“Provezza Dragon” are on Top of the World….

WCAndy Beadsworth, Ali Tezdiker & Simon Fry win the 2017 Dragon World Championships.

It was the most perfect sailing day in Cascais yesterday (Saturday 17th) for the 70 boats to finish their 2017 International World Championships. With blue skies, 10-12kts of wind and a clear line start, under just a “P” flag, what’s not to like?

The two boats who made the best start at the committee boat were NED 412 Pieter Heerema & JPN 50 Bocci Aoyama. Whilst RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin was the first to “pop” in the middle of the line and tack towards the right side of the 2.5mile first upwind leg. Meanwhile TUR 1212 Andy Beadsworth had his eyes firmly focused on GBR 815 Lawrie Smith so that when Lawrie tacked to the right he encountered the “Provezza” slam! This immediately put Lawrie on the back foot as he could not get a clear lane to utilise his skill and genuine speed sailing, game over.

34GBR 815 “Alfie” Lawrie Smith, Hugo Rocha, Joao Matos Rosa & Goncalo Ribeiro 3rd overall.

Meanwhile it was NED 412 “Troika” helmed by Pieter Heerema, crewed by Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen who made the most of more pressure and a 15 degree starboard shift to lead at the top mark.

NWBNED 412 “Troika” helmed by Pieter Heerema won the final race (race 8) of the Worlds.

RUS 76 helmed by Dmitry Samokhin who had a few problems at the beginning of the week, really kicked into gear to close out his world championships in style. Sailing with Andrey Kirilyuk & Alexey Bushuev he finished the second half of the week with 5th, 3rd, 2nd & 2nd ! Amazing racing by this very likeable team on board their new V6 Petticrows “Rocknrolla”.

Rocknrolla1RUS 76 “Rocknrolla” 2nd in the final race and 5th overall in the Dragon World Championships.

With RUS 76 and NED 412 truly “launched” in the final race it came down to an epic battle for 3rd place between JPN 50 and GBR 803. At the end as the boats crossed the finish line it was difficult to separate the two, but JPN 50 just took it, by no more than inches…  A fantastic way for Bocci Aoyama to round off his world championships in style. 🙂

Japan50JPN 50 “Yevis II” Bocci Aoyama, Martin Payne & Nori Igei finished 3rd in final race.

Meanwhile the battle was still continuing for the overall title with the “Provezza Dragon” team firmly in control of their two rivals RUS 27 & GBR 815. The experience of helmsman Andy Beadsworth & the tactical awareness of energetic Simon Fry combined with the calming influence of owner Ali Tezdiker meant that TUR 1212 firmly closed out the opposition…  RUS 27 “Annapurna” had to settle for 2nd place and GBR 815 “Alifie” in 3rd.

R2ndRUS 27 helmed by Anatoloy Loginov, crewed by Alexander Shaligin & Vadim Statsenko 2nd overall.

First “Lady” helm went to Nicola Friesen who finished in a fantastic 14th position overall sailing in her first World Championships with Vincie Hoesch & Joost Houweling. This was an amazing result considering the strong winds and huge waves that are not the norm for Nicola back on the quiet German lakes 🙂 Very well done to Nicola and her top team…

WC4First Lady Helm, Nicola Friesen who finished 14th overall in GER 1140 “Smaug”.

Just ahead of Nicola in 13th position was the formidable top “Corinthian” team led by Benjamin Morgan helming GER 1180 “Rosie”. Sailing with his good friends Tim Trober and Nicholas Raedecke they put together a very impressive series to achieve this amazing result. Well done guy’s….

13thTop Corinthians at the Dragon Worlds, Nicholas Raedecke, Tim Trober & Benny Morgan.

So there you have it folks, another Dragon Worlds over and the batten has been passed on to our Australian friends who will host the 2019 Champions in Freemantle, Perth. A great venue, like Cascais.

The Clube Naval really did themselves proud with this fantastic Championship and winner Andy Beadsworth praised the high standard of Race Management, onshore activities and thanked all the helpers and volunteers that made this all possible.

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Great Championships need Great Race Management, a big thank you to Jose Cancella & his team.

So the winners take it all TUR 1212 “Provezza Dragon” are the World Champions !

WC2Simon Fry, Ali Tezdiker & Andy Beadsworth………   You are simply the best!

Higher, Faster, Longer………     Stavros.

 

 

 

 

  

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Day 5 of Dragon Worlds, in Cascais.

