4 Gold Cup’s for Jorgen Schonherr…

DEN 411 Win Gold Cup in Helsinki…  Jorgen Schonherr, Theis Palm & Christian Videbaek.

Like every good book or Movie, it needs a good beginning to get the full attention of it’s reader or audience then a dramatic ending to keep everyone on the edge of their seats eager to know it’s conclusion….   This is exactly what the 2018 Dragon Gold Cup conjured up for its 59 teams from 12 different Nations, in Helsinki.

From the moment International Race Officer Nino Shmueli gave his first briefing on Sunday 22nd July the whole fleet knew they were about to experience a most enthralling 6 days of their lives 🙂

Race 1, for the Borge Borresen Trophy was won by SWE 320 who showed the top Professionals that on any given day a good Corinthian team are as competitive as any highly trained team! Not only did Per Skoglund, Bjorn Osterblom & Patrik Karlsson get a great start, but they led at the first top mark and extended their lead throughout the 2 hours and 20 minute race.

Bjorn, Per & Patrick with the Borge Borresen Trophy presented at the Gala Dinner.

The prestigious BB Trophy was then filled time after time with 2 bottles of matured Whisky donated by Grant Gordon (Glenfiddich) and Terence Brownrigg (Clyde Yacht Club). A truly proud moment for this excellent Corinthian team, many congratulations Gentlemen.

Race 2 was another light wind race sailed in a southerly breeze. Nino Shmueli skilfully set a line with enough port bias to encourage the fleet to spread along the 750m line knowing that sailors would again favour the right side of the course. This time it was Triple Gold Cup winner Jorgen Schonherr helming his new “African Queen” who took full advantage. Jorgen managed to cross the fleet from the Pin End shortly after the start and played the right hand side of the 2.2 mile upwind leg. Although hard right had paid handsomely for SWE 320 the previous day, there was a sting in the tail for boats who elected to go all the way to the starboard lay-line as a left shift at the top of the beat made a significant difference.

 Race 2 Winners Jorgen Schonherr, Theis Palm & Christian Aaberg Videbaek. 

It was another glorious day on the water for both the sailors and the race management team as although the winds were light boats could sail out of the Helsinki Sailing Club Marina to the race course (3.5 miles) and then return under Spinnakers. It was a pleasure to see the colour and satisfaction on the faces of all the competitors as we passed by onboard the Principle Committee Boat on the way back in.

Day 3 saw a change in wind direction as it turned to the East. This certainly challenged the race management team to set a course within the restricted busy shipping lanes of the Tallin to Helsinki Ferries. Knowing that the Gold Cup rules require a course just of around 12 nautical miles, when possible, Nino Shmueli posted an amendment that allowed a third lap of the course. As anticipated, a 1.7 nm first beat did not allow this competitive fleet to separate sufficiently, but it did not affect the result of another excellent and “fair” Gold Cup race….   This time it was our current World Champions TUR 1212 who made a significant statement as they owned the Committee Boat end of the line, tacked early to the right and led the race from start to finish.

As the leaders approached the top mark for a 3rd time in a dying breeze the sensible decision was made to shorten the course on the “Dog-Leg” and not to risk a 3rd and final lap. This proved to be a masterstroke by Nino as the wind gradually died away and many boats gratefully received a tow back to the marina.TUR 1212 stand on top of the 1952 Olympic Podium, DEN 410 (2nd) NED 412 (3rd)

We then had 2 days of little to no wind. Day 4 saw the Race Committee monitor the Race Area in the suffocating heat and glass like water surface whilst the Fleet sat patiently ashore grateful for any shade. Then on Day 5 the fleet were towed out during the middle of the day to provide the smallest opportunity to squeeze in a race should conditions allow, but alas they did not.  So AP over A was displayed at around 3.20pm and the fleet were towed back into the Marina.

I did hear one bright spark who sarcastically mentioned on the VHF that they would indeed “sail” back in.  But even the funnelled wind that sometime prevails between the islands died away and the foolish sailor who made this childish comment had to eat his words as he embarrassingly threw his rope to one of the official tow boats…  I hope the person in question will think twice before communicating such disrespectful words to the Race Committee in the future.

