Lawrie “Does” like Mondays !

LawriedoeslikeMondaysLawrie Smith wins the 3rd Winter Series in Cascais, with his 4 crew team in “Monday”.

The 2017 European Dragon Circuit could not have started better with the most perfect sailing conditions for the 28 top International Teams in Cascais, Jan 13th-15th.

Pedro's Boat

Pedro Andrade’s new Petticrows Dragon “Monday” chartered to Lawrie Smith, wins the first European event of 2017 in Cascais, Portugal.

With 6 races completed over three days in a full range of conditions it all came down to the final race as Lawrie Smith went “Head to Head” with Andrey Kirilyuk (who was helming RUS 76 in Dmitry’s absence). Going into the final day Andrey, with his team of Aleksey Bushuev & Vitaly Ignatenko, held a slender lead over the former World Champion & 2015 Gold Cup Winner. However, Lawrie Smith’s 2nd in the 6th race (which in fact was the final race of the series due to a dying breeze) proved crucial. This gave Lawrie and his team of Hugo Rocha, Goncalo Ribeiro & Ruben Sole the victory by just 1pt !


“Strange Little Girl” had to settle for an impressive 2nd overall. Andrey, Vitaly & Aleksey.

Andrey Kirilyuk, who is normally tactician for Dmitry Samokhin, is a fantastic sailor. He has won numerous Dragon Regatta’s including a victory in Torbole’, Lake Garda. He also finished runner up at the 2103 World Championships in Weymouth, again just losing by a single point! So Andrey is an extremely competitive helmsman when given the opportunity … Thank goodness for all of us he normally sits in the middle of the boat ! 🙂

In fact hard on the heels of these two “Legends” of the sailing world was the man who won those World Championships back in 2013, Klaus Diederichs. Sailing in his GBR 758 “Fever” with Jamie Lea & Deigo Negri, they put together a very impressive series to finish a comfortable 3rd overall.


Team “Fever” Klaus Diederichs, Jamie Lea & Deigo Negri work hard to take a podium place.

Just behind the top 3 boats was today’s (Jan 16th) Birthday Boy Lars Hendriksen, helming his beautiful 1957 Pedersen & Thuessen “Eva”.


Happy Birthday Lars !!  

4th Overall in the 3rd Winter Series, Cascais.

Sailing with Claus Olesen & George Leonchuk.

Now leading the overall winter series after 3 events 🙂


Right behind these great sailors was the Top Corinthian Team, who finished an excellent 5th place overall… GER 1180 “Rosie” helmed by young Benjamin Morgan, crewed by his Father Karl and Nicolas Raedecke.


5th Overall & 1st Corinthian Team GER 1180 “Rosie” Benjamin Morgan had a great weekend.

In closing this was a fantastic way to start the new year in Europe. Cascais can now look forward to a full programme of racing as it leads up to host the 2017 Worlds in June. With more Winter Series in Feb & March, then the Grade 1 Juan Carlos Trophy in April (preceded by the 6th Stavros Match Race event), followed by the Portuguese National Championship in May… Where else would you want to be ?

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

p.s.   Many congratulations to GORDON INGATE for winning his 3rd National Title in Australia !  Fantastic Result….. at 90 years young !!  Hope to see you in Cascais my friend.

p.p.s   My deep thanks, as always to Ricardo Pinto for these amazing photo’s… 



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We have lost “Our” Annie….