1LawrieGBR 815 “Alfie” Lawrie Smith wins race 7 yesterday to put pressure on the leaders TUR 1212.

With gusts in excess of 35kts on the outer course towards Guincho and unstable winds on the inner course off Estoril no racing was possible on Thursday. However, 2 more races were sailed yesterday (Friday) in a breezy north-westerly wind and fantastic rolling waves which provided the 70 boat fleet with many exhilarating moments.

9UAEUAE 9 “Desert Eagle” win race 6 which moves Henrik Witzmann, Henrique Anjos & Markus Koy into 4th overall.

Winning the International Dragon World Championship is no simple matter as the fleet standard reaches arguably its highest level. So it is no surprise that after 7 completed races there are still 3 teams that can lift this coveted trophy on the final day!

Favourites are still TUR 1212 “Provezza Dragon” who go into the final race with a 7pt lead. This superb team of Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry & Ali Tezdiker almost nailed the championship yesterday, but fighting hard to prevent that scenario are RUS 27 “Annapurna” and GBR 815 “Alfie”.

WorldChamps2017TUR 1212 “Provezza Dragon” hold a 7pt advantage over RUS 27 “Annapurna” with 1 race to go.

The closest challengers are the current European Champions (2016 St Petersburg) RUS 27 helmed by Anatoly Loginov who has put together a consistent series which includes a “redress” average points score after being infringed in race 7 at the top mark which forced them to retire.

2ndOverall-RUS 27 “Annapurna” Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin.

Then right behind is GBR 815 “Alfie”, helmed by Lawrie Smith, crewed by Hugo Rocha, Joao Matos Rosa & Goncalo Ribeiro (see opening photo). Winning race 7 yesterday means Lawrie can still lift the title a second time after winning it in Melbourne 2011. However, he would have to win the final race and hope TUR 1212 finishes 10th or worse and RUS 27 finishes out of the top 3. Confused ? Yes well so am I but I did speak with Lawrie last night he said “The best thing about 3 of us still having a chance to win is that it stops Andy sailing us down the fleet, as if we were the only one’s able to beat him, I’m sure that’s what would have happened”…  So basically it’s all to play for today….

Higher, Faster, Longer………      Stavros.

 

 

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Full On in Cascais…. Day 3.

FullOnDay 3 of the Dragon Worlds in Cascais was not for the faint-hearted…. it was Full On.

A mixture of waves, wind and 70 top class Dragons going at it made for some exhilarating sailing yesterday on day 3 of the World Championship in Cascais.

With 2 more races completed the cream is, as usual, rising to the top as the event reaches it half-way stage with 5 races now sailed out of a possible 10.

Girls

Great to see Charlote & Juliette Ten Wolde racing again with Janka Holan & Franscisco Andrade.

The first race of the day started shortly after 12.0 in a building breeze from around 330 degrees, the “Sophie Racing” team led by Hugo Stenbeck regained their terrific Gold Cup winning form to lead the race from start to finish. They were pushed hard by GER 1177 “Pow Wow” Michael Zankel, Charles Nankin & Pedro Andrade who finished 2nd followed by UAE 9, Henrik Witzmann, Henrique Anjos & Markus Koy in 3rd.

Sophie

SUI 311 “Sophie 3” Hugo Stenbeck, Bernardo Freitas & Martin Westerdahl win Race 4.

The right side of the beat was predominately paying although some boats lost out by over-standing which was easy to do in such demanding conditions. However, this enabled the lead boats to increase their advantage as leaving a final approach on port tack certainly require a element of courage, skill and above all luck 🙂

I spoke with overall leader Andy Beadsworth after racing he told me “We had trouble getting off the line as there was 3 or 4 boats locked together at the start. By the time we wriggled free we estimated 15 boats ahead of us on the left and a similar amount also on the right. We managed to make our way over to the right side then elected to tack under the pack of boats leading out from the right. Fortunately we have good speed and height so we could nearly get to the top mark, in doing so we managed to clear most of the boats also on the left, so in the end we were very satisfied with our 4th place after a bad start”.  Andy and his “Provezza” team now lead by 7 pts.

In the 2nd race of the day it was the turn of former European Champions and top local boat POR 66 “Drago” helmed by Jose’ Matoso to make a jump on the fleet and win the race. Racing with 4 times Olympian Gustavo Lima & Frederico Melo, this dedicated team now move up to 5th overall and are still a contender for the title…

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POR 66 “Drago” power over the waves to win race 5 of the Dragon World Championships.

