Let’s “Rock n Roll” like we did last Summer !

LetsRocknRollRUS 76 “Rocknrolla” Dmitry, Andrey & Aleksey now lead Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup, Torbole’ after 7 races…

With two more races completed today (6th Oct) in a surprising Northerly wind, the “Peler ” on Lake Garda, we have a new leader in this final Grade 1 event of 2017.. I spoke with “Petticrows” Tim Tavinor who was watching today’s racing he told me “First race right paid big time, then 2nd race left paid.. The wind stayed in the north and increased to 15-18 kts. With two more races tomorrow, the championship is still wide open”. Thanks Timmy…

LeadersGardaOvernight leaders GER 1068 Ingo, Markus & Thomas now move to 2nd overall in Garda.

It was RUS 76 “Rocknrolla” helmed by Dmitry Samohkin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk & Aleksey Bushuev, that really set the lake on fire today after winning race 6 followed up by a 2nd place in race 7.. This gives Dmitry and his team a 2pt lead ahead of overnight leaders GER 1068 Ingo Erhlicher who now sit in 2nd place and GER 1140 Nicola Friesen who had a great day and moved up to 3rd overall….

NicolaGER 1140 Nicola Friesen, Vincie Hoesch & Joost Houweling are now 3rd overall in Garda.

It is no surprise to many of us that the great Vincie Hoesch, who is on board GER 1140, had another good day today.  Vincie is the main organiser of the Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup which began back in 2004 with just 6 boats. It then grew and grew over the years, sometimes recording nearly 50 boats. 🙂 However, with the Gold Cup just around the corner, numbers are down this year, but I have no doubt many sailors will return to Torbole’ in 2018 as this picturesque venue gives so much joy to the sailors, on and off the water.

So the sun set on Lake Garda after yet another satisfying day of racing. Tomorrow will hopefully see two more races to decide the winner of this successful final Grade 1 event of 2017.

What this space…….    Higher, Faster, Longer…   Stavros.

p.s.   More fantastic photo’s from Christopher Nordoff..  Many thanks my friend.







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Ingo takes the Lead in Garda…

IngtoGER 1068 Ingo Ehrlicher, with Markus Wieser & Thomas Auracher lead after 5 races..

Three more races were completed this afternoon in Torbole, Lake Garda and GER 1068 has taken top spot after 5 races…  Yes, Ingo Ehrlicher is leading this very competitive fleet after winning race 3 followed by two 3rd places.  Crewed by the “famous” Markus Wieser (who recently won the Maxi Worlds) Ingo has a great team which also includes Thomas Auracher.  When I first met Thomas we shook hands, he was above me on a Dragon in the trailer park…  I was on the ground..  As he grabbed my hand he lifted me up! 🙂

Yes, not easy I know, but that is Thomas..

Meanwhile, the winner of race 4 was once again GER 1177 Pedro Andrade… who is most certainly on a roll this year after winning Kuhlungsborn, Cowes & the European Championship in Thun… well done my friend.

PedalowGER 1177 Pedro Andrade, Charles Nankin & Sergio Lambertenghi win Race 4 in Garda.

Then our Principle Race Officer, Carmelo Paroli, decided to squeeze in a 5th race which was an excellent decision as the Ora afternoon wind was still holding.. On this occasion it was GBR 375 “Blue Haze” helmed by Ivan Bradbury who set the early pace and led at the top mark.

IvantopmaekGBR 375 leads around the top mark in race 5. Ivan Bradbury, Lars Hendriksen, Frithjof Kleen.

In fact this top team managed to hold onto their position throughout to win the race and provide some consolation for their UFD result in race 3. Basically the middle of the course was paying, with many place changes throughout the day. Tomorrow the forecast looks more of the same, so hopefully we will see at least another two races for this excellent fleet…

Rock&RollA “Rocknrolla” day for RUS 76 Dmitry Samohkin, Andrey Kirilyuk & Alexsey Bushuev. 3rd Overall.

So overall after 5 races, Ingo Ehrlicher leads, from Pedro Andrade & Dmitry in 3rd..

Lets see what tomorrow brings…..