Annie1“Our” ANNIE RAVACH sadly passed away this week, she was much loved & will be greatly missed…

Dear Annie, 

I, like every Dragon Sailor and Friends of Sailing all over the World are deeply saddened to hear you have left us. You were instrumental in making our Douarnenez experience “come alive”. The way you assisted the great Louis Urvois and the Society of the Regatta’s volunteers was amazing. My good fortune has been to know you since 1999 when the first Grand Prix was introduced onto the International Dragon Circuit. I, like you, have attended every G.P. since then and have always appreciated your friendship, organisation, helpfulness and generosity but above all your smile…

Of course your expertise and involvement with the Dragon Class did not just stop in Douarnenez, as you also helped run events from Cazuax to Cannes…  But it is inside the big White Tent which hosted the thousands of International Sailors over the 17 years that your legacy will remain in our minds and in our hearts. No problem is a problem when there is a solution… You had all the answers to our questions, nothing was ever too much trouble and you always had time for us…

I have read the hundreds of comments and memories of you that have been posted on social media which show how much you were appreciated and loved. Indeed Tommy Muller contacted me recently to ask me to “Thank You” on behalf of all the lucky sailors who had the pleasure and opportunity to be guided by you and receive so much of your valuable time and effort.

We will miss you Annie but you will never be forgotten……..     Stavros x







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“POW WOW” Win in Cascais…

1177Number 1 is GER 1177 “Pow Wow” Charles Nankin, Michael Zankel & Pedro Andrade!

It was a fantastic climax to the 2nd Winter Series in Cascais, sailed in sunny conditions and 6 to 8 kts of westerly wind. With POR 66, GER 1177 & DEN 138 all within 3 points of each other, the final 2 races would prove critical to decide who would be celebrating their Xmas with the biggest smile!


Ideal conditions see the 25 boat fleet get away in the 6th race of the 2nd Winter Series, Cascais.

Winning “tactician” Pedro Andrade explained “For the first race of the day the fleet split evenly both left and right after the start, although it was the boats on the left who held the advantage at the top mark. We (GER 1177) rounded 3rd with our main two rivals (POR 66 & DEN 138) behind us. On the 2nd upwind both POR 66 & DEN 138 went left, so we covered that side of the course to consolidate our overall position. However, the right side was stronger, with a right shift and pressure falling on the left. This dropped us back to 6th position, but with our main opposition further back”.


DEN 138 “Eva” Lars Hendriksen, Claus Olesen & George Leonchuk Win Race 7 to finish 2nd overall.

Pedro continued “In the final race the left paid again on the first beat, this time it was Lars Hendriksen in “Eva” who was leading around the top mark, we rounded 4th. We kept close to Lars trying not to allow many boats between us and in the end our 2nd place gave us the overall victory”.


POR 66 “Drago” Jose’ Matoso, Gustavo Lima & Stefan Hellriegel finished a deserved 3rd overall.

By winning the final race DEN 138 “Eva” Lars Hendriksen and his top team finished runners up and pushed overnight leaders POR 66 Jose Matoso into 3rd place. However, any podium position in this highly competitive fleet is a fantastic result and really puts down a “marker” to all the other crews. So very well sailed indeed to these top 3 International Teams, we all congratulate you.

benjiBenjamin, Bernhard & Karl receive their prizes from the Club Naval representatives.

Top Corinthian Team who finished a creditable 9th overall were GER 1103 “Rosie” helmed by Benjamin Morgen, crewed by his Father Karl & Bernhard Jocobsohn. This was another great event for this young helmsman who really enjoys his winters sailing with his Father in Cascais, well done Benji.

Just behind the top 3 boats in 4th place was GBR 758 “Fever” helmed by Former World Champion Klaus Diederichs who clearly has his sights set on another World Title next June. 1pt further back was GBR 748 “Sanka” with Dave Ross. This top 5 finish is a fantastic result for Dave and his team who have elected to winter their boat in Portugal and take on the “Big Boy’s” instead of having the easy option of storing their boat in some dark and lonely shed… So why not re-generate your “winter blues” and move your boat down to this “jewel” of a venue in South-West Europe….  You will not be disappointed !


Higher, Faster, Longer………        Stavros.



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“DRAGO” Turn up the Heat…..

gustavoPOR 66 “Drago” take the overall lead after 5 races in the 2nd Cascais Winter Series….

Former European Champion and Vice President of the Club Naval de Cascais, Jose’ Matoso, with his top team of Gustavo Lima & Stefan Heiregel sit 2 points clear at the top of the leader board after 5 very competitive races in Cascais.

