071 “Kleine Brise” who had started well down towards the pin end and picked up a nice port tack shift that saw him cross the whole fleet on the 1.5m first beat. Rounding in the lead Helmut and his crew of Stefan Hellriegel and Jannik Von Reichmann, elected to “bear-away-set” so as to not sail back into the “dirty” air of the fleet, also they had made their gain from the left side of the beat, so it made sense to run back down that same side.

In close pursuit were FRA 409 “Tsuica” helmed by local sailor Gerard Blanc and FRA 412 “Irina” helmed by legendary Marc Bouet , these two boats had made good starts from the middle of the line and were able to hold their “lanes” well to enable them to also pick up the left-hand shift that had given the lead boat his comfortable position.

On the second upwind the wind was slightly stronger on the right hand side of the course, so when a 10 degree wind shift also came in with the added pressure, gains could be made. This enabled FRA 409 Gerard Blanc to take the lead at the top mark and with his experienced crew of Jean-Gabriel Charton and Pierre Germain they elected to “gybe-set”.  The fleet were now more spread out (so less bad air after gybing) and the 10 degree shift meant the port gybe was now more favourable for the downwind leg…..

Also having made a nice gain on the second beat ,FRA 412 Marc Bouet and his team of Pierric and Morvan Bourbin, elected to gybe set and follow the leader down the final run. With GER 1071 now in 3rd place these three boats pulled away from the chasing fleet despite many top international sailors doing their best to catch up. At the leeward gate FRA 409 rounded the left hand mark first with FRA 412 directly behind, Marc Bouet then tacked immediately both to clear his air and also “split” tacks with the lead boat to give him a chance of a victory.

This was to prove the winning move, as when the boats next came together on the final beat, it was indeed FRA 412 “Irina” with Marc Bouet at the helm that took the win. 2nd was FRA 409 “Tsuica” Gerard Blanc and 3rd GER 1071 ” Kleine Brise” Helmut Schmidt.  A very close finish to an excellent race… With no time remaining for a second race the fleet sailed back into the much improved facilities of the Yacht Club de Cannes. With extra room made in the Marina by the locals removing their boats for the week, all 53 boats can easily be catered for with fresh water hoses and ample storage space for the trailers.

Today will see the competitors meet on shore at 10.30am and receive instructions for racing, lets hope we can get 2 more races in as the sun shines and all sailors appreciate how lucky they are to be part of this excellent event.

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





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1st Dubai Dragon Championship

CIMG4128 (640x480)Markus Wieser wins the Dubai Championship, pictured here in front of the Worlds Tallest Building….    the 830m high Burj Khalifa….. in the United Arab Emirates..

The first Dubai Dragon Championships took place over the weekend with 8 very competitive teams fighting it out in 6 to 10 knots of wind over 4 days of racing. This event, run by the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, was sponsored by the company building boat’s in Dubai “Premier Composite Technologies”.

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Here we see the 8 boats starting, with Markus having won the PIN end of the short line.

A number of European Sailors made the journey and enjoyed the sailing, they included Vassily Senatorov, Stefan Link, Anatology Loginov  and Henrique Anjos (who now works in Dubai). They were joined on the race course by the MD of PCT Hannes Waimer along with Henrik Witzmann who is helping Markus to get this new fleet up and running, all good news for the class.

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Top 3 Overall Results :

1). Markus Wieser 12pts. 2). Evgeni Braslavets 22pts. 3). Anatoloy Loginov 27pts.

Next event will be the First European Grade 1 event, the Cannes Grand Prix 24-28th Feb. This should be a great event organised by the Yacht Club de Cannes..  There is still time to make a late entry and join the fun……….

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



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Free “New Dragon” in Douarnenez !!

0lytqCome win a New Petticrows Dragon in Douarnenez this May, Yes a FREE DRAGON !!!!!!

Yes my friends and fellow Sailors, the most amazing “gift” is once again on offer at the Guyader Grand Prix, in Douarnenez May 4th to 8th 2015…..