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

p.s. I would like to thank both Christopher Nordhoff & Timmy Tavinor for the photo’s..



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Day 1 of Final Grade 1 in Torbole’

African Queen25 Dragons return to Torbole’ for the final Grade 1 event of the 2017 season on Lake Garda.

It was inevitable that numbers would be reduced for the 13th Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup this year despite the added attraction of the IDA making it a Grade 1 event. Although over 90 Dragons are about to participate in the 2017 Gold Cup in St Tropez in 12 days time, 25 top teams have still made the trip to Lake Garda which shows the tremendous “strength” of our International One Design Class.

With a light to medium (3-12kt) Ora Wind blowing from the South race 1 got underway around 3pm this afternoon (Oct 4th).  First to the windward mark was GBR 758 Klaus Diederichs helming a new V6 Petticrows, followed by GER 1168 Ingo Ehrlicher and GER 1177 Pedro Andrade in 3rd place.

Torb1stmarkGBR 758 helmed by Klaus Diederichs, crewed by Jamie Lea & Diego Negri lead at mark 1.

By the end of the second upwind leg, GER 1177 Pedro Andrade had taken the lead and was able to maintain his winning position on the final run with GER 1162 Stephan Link moving up to 2nd and GBR 758 Klaus Diederichs dropping to 3rd.


European Champion Pedro Andrade wins race 1. Stephan Link 2nd, Klaus Diederichs 3rd.

A second race got underway shortly after in a dying breeze…  At the top mark it was SWE 342 Bjorn Osterblom who rounded first, with RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin in 2nd and GER 1140 Nicola Friesen 3rd. Although the second upwind leg proved extremely tricky with a big shift to the right, it was RUS 76 who just pulled through to win the race. This gave Dmitry, Andrey Kirilyuk & Alexsey Bushuev a deserved victory, from RUS 34 Vasily Senatorov in 2nd and GER 1140 Nicola Friesen hanging on to finish 3rd.


Overall “Provisional” results after 2 races. GBR 758 Klaus Diederichs leads.

Tomorrow will see two more races, with a civilised start time of 13.00, which will hopefully allow the afternoon Ora wind to fill in…

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

P.S.  Many thanks to Tim Tavinor for these action photo’s and the regular updates 🙂



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Another Regates Royal Title for Hendriksen…


39th Regates Royal winners GBR 375 “Blue Haze” Lars Hendriksen, George Leonchuk & Ulrik Sanders.

It was a tense final day for Lars Hendirksen in Cannes on Saturday (30th Sept) as an uncharacteristic 24th place in race 8 slightly “opened the door” for the chasing pack, in particular race 8 winner RUS 27 “Annapurna” Anatoly Loginov..  However, in the final race Lars secured a positive 4th place which was good enough to take the title, thus leaving Anatoly as runner up.

20160124_122400 (2)RUS 27 “Annapurna” Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin 2nd overall.

I spoke with winning helm Lars Hendriksen after racing he told me “We messed up the first race today but came back strong in the final race. Never letting our main competitors RUS 27 & GER 1177 out of sight and played it very safe. Thanks to my strong team George & Ulrik, we had a great team spirit”.  Good to hear Lars and congratulations on yet another victory.

Finishing in 3rd place overall was GER 1177 helmed by Pedro Andrade &  crewed by his fellow European Champion Charles Nankin. Pedro used a variety of crew throughout the week and was very strong towards the end of the 5 days with two wins and two second places…

canes3rd3rd overall GER 1177 Helmed by Pedro Rebelo de Andrade and crewed by Charles Nankin.

The above photo shows how light conditions were, so high angles were the order of the day downwind to maintain pressure in the kite to keep the boat moving. It was plain to see that experienced Lake Sailors were used to such conditions, none more so than GER 968 “Chi” helmed by Michael Schattan, crewed by Lars and Marion Rommel.  Michael won this event back in 2000 and deservedly took Top “Corinthian” place from FRA 309 “Tsuica II” Gerard Blanc in 2nd and GBR 770 “Storm” Jono Brown 3rd.

