After another postponed start, the 25 Dragons eventually began their first race at around 11.30am in less than 5 kts of breeze. If it was only a Dragon regatta the race officer may have considered hoisting the general recall flag as a fifth of the boats were OCS… But, due to 4 other fleets needing to start after the dragons, the race continued so 5 of the boats were disqualified. A number of the dragons also took a while to clear the start line due to the lack of wind, but again the race officer could not delay the start of the race any longer as the forecast proved correct and what little wind there was slowly died away throughout the 2 hour race…….
However, two boats that got off the line really well were GBR 375 Ivan Bradbury and IRL 150 Euan Pugh. They both tacked away from the fleet and headed out to sea where they found a little more pressure. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet tried to maintain some forward movement and elected to continue towards the shore as to tack a dragon in such light winds would then take it’s crew at least two minutes to get back up to speed… One boat that did leave the “pack” was RUS 27 as Anatoly’s experienced crew probably saw the extra pressure out to sea, but after a short port tack they decided to go back into the shore to protect what advatage they had gained. This was typical “percentage” sailing as they knew that only two boats were out on the far right of the course, so it made sense to stay with the bulk of this small fleet as it was the first race of the regatta….
And so it was that Bradbury and Pugh made a huge gain out to sea and they both never looked back as they easily went on to finish 1st and 2nd respectively whislt the rest of the fleet wallowed in their wake. RUS 27 maintained their advantage over the remaining 22 boats to eventually finish in 3rd place. However, it must have been a huge disappointment to the 5 dragons that saw their numbers under the OCS white chalk on the “dreaded” black board displayed by the committee boat at the finish. But, as I said in the beginning, there was no time for general recall’s with this five fleet Primo Cup format………..
The final day (Sunday), will hopefully see some more races for all the classes, but the forecast does not look promising. All we can do is wait and hope, and enjoy the fantastic sunshine whilst many of you back home get washed away with the storms …………
Higher, Faster, Longer, Warmer…….. Stavros.