Below is POR 66’s evening meal as they prepare for tomorrow’s show down 🙂


Of the 25 top Dragon’s enjoying the fantastic conditions in Portugal, just 8 are local boats, the remaining 17 visiting teams are all settling in really well as they participate in an excellent winter programme which will reach it’s pinnacle, during the World Championships in June next year… 

Today saw a further 3 races after the successful 2 races yesterday which were sailed in slightly more pressure. However, “Running Cool” in the lighter air today were the team from Cowes, Isle of Wight, GBR 748 “Sanka”, helmed by Dave Ross, crewed by Alex Dobson & Mark Hart. This enthusiastic team who are enjoying their first winter in Portugal won 2 of the 3 races which was sailed in a 6 – 10kt Westerly wind with 2.5 metre waves.


GBR 748 “Sanka” the happy faces of Alex, Dave & Mark as they sail back into the Marina after winning their 2nd race of the day (Race 5 of the Series).    They played the right hand side of the course on the last upwind which proved perfect!

Many congratulations to Dave and his team, to win any race in this competition is great… to win 2 races is brilliant !!

In 2nd place overall is GER 1177 “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, crewed by local expert Pedro Andrade and Charles Nankin. This top team are just 2 pts off the lead and with 2 more races scheduled for tomorrow, anything could and probably will happen….


GER 1177 “Pow Wow” are counting a 10th, 1st, 4th & 2nd so far, just 2pts behind POR 66.

3rd Place overall are team “Eva” DEN 138 helmed by Lars Hendriksen, crewed by Geroge Leonchuk and “Santa” Claus Olesen 🙂 


Santa Claus & former European Champion Lars Hendriksen, prepare DEN 138 “Eva”…

With “Eva” just 1pt behind “Pow Wow”….  tomorrow will be an excellent finale to this great winter series…

Who will take the “Turkey” Title home for Xmas?   POR 66, GER 1177 or DEN 138 ?

Higher, Faster, Longer……..    Ho Ho Ho…..    Stavros.    🙂





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Class Act in Cannes….

20140601_144419_LLS (320x180)Winners of the Coupe d’ Hiver RUS 27 “Anapurna” Alexander, Anatoloy & Vadim.

European Champions Anatoly Loginov, Alexander Shalagin & Vadim Statsenko finished off a remarkable 2016 season in style by winning the Yacht Club de Cannes “Coupe d’ Hiver” at the weekend achieving 5 wins a 2nd out of the 7 scheduled races… (discarding a 3rd).

It was a fantastic finale to the Cannes 2016 season as the weather was amazing and the President of Commite’ du Course, Jerome Nutte did an excellent job to complete all 7 races over the 3 sunny days….

With 22 registered boats the regatta got underway on Friday afternoon with a gentle sea breeze of no more than 5 kts in the west bay of Cannes. Making a perfect start at the Pin end of the line, RUS 27 was first out of the blocks and looked to be having things completely their own way… until former “Olympian” Per Arne Nilsen, helming his beautiful Red Cold Moulded NOR 275 “The Knucker”, caught a favourable shift after sailing all the way to the left on the final beat to pip RUS 27 at the finish! (well done to Per Arne, Lars Hovan & Jan Petter Hodne).

The other team managing to prevent RUS 27 from having a “clean sweep” of victories was GBR 761 “Jerboa” helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox who not only won race 4 but also finished a very creditable 2nd overall with her top team of Mark Hart & Philip Catmur. Many congratulations to Team “Jerboa”….

3rd place overall went to the “Flying Fin’s” sailing “Lisa”, FIN 83. Helmed by Jouko Lindgren, crewed by Calle Lindfors & Tuomas Tenkanen, they  recorded three 2nd places along the way by being mainly in the right place at the right time, which was certainly not an easy task.  Another brilliant performance from these experienced former “Olympians” 🙂


Gerard Blanc with “Jerboa” in Hats! 3rd, RUS 27 1st & “Lisa” 2nd & PRO Jerome Nutte.

