Yesterday in Cascais was not for the weak hearted, as it tested every single team of the 23 boats participating in this 3rd Winter Series event in Portugal. It was a great way to see in the New Year blowing away a few cobwebs and seeing if your battery could cope with the “Full On” conditions.
There was a slight bias at the pin end and that is where “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, crewed by Pedro Andrade and Philip Blinn started alongside “Strange Little Girl” helmed by Dmity Samokhin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev .. We (Martin Payne, Donal Small and Antonio Matos) in “Clairvoyant” also started close to these top boats but our genoa sheet snapped which meant some urgent attention was required! As I looked up the 1.2 mile course seeing the remaining 22 boats slowly disappear I had all but given up any hope of continuing…. However, my excellent team soon managed to re-thread the sheets in a working mode, so we set off in hot pursuit chasing the ever fading white sails which we could still see when on the crest of one of the large waves.
A superb action shot on the first beat from “Professional” Photographer Ricardo Pinto.
At the top mark it was indeed “Pow Wow” leading with “Strange Little Girl” right behind him. POR 55 “Drago” with Jose Matoso at the helm was also in good shape as was Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi in his HUN 57 “Luca”.. It was also great to see Patrick De Barros back in his Dragon after 14 months out of the game with a few health issues.. What a baptism of fire for Patrick this was, he told me this morning “I feel like a Matador who has gone 3 rounds with a 17 ton Bull ” !! We are all pleased to see you back sailing again my friend.
With the odd black cloud passing over the towns of Estoril and Cascais certain advantages could be taken by experienced crews to make huge gains. Indeed we slowly managed to crawl our way back up through the fleet as boats “rock and rolled” down wind and surfed big time on different gybes.. It was exciting racing and we eventually took great pleasure in passing both Vincent Hoesch and Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi at the top of the final beat to finish 3rd..! Never say die….
Meanwhile just ahead Dmitry Samokhin had just managed to get pass Michael Zankel to take the win.. A great race won by a superb team…
“Strange Little Girl” takes the victory, from “Pow Wow” 2nd and “Clairvoyant” 3rd…
We all now wait for the wind to settle in today for some more competitive racing, the sun is out and 10 kts of breeze is forecast for around 1pm. Tomorrow we will see the strong winds return but at least the teams will have a relatively easy time today….
Higher, Faster, Longer……….. Stavros. (Clairvoyant).