For those of us lucky enough to attend “Louis Urvois” first Douarnenez extravaganza back in 2000 witnessed a lucky Russian Sailor win the first Petticrows Dragon with Harbeck Trailer and leave this famous Brittany venue with a smile on his face :-)  This amazing arrangement was only made possible by the generousity of  Poul and Sophia Hoj-Jensen (at Petticrows) Louis Urvois and various sponsors at that time….   Well I can tell you all that thanks to Tim and Kay Tavinor (at Petticrows), various sponsors and a number of “Private” Grand Prix Ambassadors the lottery prize is BACK !!

In addition to this unbelievable lottery prize there will be other superb prizes sponsored by BMW, there will also be a new Sutdio Lawful Trophy for the best Corinthian Team awarded by Guiseppe Duca. Around the magnificent “Tent” each evening there will be Beer flowing, Wine, Sardines, Crepe’s, Wine, Pate’, Music, Wine, Daily Prize Giving’s, Dancing, Singing and did I mention Wine…………… creating a most Fantastic Atmosphere.

So this event should be a “Must Do” on your 2015 calendar with a possible 80 to 100 boats expected and ample room for rigging/de-rigging, free parking space for trailers and cars, quick and efficient craning facilities, an excellent racing area and a brand new regatta format of 5 sailing days !!  Where else would you want to be in May ?? Come join the fun and maybe, just maybe take home a brand new, out of the wrapper, squeaky clean, DRAGON  :-)

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




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Pow Wow takes the 4th Winter Series….

RP_150208_CDWS4S_1380 (640x428)GER 1123 “Pow Wow” Michael Zankel, Pedro Andrade and Phil Blinn Win in CASCAIS..

It was a fantastic final day in Cascais with a 16kt Easterly Breeze that enabled 3 more races to be completed giving everyone a great weekend of sailing…  World Champion Klaus Diederichs GBR 758 “Fever” set the early pace by winning race 4 (the first race of the day), but Michael Zankel managed a 3rd place in GER 1123 “Pow Wow” which kept the pressure on as he was now able to discard his 10th place from yesterday… 2nd in the first race of the day was GER 1102 “Hombre” helmed by Philipp Pechstein, who was putting together a very consistent series which would see him, Roman Koch & Bernd Hoermann finish in 4th place overall…

With both Diederichs and Zankel watching out for each other in race 5 (the second race of the day), it was in fact SWE 385 “Still Crazy” Stefan Winberg who took the winning gun. Stefan crewed by Per Nogen and Markus Largerquist have yet again sailed a fantastic series to finish 3rd overall and also take the Corinthian Prize, well done.

RP_150208_CDWS4S_1971 (640x428)Stefan and his “Still Crazy” team power into 3rd place on the final day of racing in Cascais.

So the championship came down to the final race (race 6 of the series), I spoke with Pedro Andrade, tactician on “Pow Wow” GER 1123, Pedro explained, “In the 5th race we arrived too early at the start and had to circle the committee boat, which meant we started 25 secs late! However, we caught some early wind shifts on the first beat and soon made a fantastic recovery” He continued, “By finishing 3rd, just ahead of Klaus it gave us confidence for the final race. Both sides of the beat were paying depending on the shifts, we started well in the last race and won!” This victory gave the POW WOW team the overall title & you can see from the opening photo how happy they were :-)

This left GBR 758 “Fever” helmed by World Champion Klaus Diederichs, crewed by Jamie Lea and Vicente’ Pinheiro Melo as the runner’s up and very happy to be showing good form so early in the season. Well done gentlemen.

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“Fever” GBR 758 in Action, leading the fleet down wind and taking victory in race 4.

In closing this was an excellent event with 6 races out of 7 completed and sailed in super conditions with good winds and blue sky’s…  The Vice President of the Club Naval de Cascais, Jose’ Matoso, congratulated all the successful teams and invited more boats to join in the fun for the 5th Winter Series in March and the 20th Juan Carlos Trophy (Grade 1) in April. Will you be there…………  ??