I must say the conditions for early December were brilliant, we had wind every day and the sun never stopped shining… The courses were well laid with very “fair” lines. The VHF communication from the Committee Boat was clear and precise and the races were quickly turned around so that no one was kept waiting. My congratulations & thanks go to Jerome & his team.

Here is the link to the final results.          coupe-dhiver-des-dragon

Now all eyes will focus on Cascais for their final Dragon event of 2016, the 2nd winter series starting Friday and promises to be well attended with over 30 boats as more teams arrive to prepare for the Worlds next year. Unfortunately, I will have to sit this one out as my neck “locked” up with a possible trapped nerve down in Cannes at the weekend… But don’t worry folks,, I will bring you a full account of the racing, as always 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer……     Stavros.    


In the “Bear” before my neck problem…… 🙂  Taken by Jerome on the Committee Boat.






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HUN 57 Wins 1st Series in Cascais.

winners2HUN 57 “Johanna” won the opening Winter Series in Cascais in a fleet of 20 top International teams.

Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi, crewed by Karoly Vezer and Tamas Kiss were worthy winners, as their discard was a 6th place, quite remarkable considering the high standard of this fleet. Ferenc simply told me afterwards “This is our first European Regatta win & we are very happy” 🙂


Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi prepares to gybe, with Tamas trimming & Karoly moving the pole.

This was a very well organised regatta which completed 6 of the 7 scheduled races despite losing the first day due to lack of wind. Top Professional Photographer “Ricardo Pinto” was again in action to capture some amazing pictures both from the water and the air with the use of his drone.


“When two boats cross, one boat is going the wrong way” 🙂  POR 57 crosses ESP 71. (left).


GER 1140 Nicola Friesen (purple kite)leads the pack & finished an excellent 4th overall (right).

The runner up in this 1st series was DEN 138 “Eva” owned & helmed by Lars Hendriksen, crewed by Claus Olesen & George Leonchuk. This professional team had two race wins along the way and showed great speed throughout the weekend.


Lars, George & Claus set their kite on board “Eva” the beautiful 1957 Pedersen & Thuesen.

The final “podium” place went to the Local Hero’s of Cascais and former European Champions POR 66 “Drago” helmed by Jose’ Matoso, crewed by Olympian Gustavo Lima & Frederico Melo.


3rd overall POR 66 “Drago” Jose’ & Gustavo sit to windward whilst Frederico looks below.

There will be many new teams joining the fleet over the next few months in Cascais in the build up for the 2017 World Championships next June. Offering a winter series every month the Club Naval de Cascais is the ideal place to enjoy the very best sailing conditions, fantastic competition and superb hospitality. Where else would you want to be…… 🙂

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


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“THOUBAN” FIN 85 wins in Cannes.

cannes1Christian Borenius (Centre) with his Daughter Andrea & Richard Pernici at Prize Giving.

The Armisitice Cup was concluded in Cannes yesterday after a 4 race series. The hero of the day was Christian Borenius, sailing with his Daughter Andrea & loyal crew Richard Pernici. This top team got off to a slow start after recording a 27th place in race 1 on Saturday, but bounced back yesterday to register a 4th, 2nd, 4th thus winning overall by 4pts, after discarding their 27th.

In 2nd place overall was GER 1151 “Puck” helmed by Philip Dohse (3rd from the left in photo), crewed by Kramer Volker, with Pia & Maximilian Dohse. This 4 person team also had a great day yesterday recording a 1st & 2nd place along the way.

3rd place overall went to the current European Champions RUS 27 “Anapurna” helmed by Anatoly Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin (far right in photo). Although this top professional team also recorded a race win, they could not match the consistency of the top 2 boats on this occasion.

The Yacht Club de Cannes will hope for a little more wind in Dec (2nd, 3rd, 4th) for their final event of the year the “Coupe d’Hiver”. It will be great to finish off the year in the South of France sunshine with a regatta in excess of 30 boats… as I will also be there in “Bear” 🙂

Full Results Below, 29 Competitors.