First Lady helm and an excellent 4th position overall from the 44 teams was Gavia Wilkinson-Cox in GBR 761 “Jerboa”.  Sailing with Mark Hart and George Etty, Gavia put together some very consistent results in these exceptionally tricky, light wind conditions.


Top Lady Helm Gavia with George and Mark, 4th overall in GBR 761 “Jerboa”…

The Yacht Club de Cannes organised the final Prize Giving Party which was extremely well attended and a great time was had by all…  The following day tow’s were organised from the Old Port from 6am so that all the boats could be craned out and sailors could make their way home on Sunday..

TowThe early morning tow from the Old Port across to Yacht Club de Cannes as the sun rises.

So there we have it, another successful Regates Royal completed and the prospect of a 90+ boat fleet ahead in St Tropez for the coveted Gold Cup just 2 weeks away! What a wonderful class we have….    🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer………     Stavros.   

P.S.  As our IDA Chairman Vasily, just reminded me, next week of course we have our final Grade 1 event of the year, in Torbole’, Lake Garda.  It would be nice if a few more boats could join in the fun at this excellent venue. 🙂








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“Blue Haze” all over Cannes….

LarsGBR 375 “Blue Haze” is dominating the racing at the 39th Regates Royal in Cannes.

After 7 races Danish helm Lars Hendriksen holds a comfortable lead ahead of his 43 rivals as we enter the final day of racing here in Cannes. Sailing Ivan Bradbury’s “Blue Haze” a Pedersen & Thuessen built in 1957 Lars has shown excellent consistency recording 4,1,2,2,6,1,3 over the 7 light wind races. Lars and his team of George Leonchuk & Ulrik Sanders simply need to avoid any disasters today to win this event for a 4th time, twice helming and twice as crew (Lars first win was in 1997!).

Immediately behind Lars are the 2016 European Champions RUS 27 “Annapurna” helmed by Anatoloy Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin. Despite winning 3 races with also a 2nd & 5th, Anatoly has also recorded a 14th & 21st which shows how difficult it has been to get it right every time….

Conditions have been light throughout the week but at least we have lovely sunshine and clear skies to fully enjoy this beautiful part of the world. As most of the racing has been sailed in 6 knots or less the majority of crews sit to leeward and try to minimise their tacking.. Each “extra” manoeuver can be costly so precise sail trim with a gentle heel to leeward is the order of the day.

TimPetticrows owner Tim Tavinor uses his weight to full advantage to roll tack on TUR 52.

In 3rd position overall after winning two of the last 3 races is the current European Champion Pedro Andrade helming a new V6 Petticrows. When I asked Pedro for a photo for the blog he reminded me that he was a Professional Sailor not a Professional Photographer… 🙂 I assume that was a joke…


So now once again we wait patiently in the Old Port for the wind to fill in so that we can complete what will be a 9 race series…  It looks like the podium places are already decided but there is still plenty of opportunity for the remaining 41 boats to finish the regatta well and also see who will be the top Corinthian team…..?

Tonight we have the Prize Giving Party on top of the Yacht Club de Cannes so that will round off this week perfectly 🙂

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


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39th Regates Royal in Cannes.

PeaPeaceful settings in the beautiful Old Port of Cannes as the 44 Dragons wait for wind.

The 39th Regates Royal is underway in Cannes with 44 Dragons participating over 5 days. So far 3 races have been completed in extremely light winds in the east bay whilst the Classic Yachts enjoy their traditional racing to the west.Cannes

Each year the many elegant and superbly maintained Classics grace the deep blue Mediterranean waters of Cannes as the town is filled with sailors from all over the world.

Holding the overall lead after 3 races is Denmark’s Lars Hendriksen who is helming Ivan Bradbury’s “Blue Haze” a Pedersen & Thuessen from 1957. With his crew of George Leonchuk & Ulrik Sanders, Lars has put together a 1st, 2nd & 4th to head the fleet on 7pts.  In second place overall is RUS 27 “Annapurna” (PCT Dragon) helmed by Anatoly Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin. With two race wins and a 14th place, the 2016 European Champions hold a great position particularly after the discard kicks in after today’s races.