With TUR 1212 “Provezza” continuing their great form to finish in 2nd place and GER 1177 “Pow Wow” completing an amazing day in 3rd (after their 2nd in race 4) it now sets up the championship nicely for a breath taking next few days…

Currently in 2nd place overall is the always consistent RUS 27 “Annapurna” followed by the 2015 World Champion Yvegen Braslavets, who is not going to give up his title without a fight..

Sergey

3rd overall after 5 races is the current World Champion with Sergey Pugachev & Sergey Timokhova.

The forecast today is for strong winds from the North, which may see the inner course used for the first time in this event. Although it will offer flatter water, as the bay of Estoril is slightly more protected, it may still be too windy for the fleet to go out…  we shall see…

Higher, Faster, Longer……            Stavros.  (JPN 50).

Many thanks once again to Elena Razina for these fantastic photo’s…

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 2 of the Dragon Worlds in Cascais…

ActionTUR 1212 “Provezza” Andy, Simon & Ali, still lead overall after 3 races in Cascais…

Day 2 of the World Championships in Cascais began with a more gentle wind from around 300 degrees and quite a strong current running from right to left across the course. This allowed boats the opportunity to lee bow on starboard tack, whilst other’s were assisted from astern on port tack. Making a good tactical decision to minimise the amount of time they spent on port was the current World Champion Yevgen Braslavets helming UAE 7 “Bunker Prince”, who was first to round the top mark.

Bras

UAE 7 “Bunker Prince” lead down the first downwind yesterday in Race 2 of the Championship.

As the race continued UAE 7 came under immense pressure from TUR 1212 helmed by Andy Beadsworth who was keen repeat his victory in race 1. Eventually it was the “Provezza” team who prevailed to win the race with UAE 7 2nd, followed by GER 1151 “Puck IV”  Philip Dohse 3rd.  This was a very positive fight back by Philip & his wife Nicola, with Volker Kramer & Christian Motler as a fault with their Genoa halyard block forced them to retire in race 1.

The 3rd race of the Championship started around 4pm in a building breeze which saw crews busily changing headsails and adjusting rig tensions. The line was set with a considerable pin bias which had many teams fighting desperately at the port end of the line. However, it was GER 1162 “Desert Holly” helmed by Stephan Link, crewed by Frank Butzmann & Michi Lip who recognised an opportunity to start at the committee boat and go all the way right.

Action2

GER 1162 “Desert Holly” win Race 3 of the World Championships in Cascais.

Although boats from the left side looked to be in good shape, when GER 1162 tacked it became obvious that the advantage was indeed inshore and so Stephane and his experienced team were able to cross the 70 boat fleet and lead at the top mark.

SintraThe fleet sailing in towards the mountains of “Sintra” made for a spectacular view…

Also making good gains inshore was UAE 9 “Desert Eagle” helmed by Henrik Witzmann, crewed by local hero Henrique Anjos & Markus Koy who eventually finished 2nd followed by RUS 27 in 3rd. With this 3rd place Anatoloy Loginov is now on equal points (12pts) with the leaders TUR 1212, but behind on the score sheet as Andy Beadsworth and his team are counting two race wins.

£RUSKeeping up the pressure are RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin.

It’s still early days as 7 more races are scheduled however, the breeze maybe too strong for a race on Thursday so the Race Management will be keen to complete 2 more races today.  The start time has been moved forward to 12.0.

Higher, Faster, Longer……..    Stavros.  (JPN 50).

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Cascais Creates a Crescendo..

WC1“Provezza” TUR 1212 win race 1 of the Dragon World Championships in Cascais…

The first race of the Dragon World Championships saw a typical north-westerly trade wind of between 16 -26 knots which provided the fleet with boisterous conditions. The 2.5 mile first weather-leg offered the fleet a chance to show their true windward potential so as the 70 boat fleet smashed their way upwind it was not a coincidence that some of the best sailors in the world revelled in the amazing conditions.

BlogTUR 1212 Simon Fry, Ali Tezdiker & Andy Beadsworth showed great skill to win Race 1.

Boats that started near the committee boat and immediately tacked towards the right sailed into less pressure and could only watch in pure frustration as the majority of the fleet made significant gains from the left. However, the trick was not to go too far left but to take the starting line port bias and make sure you got right by the top third of the beat. The geographical shift to the right from Guincho beach always brings more pressure with approximately a 10 degree lift so all the leaders decided to approach the 1st mark on starboard…

Law2

Lawrie Smith & his 4 man team had to settle for 2nd place yesterday in GBR 815 “Alfie”.