The “Mini-Bar” for Sailors every day back at the HSK, an Optimist full of refreshment 🙂

So onto Day 6 and a climax to make everyone smile !  Two quality races with wind again from the East, but this time around 10kts for Race 5 and an impressive 14 kts for Race 6. With the Race Committee risking life and limb (Literally) the course was stretched to the maximum boundaries of the Shipping Lanes to allow a 2.1 nm first upwind which allowed two excellent races of the highest level.  Both races were dominated and won by TUR 1212 Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry and Ali Tezdiker, but their early results of 17th & 18th meant that even with three 1st places they would not lift the Cup.

Also having a fantastic final day was GER 1205 helmed by Otto Pohlmann, with Charles Nankin & Hugo Rocha.  This extremely talented for former Finn Sailor will be a concern for the top teams as a BFD in race 1 was the only thing that prevented Otto and his team from a overall podium finish!  Well sailed GER 1205….

However, consistency is the name of the game, especially in this non discard series which makes the Gold Cup such a magnificent event. So it all came down to the final positions of NED 412 Pieter Heerema and DEN 411 Jorgen Schonherr who had just one point separating them going into the last race.

In the end DEN 411 crossed the line 5th and NED 412 7th, so the Gold Cup went to Denmark’s Jorgen Schonherr and runner up to Netherlands Pieter Heerema…  what a finish, what a Championship.  The final beat of the final race…   and that my fellow sailors is what the Gold Cup is all about !  🙂

The GOLD CUP is Jorgen Schonherr’s, Christian Videbaek & Theis Palm’s for 2018.

Runner’s Up   Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendiksen & George Leonchuk, 3rd Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry & Ali Tezdiker….

A huge thank you to Ted Grondahl from the HSK and all his helpers and volunteers who made this 2018 Gold Cup so special.  We all thank the main sponsor Gurit organised by Rudy Jurg and the many other sponsors for providing an event we will hold dearly in our hearts. Racing Dragons and attending events such as this give us all the opportunity to visit new places, experience different cultures and above all to meet new friends.  In this world of uncertainty and fake news, it’s a breath of fresh air to socialise with true, honest people and forge close friendships that will last a lifetime….

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

More Photo’s, Results, Corinthian news, the fantastic Sami Salomaa Sculpture, Discussions from the Owners Meeting and much, much more to follow…………  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Victory for Ivan in Vilamoura.

     Ivan Bradbury GBR 375 leads the 15 boat fleet in sunny Vilamoura 7th-9th Feb.

With perfect sunshine and light to medium southerly winds all 15 teams thoroughly enjoyed the 4th winter series racing in the Portuguese Algarve. While many parts of Europe dealt with snow, rain and cold northerly winds, Vilamoura showed why many International Dinghy Sailing Teams use this winter base for Olympic Training. Meanwhile, a growing number of Dragons are making their way down to join in the fun.

   Ivan Bradbury, crewed by Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk sail “Debutant” to victory.

There were 6 races completed over the 3 days with experienced International Race Officer Nino Shmueli maximising the conditions & providing enjoyment for all. Later this season we are extremely fortunate to have Nino as our PRO for the German Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn (July), the Spanish Grade 1 & Finals in Palma (Nov) and finally the 90th Anniversary Celebrations San Remo (Oct). I look forward to working alongside Nino at these Premier events.

   FRA 420 Stephane Baseden, IRL 201 Martin Byrne & BEL 88 Guy Cellis enjoyed Vilamoura.

2nd overall helming one of Pedro Andrade’s charter boats “Earth” was Benjamin Bonnaud crewed by Goncalo Ribeiro, Joao Matos Rosa & David Abecassis.  Benjamin is new into the class after much success sailing 470’s. As the current French National 49er Coach he is a great addition to the Dragons.

3rd overall was FRA 426, the new V6 Petticrows of Gerry Trentesaux who is now in his 3rd Dragon season after numerous years with major successes in Offshore Racing. Gerry also sailing with a 4 man team of Christian Ponthieu, Eric Brezellec & Jean Queveau.  Very well done to all the podium teams.