IMG-20170926-WA0001Close racing on day 1 of the Regates Royal in Cannes. Photo taken by Ali Tezdiker 🙂

In 3rd place overall is our current European Champion Pedro Andrade helming a new Petticrow V6 (with GER 1177 sail number for this event). So far Pedro, crewed by Charles Nankin & Oswaldt Joaquim, have recorded a 6th, 7th & 14th in this competitive fleet.

With light winds forecast again today the fleet will probably be held ashore until the breeze picks up later in the day. Giving the sailors time to relax and take life easy enjoying the regatta ambience and maybe purchasing gifts from one of the many market stalls surrounding the old port arena…

viewIt’s a tough life knowing what to photograph whilst waiting for the breeze to arrive 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer………      Stavros.   (GBR 789).



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Final IDA Grade 1 Grand Prix in Torbole’…

IMG-20160519-WA0000Great racing in Torbole’ from former years overlooked by the magnificent Mountain’s.

This October (4-7) the final Dragon Grand Prix Grade 1 event of 2017 will combine with the popular 13th Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup on Lake Garda, Italy.


Torbole’ has a tremendous reputation of being “The” place to sail as conditions are almost perfect every day due to it’s geographical position at the North-West end of Lake Garda. The “Ora” is the most constant and famous wind which begins in the first hours of the afternoon and lasts until the evening. It reaches Torbole’ from the south after running through the whole length of the lake. Then in the evening the “Peler” blows from the north and is more of a permanent wind as it can last well into the morning which allows for some early morning races when required. So that is why Torbole’ is an ideal sailing location and has seen Dragon racing at it’s very best over the past 12 years!

DSC09482cn_Panorama (640x426)A wonderful photo taken in 2015 by Christopher Nordhoff, from Germany looking South.

So why not make the trip to join in the fun and top competition whilst experiencing this wonderful setting on this beautiful lake which rests 220 feet above sea level…  You will not be disappointed 🙂

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






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Pieter is Simply the Best…


Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen are the 2017 Dutch Champions.

The final day of racing provided the very best conditions with sun, wind & excellent championship courses… Requiring just one more half decent result to clinch the title NED 412 helmed by Pieter Heerema did it in style by winning race 6. After rounding the top Mark ahead of NED 422 & NED 247, Pieter went on to control the race to win by a comfortable margin. In 2nd place was NED 247 helmed by Martin Payne & 3rd went to NED 422 Jan Bakker.

As the wind increased for the start of race 7 Pieter and his top crew had the option of heading back into Muiden, as they did not need to sail the final race, knowing their job was done…  🙂


“The winners take it all” the beautiful Silver Dragon will be kept by the team until next year.

In the final race NED 422 had a great start at the Committee Boat end of the line and picked up a favourable shift on the right side of the course. GBR 803 Quentin Strauss, Nigel Young & Pedro Andrade had to really up their game as an OCS in race 6 meant they could lose out on the runners up spot if they were not careful.. NED 422 sailed a brilliant race to record their 2nd race win, NED 1 Ronald Pfeiffer was 2nd & BEL 80 Ben van Cauwenbergh finished 3rd. However, GBR 803 did manage to pull back to finish in 6th place which secured their 2nd place overall.

quentin2nd Overall, GBR 803 Quentin Strauss (centre) Nigel Young & Pedro Andrade.

The final podium place went to NED 422 helmed by Jan Bakker, with Son’s Dominic & Olivier who thoroughly deserved their final position as they ended the championship with 2 race wins and 1pt ahead of me 🙂


NED 422 Jan, Olivier & Dominic Bakker won race 7 to move up to 3rd overall..

In his winners speech Pieter Heerema thanked all the helpers at the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club and gave a special mention to the excellent Race Officer Jacques Kellermann Slotemaker. Explaining that the courses had been well set, the lines were very fair and that Jacques made the correct call to abandon a race when the wind shifted around 30 degrees during Friday.

Final Results of the Championship.

Higher, Faster, Longer………..     Stavros.  (NED 247).



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Day 3 of Dutch Nationals in Muiden.

qGBR 803 helmed by Quentin Strauss, with Nigel Young & Pedro Andrade win race 5.