I spoke with Lawrie to congratulate him after the race, he explained “We realised there was more wind down the pin end of the line than the committee boat. So to go right immediately off the start was a definite no go for us”.  How right you were Lawrie, as many of the pre-race favourite teams found out!

Holding onto a fine 3rd place yesterday were the current European Champions, RUS 27 “Annapurna” helmed by Anatoly Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin. This very experienced team slightly over-stood the top mark which cost them several metres and in this game, at this level, every centimetre counts!

Ana3

RUS 27 “Annapurna” sailed a great race to finish a comfortable 3rd behind Andy & Lawrie.

The downwind legs were most exhilarating as the boats surfed and rolled down the Atlantic waves. It’s probably not everyone’s “cup of tea” to thrash about in 20+ knots of breeze for 2 hours on a Monday afternoon, but for the 70 competing World Championship teams, Cascais delivered yesterday and we will all be back for more today 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer……..    Stavros.  (JPN 50).

P.S.  Checkout many more “Amazing” photo’s from the talented Elena Razina !!

 

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Perfect Practice for Provezza….

1W“Provezza” TUR 1212, Power upwind to lead Practice Race of 2017 Worlds in Cascais….

It was a most exhilarating day to kick start the 2017 Dragon World Championships here in Cascais… With a northerly wind ranging from 16 to 25kts, big waves and sunshine, the 70 boat fleet had a chance to experience first hand the superb sailing conditions offered in this wonderful Iberian Peninsula location…

Although some of the fleet chose to relax ashore, many opted to prepare for the next 6 days of competition by taking part in the “Practice Race”. Leading the way at the first mark after a 2.2 nautical mile beat was the experienced Andy Beadsworth helming TUR 1212 crewed by Simon Fry & Ali Tezdiker. This well drilled team just had the edge on former European Champion Jose’ Matoso who rounded 2nd, followed by Japan’s Bocci Aoyama in 3rd place.

2W

POR 66 “Drago” Jose’ Matoso, Gustavo Lima & Frederico Melo, 2nd to the top mark.

With a big Atlantic swell rolling in from the port side of the course, it took great skill for helm’s to keep the boats tracking upwind on starboard tack to minimise the heel as the waves push the boats to windward. Sails had to be constantly trimmed so as not to over-power & lose precious metres.

3W

3rd to the top mark was JPN 50 “Yevis II”, Bocci Aoyama, Martin Payne & Nori Igei.

On port tack the waves were astern which allowed for some straight line speed sailing whilst looking out for pressure gusts and the occasional lulls. Although the lead 3 boats all elected to return to the marina at the top end of the course some did stay out a little longer to enjoy the day…

WW

Another wonderful shot from Elena Razina, who will be covering the Championship this week.

Tomorrow the serious racing begins so it will be interesting to see who prevails this year…  Can Yevgeni Braslavets retain the title he won in La Rochelle 2 years ago ?  Or will “Provezza” take the crown ?  With too many other contenders to mention, you will all simply have to keep a look out  for the daily results…..  🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer………     Stavros.  (JPN 50)

 

 

 

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Carnival of Champagne in Cascais…

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La Baule Delivers….

LaBaule5Winners of Derby Dragon, GBR 585 “Full Speed”, Olivier & Dominic Bakker with Martin Payne.

Having fun in the sun with 31 Dragons is what La Baule is all about. The support from the Y.C.L.B. members and organisers of the annual Derby Dragon is second to none. From the moment you meet for breakfast at the club and the assistance when leaving the secure inner harbour, to the on the water comradery and wonderful racing atmosphere created by all the colourful competitors, La Baule has it all….

This was my 15th time in La Baule and it never disappoints. The club offer such a warm welcome to all competitors and there is never a dull moment. The courses were well set with good starting lines and a quick turn around between races. Huge thanks to my excellent crew Dominic & Olivier Bakker for guiding us to success and putting up with my hangover’s 🙂

LaBaule13A great “Pin End” start from NED 309 “Furie”, Guus de Groot helped him to victory in race 8.

2nd overall was the strong team from Holland, NED 309 “Furie” helmed by Guus de Groot, crewed by Richard Van Rij and Haj Winters. Guus told me he has been coming to La Baule since 2008 and always looks forward to his Derby Dragon week.  3rd went to last years winners FRA 365 “Ar Youleg” Christian Guyader, Gwen Chapalain & Arthur Le Vaillant.   