       GBR 375 crosses the fleet on Port tack during the “Vilamoura Sailing” Winter Series.

All in all this was a very successful event and offers another great winter option for the Dragon Class. Many congratulations to “Vilamoura Sailing” and Pedro Andrade for putting this special venue back on the map. I recall many happy times sailing in Vilamoura (late 90’s) and look forward to joining the action next winter. 

Next up we will see a 30+ fleet in Puerto Portals, Palma 15-17 Feb, followed by part one of the Italian Championship in Alassio  22-24 Feb. Will you be there ?

Higher, Faster, Longer……….   Stavros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Vilamoura to Palma & Alassio all in February.

The beautiful Marina of Alassio, will host part one of Italian Nationals later this month.

Over the coming 3 weekends Dragon Sailors from all over Europe have the option to race at 3 different venues… Starting this Thursday 7th – 9th, Vilamoura will host at least 15 Dragons in the crystal blue Algarve waters where Pedro Andrade is working hard to establish another prime winter location. The organisers “Vilamoura Sailing” are delighted to see numbers grow as more sailors experience the excellent not stop sunny sailing conditions. More Info : Pedro@8dsailing.com

More and more Dragons are arriving in Vilamoura here we see the 8Dimension V6’s.

Then from Feb 15th to 17th Puerto Portals Marina will host the “Copa de Meditteranea” in Palma de Mallorca. With over 20 visiting teams electing to winter their Dragons on this popular Spanish Island adding to the ever building local fleet, a 35+ fleet is anticipated for this annual regatta. For more information contact Pepe’ Vidal : info@crpuertoportals.com

Dragons safely at rest in the beautiful Puerto Portals Marina, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Finally, the first part of the Italian National Championship begins in Alassio Feb 22nd to 24th.  This event works jointly with the San Remo regatta March 14th to 17th. Alassio is another popular town on the Ligurian Coast rich of traditional food, wine, history and fun. For more information contact principle organiser Tatiana Kurbatova  : tatiana@ycsanremo.com

2019 Italian Championships “Alassio” Feb 22-24 Followed by “San Remo” March 14-17.

So fellow sailors, don’t sit freezing in front of the TV or look out of your window at the cold, grey landscape….  Go have some fun, get down to Portugal, Spain or Italy and join your fellow Dragon Sailors….  You have no excuses 🙂

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yvgeni Braslavets Wins in Palma….

2015 World Champion Evgeni Braslavets receives his Puerto Portals Trophy in Palma.

The Puerto Portals Winter Series was concluded over the weekend with 30 boats completing 4 races in light and shifting breezes (18th to 20th January). Winning the weekend and the overall title was ITA 77 “Bunker Prince” helmed by Evgeni Braslavets, crewed by Sergy Pugachev & Sergey Timokhov.

    Grey Sky in the Bay of Palma as 30 boats race the final Winter Series in Puerto Portals.

The winter series has taken place over 4 long weekends attracting 35 boats from a variety of Nations which include : Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Russia, Great Britain, Netherlands, Portugal & the United States of America. The on the water organisation has been very good with close racing and nice apres sailing food, beers and comradery ashore. A perfect service of storage, berthing and craning by the Puerto Portals Authorities has complimented this popular series.  Next races are the III Copa de Mediterraneo 15th to 17th Feb.

2nd Overall GER 1180 “Rosie” Karl Morgan, Benjamin Morgan & Nicholas Raedecke.

Above we see the Harbour Master (Capitain of Puerto Portals) Alvaro presenting helmsman Benjamin Morgan with his 2nd place trophy.

3rd Overall GER 1205 “Meerblick” Otto Pohlmann, Matueusz Kusznierewicz & Charles Nankin.

3rd place Otto Pohlmann explained to me, “We were very happy to finish on the podium in this competitive series, as we had an unknown problem with the mast step in this final series. This explained our lack of boat speed during the final races, but we are still pleased with this result”.

The principle organiser Pepe’ Vidal has invited all sailors to participate in the final Puerto Portals event (III Copa de Mediterraneo Feb 15 – 17) and looks forward to receiving more Dragons in November for the 4th IDA Grade 1 regatta combined with the Finals.  This will obviously lead into to a 3rd Puerto Portals Winter Series (Dates to be announced) 2019/2020 concluding with the Dragon Europeans May 2020.