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







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World Champion takes the lead in Cascais…

RP_150207_CDWS4S_3571Klaus Diederichs in “Fever” GBR 758 takes the overall lead in 4th Winter Series, Cascais..

With the wind much lighter in Portugal today, it was only possible to complete one race in the 4th Winter Series run by the Club Naval de Cascais..

It was won by GBR 780 “Louise” helmed by Grant Gordon, crewed by Kasper Harsberg and North Sails representative Ruairidh Scott. This fairly “new” team into the class mastered the conditions better than the other 17 crews and showed good speed.  Grant told me “It was very light but steady conditions on the race track in Cascais this morning. Louise was going nicely downwind, on the smooth sea state. We now look forward to more breeze which is forecast for tomorrow”. 

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GBR 780 “Louise” wins race 3 of the Cascais Winter Series in Portugal .

In 2nd place was local “Legend” Olympian Patrick de Barros, POR 64 “Lady Tati” crewed by Nuno Barreto and Rodrigo Vantacich. Patrick, who is enjoying being back on the water again, finished just ahead of  World Champion Klaus Diederichs in 3rd.  However, with the over night leader GER 1123 Pow Wow finishing in 10th place, this allows Klaus and his team of Jamie Lea and Vicente’ Pinheiro Melo to now lead after 3 races…

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Lady Tati POR 64 sails to a creditable 2nd place in race 3 of the 4th Winter Series, Cascais

Lets hope the forecast is correct for tomorrow and we see at least one more race completed, this will see a discard implemented which will make the final results very interesting…….

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


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2 Wins for “Pow Wow” in Cascais…

RP_150206_CDWS4S_3015 (640x426)GER 1123 “Pow Wow” leads the 18 boat fleet in the 4th Cascais Winter Series..

It was a great day of sailing in Cascais with a brisk northerly wind and a sunny blue sky, that saw Michael Zankel in GER 1123 “Pow Wow” have back to back victories on the first day of racing down in Portugal. His crew and local professional / tactician Pedro Andrade said ” We had two great starts and held the lead all the way in race one. But in the second race there was a big right hand shift which gave 6 boats an advantage, so we had to work hard both up wind and down wind to get back.  In the end we over-took them all and finished first… Happy Team :-) ” Well done to Michael, Pedro & Phil Blinn.

Also having a good day and showing some of his World Championship “Form” was Klaus Diederichs GBR 758 “Fever” who recorded a 2nd and a 4th to finish the day in 2nd place overall. Klaus is keen to defend his World title in La Rochelle and Cascais offers an excellent opportunity for him to regain his speed and fine tune the “Fever” crew work…      

RP_150206_CDWS4S_3082 (640x426)  Klaus and his team, Jamie Lea and Vicente’ Pinheiro  Melo drive Fever down the waves…

In 3rd place overall and just one point behind Klaus is SWE 385  “Still Crazy” helmed by Stefan Winberg crewed by Per Nogen and Markus Largerquist. This experienced team won the 2nd winter series back in December 2014 and are becoming very consistent in all conditions. Stefan now lives in Cascais so his local knowledge and monthly racing has helped him master the various wave formations and ever changing wind patterns.

RP_150206_CDWS4S_0933 (640x428)Stefan and his team in “Stir Crazy” catching one of the many important up wind shift’s !

Club Naval de Cascais President and former European Champion Jose’ Matoso commented ” It was a great day of sailing with crisp air and a bright sky, at one point a brief hail shower created difficult shifting conditions that kept everybody on their toes. This caused lots of ups and downs in the classification throughout the races. It was good that both races started first time with clear lines! ”  Thank you Jose’ and great that the weather was kind.

RP_150206_CDWS4S_2952 (640x426)Clear line starts in Cascais, as the fleet get away both times, so no recall’s or delays….

Tomorrow will see three more races as the forecast is excellent, so keep watching this page and I will bring you the latest results and some more superb photo’s from “our” Class Professional Ricardo Pinto..

Higher, Faster, Longer………    Stavros.


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