Gwen3rd Overall FRA 365 Christian Guyader, Gwen Chapalain & Arthur Le Vaillant.

Special mention must also go to FRA 421 “Revolte” Alain Lathioor, Francios Balogh & Loic Le Garrec with their 4th place overall. Plus GBR 633 “Fei-lin’ Flirtation” helmed by Ron James, crewed by Ian Turbull & Peter Aitken who finished 5th. Both of these teams won a race and were consistently at the top end of the fleet…

FRA421FRA 421 “Revolte”  finished 4th overall, Alain Lathioor, Francois Balogh & Loic Le Garrec.

The final evening was well attended and Y.C.L.B. certainly know how to throw a party… 50 boats are expected next year and the dates have already been decided, so make a note in your diaries if you want to join the fun in 2018.

Registration & Launching will be on Tuesday 22nd May, with races from Weds 23rd to Sat 26th. This will allow competitors to travel home on the Sunday 27th, a perfect itinerary in the most perfect place to go Dragon Sailing!

Louis

My “Full Speed” Team with many of the Y.C.L.B. Organisers…  A huge MERCI to you all 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer………    Stavros.   GBR 585.

P.S Thanks again to Jean-Michel Roy for these wonderful photo’s.

 

 

 

 

 

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Full Speed in La Baule…

LaBaule10Close starting at the Pin in La Baule, so far 8 races have been completed in wonderful conditions.

32 boats are currently having some great racing at the Derby Dragon in La Baule, with a fantastic “party” atmosphere both on and off the water. There is no doubt that this amazingly well supported Yacht Club, on the west coast of France, finds the perfect balance between competitive racing and a great social program.

So far 8 races have been sailed in a variety of conditions over the past three days, GBR 585 “Full Speed” has won 4, NED 309 “Furie” has won 2, with FRA 421 “Revolte” and GBR 633 “Feelings Flirtation” with a win a piece…

LaBaule9

Team “Full Speed” Martin Payne, Dominic Bakker & Olivier Bakker hold the overall lead.

In 2nd place overall is NED 309 helmed by Guus de Groot, crewed by Richard Van Rij and Haj Winters. This experienced team have been coming to La Baule for many years and certainly enjoy the comradery of fellow competitors and the many helpers of Y.C.L.B.

LaBaule11

2016 winners FRA 365 “Ar Youleg” Christian Guyader crossing NED 309 today in race 7.

Currently in 3rd place overall is FRA 365 “Ar Youleg” helmed by Christian Guyader, crewed by Gwen Chapalain and Arthur Le Vaillant. Having won this event last year Christian and his team will not be giving up their title too easily so will be fighting hard tomorrow on the final day of racing…

LaBaule12

Another very well set line see’s the fleet spread evenly with just seconds to go….

Unfortunately many regular competitors of this event are missing this year, due to the forthcoming World Championships in Cascais next week.. Y.C.L.B. President Dominique Mollet is confident that the fleet size will return to its usual 50 boats in 2018. 

For sure Yacht Club La Baule will continue to enhance it’s fantastic reputation of providing competitive sailing and great hospitality at the highest level…   Final day tomorrow….

Higher, Faster, Longer………..    Stavros.  (GBR 585).

My thanks to Jean-Michel Roy for these excellent photo’s from the last three days.

 

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Kuhlungsborn Calls…..

Kul2The next Grade 1 event will take place in Kuhlungsborn, Germany from 5th to 8th July.

The Dragon Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn will hopefully see a 40+ entry again this July. The racing is always very well organised and prepared by the small but dynamic Segelclub with delightful sandy beaches close by and a variety of accommodation options…

Kul1

2016 Winners “M3”  Michael Schmidt, Malte Philipp & Mario Wagner will be defending their title.

Although nearly 80 boats will compete in the 2017 World Championships in Cascais during June, the event organisers of the 3rd European Grade 1 event hope that many boats will then make the trip North. Kuhlungsborn offers a great sailing area on the Baltic Sea with an excellent Marina overlooked by many Restaurants and Bars.

Kul4

Great racing at 2016 German Grand Prix, Kuhlungsborn. As the fleet approach the top mark.

The Notice of Race is available and entries can be made on line with the Segelclub….  So don’t delay, start making your plans to join in the fun at this great location in Northern Germany…

Higher, Faster, Longer………      Stavros.

 

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