A nice way to spend next winter!

Higher, Faster, Longer………   Stavros.

 

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Dragons at the 50th Dusseldorf Boat Show!

90 yrs of Dragon will meet 50 yrs of the Dusseldorf “Boot” Jan 19th to 27th 2019.

The simultaneous Anniversaries of the International Dragon and the largest International Boat show Dusseldorf Boot, will come together early next year in January. In celebration the German and International Dragon Association will invite the coming 2019 World Champion to Dusseldorf to voice with authentic stories, how they won the World Title in Freemantle, Australia.  On display in the Sailing Centre of Hall 15 will be two new beautiful Dragons presented by Petticrows, UK and Doomernik, Holland.

A new Petticrows V6 & a beautiful teak decked Doomernik will be on view in Dusseldorf.

With the latest Petticrows V6 the new “Grand Prix” Doomernik dragon, the German Dragon Association – above all the Rheinland Fleet – will also introduce itself in Hall 15 D03. Top sailors of the class will give an insight into the scene conveying the “stable ambiance” of the “Bugatti’s” of the sea.  Showing why Dragon Sailing is today, more than ever, one of the most attractive & active one-design class – great fun during the Dragon week at the “Boot”.

Looking inside the V6 (left)

and the Doomernik (right)

Shows how the modern

boats combine space and technology with comfort….   🙂

 

The International Boat Show, Dusseldorf Boot, is the World’s largest and most important International Boat Show and takes place each January on the Fairgrounds of Messe Dusseldorf.  Around 1,800 exhibitors from 65 present their developments in the field of water sports to the public.

Visitors can actively participate in unique programs from sailing school to a diving tunnel and a 90 metre-long mountain waterfall… There will also be a large number of shows and competitions, such as the Stand-Up Paddling Championships.

The Sailing Centre in Hall 15 follows the motto “Sailing Legends of Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow”.  With a comprehensive program for all sailors and sailing enthusiasts there will be many magical presentations taking all visitors on an emotional roller coaster ride whilst meeting the celebrities of sailing.

So, put the dates in your diary 19th to 25th Jan & see if you can make it there next year…..

Higher, Faster, Longer……………        Merry Xmas.        Stavros.

 

 

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Yevgeni’s Perfect Score in Palma…..

ITA 77 “Bunker Prince” 5 race wins! Yvgen Braslavets, Sergey Pugachev & Sergey Timokhov.

The past 3 days have seen outstanding sailing conditions here in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The Puerto Portals Race Management Team kindly allowed me onto the Committee Boat to witness first hand this popular 3rd Winter Series completed just 9 days before Xmas….

Conditions today were every Sailors dream 15 to 17kts of westerly breeze & sunshine.

The bay of Palma is deep… so to secure the Committee Boat we had a 12kg anchor, 30m of chain and 40m of heavy duty rope… (that did the trick, but I’m glad I did not have to pull it up)! 6 races have been completed with 6 clear line starts at the first attempt…  Using the “U” flag, this local Race Management team have set absolutely perfect lines both in angle and distance. One top sailor said to me last night “The lines are so perfectly set I really don’t know which end to start!”..  It’s feedback like that we all like to hear 🙂

Pieter Heerema NED 412 “Bear” with Lars Hedriksen & George Leonchuk, 2nd Overall.

Although 2015 World Champion Yvgeni started with an 11th place in race one, he followed that up with 5 bullets.. a most perfect series. I have seen him start late at the committee boat end, mix it with the rest in the middle and also start down at the pin end. His crew work has been exceptional and his team are really getting to grips with their Zaoli Sails made in San Remo, Italy.  Meanwhile, Pieter Heerema has been using his spare Fritz Sails whilst his newest Fritz sails soon arrive in Australia with his boat for the Freemantle Worlds..

Yvgeni was flying today on the downwind legs as the wind increased to 20+kts in the end.