Higher, Faster, Longer……   Stavros.


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Kim Andersen is new President of World Sailing.

president  President of World Sailing Kim Andersen with our IDA Chairman Vasily Senatorov.

Very many congratulations on behalf of fellow Dragon Sailors all over the World to Kim Andersen our new President of World Sailing.


Many of you will recognise Kim (centre) from his successful Dragon racing with Jens Kristensen… DEN 410.  “Current Holders” of the Marblehead Trophy..


DEN 410 at the front of the fleet once again…and below Kim hangs on downwind 🙂

RP_150411_KJCT_5360 (640x426)

Higher, Faster, Longer……….   Stavros.

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Normal Service is Resumed in Cascais………

cc3Lars Hendriksen wins 2 of the 3 races in DEN 138 “Eva”, with Claus Olesen & Georgi Leonchuk.

The 1st Cascais Winter Series began in earnest today with a 7 – 10 knot wind and three good races which helped to make up for the lack of sailing yesterday. Winner of race 1 was the ever improving ESP 71 “Gunter” helmed by Javier Scherk, crewed by Nuno Baretto & Diogo Barros.


ESP 71 “Gunter”, Javier & Diogo acknowledge the victory, Nuno takes in the Spinnaker 🙂

However, races 2 & 3 belonged to Lars Hendriksen sailing his beautiful “Pedersen & Thuesen” DEN 138 EVA, crewed by fellow Danish professional Claus Olesen & Georgi Leonchuk from Ukraine. Lars, who represents Hellerup Sailing Club, has moved his Dragon down from Denmark for the whole of the winter series and also spent a couple of days training before the event. He is putting together a serious program building up to the Worlds next year.


The leading team overall after 3 races George Leonchuk, Claus Olesen & Lars Hendriksen.

Also having a very good day today was the extremely experienced team from Hungary sailing HUN 57 “Johanna” helmed by Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi, crewed by Thomas Kiss & Karoly Vezer. This team put together results of 3rd, 2nd & 2nd to finish the day level with Hendriksen on 7 points.


HUN 57 “Johanna” Thomas, Ferenc & Karoly worked hard today achieving excellent results.

Currently 3rd overall after the 3 races is POR 66 “Drago” helmed by Jose’ Matoso, crewed by Olympian Gustavo Lima & Frederico Melo. Gustavo told me “We have a strong 20 boat fleet and there were no individual recalls, so all clear line starts. Generally the right side of the course was stronger, but you could also come from the middle. However, the left never paid.”

Gustavo continued “Although the wind dropped a little during race 2 because of a low cloud, the 3rd race was great with a 7 to 10 kt wind”. 

cc43rd overall after 3 races are the “Local” experts POR 66 “Drago” Jose, Gustavo & Frederico.

So there we have it fellow sailors, Cascais is up and running and 3 more races are planned for tomorrow…….

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

Many thanks, as always, to my good friend & top Professional Photographer RICARDO PINTO 🙂

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What a Contrast in Cannes & Cascais….

cascais7In Cascais the wind was never above 3 kts, so unfortunately no racing today…..

It was a frustrating day in both Cannes and Cascais as no racing was possible due to no wind in Portugal & a 35 knot Mistral in the Cote d’Azur……


Cannes was great for Kite Surfing, but no chance for Dragon Racing today 🙁

These things happen in Yacht Racing, but it is still very frustrating for the 20 boats in Cascais and the 31 boats registered in Cannes.  However, a very nice lunch was enjoyed by all in Cannes (as the cancellation decision was made at 11am) where as sailors in Cascais were sensible to wait until 3pm before AP over A was hoisted, just in case the wind filled in during the afternoon. Alas the wind did not appear so Bruno Santos (Club Director) arranged an early “Happy Hour” at the Club Naval which seem to go down well 🙂








Dragons in Cannes & Cascais will hope to have 2 perfect days over the weekend to make up for today’s disappointment…..

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


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