Stephan Link wins the Gold Cup in St Tropez.

GER 1162 “Desert Holly” Stephan Link, Frank Butzmann & Michi Lipp win Gold Cup.

Gold Cup Podium “Pow Wow” 2nd, “Desert Holly” Winners! and “Desert Eagle” 3rd.

It was a nail biting final day of the Gold Cup in St Tropez as any number of teams could still win this much sought after trophy.. The last race started at 12.16 under a “P” flag with a clear start in 12 kts of breeze from around 65 degrees. At the pin end of the line it was TUR 1212 “Provezza” who made a perfect start and pushed out to the left side then managed to get back across the fleet to hold a comfortable lead by the end of the 2.4 mile beat. Even though the World Champions went on to win the race, it could only pull them up to 10th overall as in race 3 and 4 they were scored in the 40’s…

Pedro Andrade, Lauren Fry, Carolin Laetzsch & Charles Nankin a brilliant 2nd overall.

Pedro’s young crew Caroline Laetzsch & Lauren Fry enjoy their success & first ever Gold Cup !

However, following TUR 1212 across the line in 2nd place was Pedro Andrade helming GER 1177 “Pow Wow” (in Michael Zankel’s absence), who then rolled his genoa and waited to see if any other team could beat his 5 race total of 49 points… But he did not have to wait long as GER 1162 “Desert Holly” helmed by Stephan Link crossed the line in 5th place giving a total of 47 points. It was then Stephan’s turn to look back at the fleet to see where the overnight leader (ITA 77 Yvegeni Braslavets) was?  But Yvegeni was back in the 30’s thus slipping back to 5th overall, so the Gold Cup went to Stephan Link with Pedro Andrade claiming the runner’s up spot, whilst UAE 9 “Desert Eagle” just did enough to hold onto the final podium position by one point !

UAE 9 3rd Overall were UAE 9 Robert Stanjek, Hendrik Witzmann (helm) & Markus Koy.

It was also great to see an equal number of Corinthians & Professionals this year as more and more Corinthians are revelling in the opportunity to race the best in the world..  Lets face it “Can you play Roger Federer at Tennis ? Or race Lewis Hamilton around Monaco ?  Or even Tee Off against Jorden Spieth at Augusta ?  The answer is No”.  But what you can do is race a Dragon against the best one design sailors in the world, at most events anywhere in the world… This is primarily what the Gold Cup is all about. An equal opportunity to test your skills, boat speed and  manoeuvers on the same stretch of water as the legends of our sport…

Top Corinthians and finishing a brilliant 8th overall were GER 1184 (centre) “Caroroo” Reemt & Petra Reemtsma, with Lorenz Jensen. 2nd was GER 1175(left) “Sapphire” Jan Woortmann, Bruhns Sonke & Christian Halbig. With GER 1135 (right) “Birscherl” Philipp Ocker, Florian Grosser & Oliver Davies…

This was a superbly organised IDA event run extremely well by the members and volunteers of the Societe’ Nautique de Saint Tropez, led by their President Andre’ Beaufils and on the water by the excellent International Race Officer Philippe Faure from Marseilles.

IDA Chairman Vasily Senatorov, Andre’ & Stavros, Philippe Faure (IRO) & Walter Mielke (Jury Chairman).

Other presentations awarded were the Nations Cup which was won convincingly by Germany and the Silver Cup (for the middle placed boat) which was FIN 91 “Paloma”..

Silver Cup Winners, FIN 91 “Paloma” Sami Salomma, Mickael Wilhelmsonn & Pihl Kalle.

This cup is the intended prize “if” more teams participate, which would require the fleet to be split in the first part of the week producing a Gold & Silver Fleet later in the competition.  However, until we exceed 100 boats, which maybe possible as the class begins to attract more and more sailors, the Silver Cup will remain the middle placed crew overall.

In closing Gold Cup winning helm Stephan thanked his top crew Frank Butzmann & Michi Lip, he also explain that he has been racing Dragons for 27 years now and this victory was his highest achievement!

A Big Hug for Stephan from his brilliant crew, Michi Lip….  Well done “Desert Holly”.

So congratulations GER 1162 and well done to all the podium teams. Athough, the biggest winners were probably all the 88 teams who took part in this amazing event…. Now the honor of hoisting this prestigious annual event passes onto Helsinki next July….   Will you be there ?

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

Once again Elena Razina, your photo’s are great, thanks for the memories of St Tropez 🙂

 

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