In 3rd place overall was GER 1207 “Khaleesi” helmed by Nicola Friesen who had her normal expert onboard the great Vincent Hoesch and also “guesting” was the number 3 crew in the World… Frithjof Kleen… He used to be the best crew in the world, but unfortunately recently lost his status after finishing only 3rd in the Star World Series…   🙂

3rd overall GER 1207 “Khaleesi” Nicola Friesen, Vincie Hoesch & Frithjof Kleen.

On the way back into port I took a quick selfie with the Race Management Team from Puerto Portals, they are great fun and are there for the sailors.  On returning to shore the Puerto Portals Marina Staff worked hard to crane most of the 23 boats out with a new electric “Fork Lift Truck”..  This will be the venue for the 2020 European Championships, preceded by next years Grade 1 and “Finals” November 4th to 9th 2019….  Many more boats will arrive next winter in Palma de Mallorca…  will you be one of them ?

Finals Scores : 1st ITA 77 “Bunker Prince”  Yvgeni, Sergey & Sergey.  5 points.

                               2nd NED 412 “Bear” Pieter, Lars & George ……             15 points.

                              3rd GER 1207 “Khaleesi”  Nicola, Vincie & Fithjoff.     22 points.

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

Our Race Management Team at Puerto Portals, Me, Martha, Javier & Joan (Jo-an) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Bear” Essentials in Palma….

Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk lead after day 1 with two 3rd places.

23 Dragons arrived on the start line for the final European winter regatta of 2018 based at Puerto Portals, Palma de Mallorca. With overcast skies and a gusty northerly wind Race 1 had a clear line start under a “U” flag. 2015 World Champion Yvgeni Braslavets elected to start near the committee boat, whilst the majority of the fleet were evenly spaced further down the line.  First to round the top mark of the 1.5m beat was GER 1205 “Meerblik” Otto Pohlmann, who had worked the shifts well on the left side, followed by GER 1186 “Goldkante” Tanja Jacobsohn and NED 412 “Bear” Pieter Heerema. 4th to round was ITA 77 “Bunker Prince” showing that the right side also worked out for Yvgeni.

The sky begins to clear in Palma de Mallorca during the 3rd Puerto Portals winter series.

After extending his lead on the 2nd upwind, it was GER 1205 Otto Pohlmann, crewed by Charles Nankin and Hugo Rocha who comfortably won the race. 2nd was GER 1186 Tanja Jacobsohn, with husband Bernhard & Michi Lip and 3rd Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk.

Race 2 started quickly after the last boat finished, as the Race Committee were hoping to squeeze in another race before the sun set around 5pm. Again it was a clear start using the “U” flag with sailors respecting the well set line. This time it was ESP 111 “Thuderbird” helmed by Miguel Costa who led at the top mark of the 1.3m beat. Following close behind was ESP 75 “Drach One” Juan Servera and in 3rd place was GER 111 “Saskia” Michael Schmidt.  However, with the fleet splitting sides on the downwind leg and the wind shifting to the left as the sun began to set it was ITA 77 “Bunker Prince” who made the most of the dying breeze to take the victory.

ITA 77 Yvgeni Braslavets, Sergey Pugachev & Sergey Timokhov  win race 2 in Puerto Portals.

2nd in race 2 was GER 1193 “Ingid” owned by Dirk Pramann, but helmed today by Stefan Hellriegel, crewed by Stefan Waack and 3rd was NED 412 “Bear” Pieter Heerema.

It was a smart move by the Race Management Team Javier & Martha, to shorten the course at the top mark second time, so that all boats could continue back to the marina. For those towards the back of the fleet a friendly tow was at hand and everyone returned safely home as the sun set over the bay of Palma….

Everyone back safe into Puerto Portals, to find a refreshing Spanish Beer and Pasta.

So overall it’s the “Bear” leading on 6pts, “Meerblik” 2nd with 10pts and 3rd “Rosie” (Benjamin Morgan) on 12pts… 

With 3 races planned for Saturday and 2 more on Sunday, everything is still to play for. One thing is for sure, all 23 boats are delighted to be here enjoying these great sailing conditions, just 10 days before Xmas !

Higher, Faster, Longer…………    Stavros.  (On the Committee Boat).

 

 

 

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Yanmar Principal Partner for Dragon Gold Cup 2019

・The Dutch Dragon Class Association is proud to announce a high value partnership with YANMAR Co. Ltd.
・Yanmar will be the principal sponsor of the Dragon Gold Cup 2019, to be held in Medemblik, 9-14 June 2019.

The Dutch Dragon Class Association has entered into cooperation with Yanmar, the Japan based industrial equipment manufacturer, for the company to be the principal partner during the Dragon Gold Cup Event 2019.

It will be the 75th edition of this historic annual yachting event. The Dragon Gold Cup, initiated by the Clyde Yacht Clubs’ Association in 1937, has as deed of gift: “bringing together as many competitors of different nationalities as possible for (Dragon) yacht racing in a friendly spirit.”

Ms Hiromi Kubota, Divisional Manager of the Brand Communication Division of Yanmar underlines this cooperation, in saying: “We are pleased to support the Dragon Gold Cup event 2019 to share Yanmar’s love of sailing, and look forward to working closely with the Dutch Dragon Class Association to contribute to a society that offers an exciting life filled with rich and fulfilling experiences, in line with our brand statement “A Sustainable Future”. In addition, Holland is a strategic location for Yanmar, as the home of Yanmar Marine International and Yanmar Europe.”

Mr Klaas Ruigewaard, President of the Dutch Dragon Class Association, is proud to say: “We are looking forward to organise this event for some 360 Dragon sailors which will be made possible by the support we will receive from Yanmar and from several smaller supporting companies and Dragon friends. We are also very grateful that over 50 volunteers with a yachting background will spend more than a week of their free time to support the International Dragon Class in Medemblik.”

During the event, the Yanmar’s sailing team, which consists of former America’s Cup sailor Peter Gilmour, together with Yasuhiro Yaji and Sam Gilmour, will compete for the cup in their Dragon. In addition, the company will showcase their products and services for the marine environment.

For more information: www.dragongoldcup2019.com or info@dragongoldcup2019.com

About Yanmar:
With beginnings in Osaka, Japan in 1912, Yanmar was the first ever to succeed in making a compact diesel engine of a practical size in 1933. Moving on, with industrial diesel engines as the cornerstone of the enterprise, Yanmar has continued to expand its product range, services, and expertise to deliver total solutions as an industrial equipment manufacturer. As a provider of small and large engines, agricultural machinery and facilities, construction equipment, energy systems, marine, machine tools, and components — Yanmar’s global business operations span seven domains.
On land, at sea, and in the city, Yanmar’s Mission of “providing sustainable solutions focused on the challenges customers face, in food production and harnessing power, thereby enriching people’s lives for all our tomorrows,” stands testament to Yanmar’s determination to provide us with “A Sustainable Future”.

For more details, please check out the official website of Yanmar Co. Ltd. :
https://www.yanmar.com/global/about/

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90th Anniversary in San Remo 7th-11th Oct 2019.

The Beautiful City of San Remo, where the 90th Anniversary will take place in 2019.

It is with great pleasure that the IDA can announce the 90th Anniversary of our wonderful Dragon Class will take place in San Remo 7th to 11th Oct 2019.

It is also my 1,000th “Blog”…   and I do believe in Karma  🙂

After much debate and consideration by all involved it has now been confirmed that the wonderful City of San Remo will host this memorable event. Although Cannes was first suggested as the prime location for both sailor, spectator and supporter….  It was not possible to host the anticipated 200+ boats for this celebration of our wonderful Dragon Class…..

Fortunately, the Yacht Club of San Remo can offer the on-shore facilities and infrastructure required to deliver a spectacular and memorable “Fun” regatta.

There is no doubt, San Remo will deliver a “package” of Sailing and Entertainment for all.

So, make a note in your diaries..  7th to 11th Oct 2019.   San Remo, Italy.

200+ boats, Family Races, Ladies Races, Youth Races, Masters Races, Champions Races, Crew Races, Classic Races plus Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets…  You have to be there…. Why miss the Regatta of a Life Time ? Life is Too Short…..

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

 

 

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The Sun Shines in Vilamoura…

 

Perfect racing in Vilamoura, with a very competitive fleet who really enjoyed the venue.

The second 8D Vilamoura Winter Series was sailed over the past three days in glorious sunny conditions with 7 races completed in a variety of light but steady winds. The momentum continues to build as more sailors gain experience of this spectular venue in the Algarve.

Lining up for the start in sunny Vilamoura in a perfect 10kts of southerly breeze..

Regatta Organiser Pedro Andrade told me, “All the participants are convinced that Vilamoura will be a future winter base for the Dragon as it offers everything that sailors are looking for.  It has a great race course, a deep variety of sailing conditions with hardly ever too much wind. It’s only a 10 minute sail to the starting line and boasts an excellent race management team. There are ample parking facilities, for boats and cars plus a variety of restaurants and accommodation”.

Drone footage of the small but competitive fleet rounding the top mark in Vilamoura.

The early battle was between former World Champion Lawrie Smith and Dutch National Champion Pieter Heerema, over the first two days Lawrie had 3 wins and Pieter 2. Meanwhile local helm Thomas Champalimaud sailing with Charles Nankin and Joao Vidinha were fighting hard with Ireland’s Martin Byrne who had Mark Petitt and John Simms on board.

Another start in Vilamoura with sunny conditions and 8kts of breeze, in the Algarve.

The two other boats joining the 8D fleet were from Belgium (BEL 88 “White Pearl”, Guy Cells) and Holland (NED 411 “Olinghi”, Charlotte Ten Wolde).

 

There is no doubt Vilamoura is a venue with fantastic all year round sailing conditions, there must be a reason why so many Olympic Classes choose the Algarve above all others for their winter training camps.

Overall Winners NED 412 Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk.

2nd POR 6  Thomas Champalimaud, Charles Nankin & Joao Vidinha, with Nino & Pedro.

3rd IRL 201 “Jaguar Sailing Team” John Sims, Martin Byrne (Helm) & Mark Petitt.

Vilamoura Sailing working alongside Pedro Andrade have now established another alternative for Dragon Owners to extend their sailing throughout the year…   Why store your Dragons in a cold, dusty shed when there are venues like Cannes, Palma, Cascais and now Vilamoura to choose from ?

Higher, Faster, Longer…………    Stavros.

 

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Final Results from Puerto Portals, Palma….

SWE 375 helmed by Martin Palsson, Peter Lindh & Gustav Gardeback 2nd overall.

The second Puerto Portals Winter Series was completed at the weekend which concluded with 2 races on the final day in a glorious 10 to 15kts of wind and bright sunny skies. With 30 boats enjoying the close racing it was once again RUS 27 “Annapurna” helmed by Anatoly Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin who finished clear winners recording 1st, 4th, 2nd & 5th. (12pts).

A new electric Fork-Lift Truck launches the boats without needing to release the runners..

In 2nd place overall was SWE 375 “GK SS” who are enjoying the warmer climate which is a big improvement from the weather back home in Sweden. Martin Palsson and his team are going from strength to strength as they continue to enjoy the European Circuit. Results of 10th, 7th, 6th & 3rd. (26pts).

GER 1186 Tanja Jacobsohn, with Husband Bernhard & Jan Scharffeter lead after 2 series.

In 3rd place in this series was NED 412 Pieter Heerema (this time in “Bear”) with Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk who finished with a race win. (27pts).

“Bear” helmed by Pieter Heerema, recorded 9th, 3rd, 14th & 1st to finish 3rd overall.

The next Puerto Portals winter series is scheduled for Dec 14th to 16th and 30+ boats are expected, I am sure all the sailors will hope for some Xmas Sunshine to round off the 2018 season.

Super conditions on the final day in Puerto Portals, gave the sailors 2 nice races.

It is good to see the organisers are listening to the sailors requests and learning from their Race Management experiences as the Spanish Fleet continues to grow.  Looking ahead the final IDA Grade 1 will conclude in Palma November 2019  followed by the Europeans scheduled for May 2020, so for sure even more boats will join in the fun next winter.

Top 5 Teams.    1st RUS 27.   2nd SWE 375.  3rd NED 412.  4th ITA 77.  5th GER 1180.

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

 

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