Two more races were completed yesterday (Sat 10th Sept) in Muiden as the 37 boats enjoyed a rain free day! Yes, we had grey skies and even the occasional black clouds but the rain only fell on Amsterdam so a great time was had by all at the Open Dutch Championships.

In the first race of the day, NED 345 Reinier Wissenraet held a commanding lead at the top mark, with GBR 803 and NED 412 in close pursuit… Quentin Strauss helming GBR 803 looked to have taken control of the race by the final beat, but as he kept a close watch on both NED 345 & overall leader NED 412 it was NED 422 helmed by Jan Bakker, crewed by his sons Olivier & Dominic who sneaked in on the exact lay-line to win the race.

DunnceOlivier Bakker, tactician of NED 422 wearing his prize at last nights Dragon Dinner 🙂

In the 2nd race of the day (race 5 of the series), it was the famous NED 247 Fred Imoff’s old boat, now owned by Hay Winters, who took the lead from GBR 803 & NED 412. However, on the final upwind leg a 40 degree right shift allowed GBR 803 to cross the line first ahead of NED 412 in 2nd and NED 247 3rd. So overall Pieter Heerema still holds a comfortable lead from Quentin Strauss in 2nd and Reinier Wissentraet in 3rd place.


Today’s forecast is looking good for a possible 2 more races which will conclude this very well organised Championships.  The lines have been set correctly and the courses have been well laid, so the 37 boats have enjoyed some great sailing here on this wonderful part of Holland.  Here we see Muiderslot (The Castle of Muiden) at the end of a Rainbow… the clouds have gone and it should be a great sailing day. The Championship is now really between two boats, NED 412 Pieter Heerema & GBR 803 Quentin Strauss… with around 5 other boats fighting for the final “Podium” place..  If Quentin wants to make it 3 Championships in a row he will have to pull out all the stops today to beat Pieter…  A truly exciting climax to a very competitive event..

Higher, Faster, Longer….          Stavros.  (NED 247).

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3 Race Wins for NED 412.

nowayNED 412 “No Way Back” wins the 3rd race of the Dutch Open Championship in Muiden.

Day 2 of the Dutch Open Championship was delayed yesterday (Friday 8th Sept) as there were gusts in excess of 30 kts and lots of rain squalls…  So when the 37 boats did eventually set sail from the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club sailors were prepared for a very wet time…

whiteoutYes there are boats if you look closely, hidden by one of the heavy rain squalls yesterday.

The first start was met with a really heavy rain squall which shifted the wind 40 degrees to the right.. Boats that started well at the PIN end of the line were soon 400m behind as they sailed a “Banana” around the fleet 🙂 Eventually the Race Officer decided to abandon the race so 37 very wet teams returned to the starting area hoping for more favourable conditions…

AbandonedThe first race of Friday was abandoned after a rain squall which shifted the wind 40 degrees!

After a short time the 3rd race of this championship was started and NED 247 started well at the pin end and decided to cross the fleet on port. However, the wind shifted even more left this time, so boats who continued further on starboard tack off the start line made larger gains. GBR 422 helmed by Dmitry Bodarenko, NED 393 Richard Blickman and NED 412 Pieter Heerema all did well on the left to round the top mark ahead of the chasing pack.

GBR 422 took the left hand gate whilst NED 412 elected to take the right. By the time the boats next crossed it was GBR 422 who held the lead and continued to hold off NED 412 until the final upwind.. Eventually it was NED 412 with Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen who took the victory, with GBR 422 2nd and GBR 803 Quentin Strauss 3rd.

body2nd in race 3 was GBR 422 Dmitry Bodarenko, Vadim Statsenko & Aleksander Shalagin.

In the overall standings after 3 races, NED 412 Pieter Heerema leads on 3pts, GBR 803 Quentin Strauss, Nigel Young & Pedro Andrade in 2nd on 9pts and NED 247 Martin Payne, Hay Winters & Richard van Rij 3rd on 16pts. Today (Sat 9th) will hopefully see at least 2 more races, but the is much lighter and guess what ?  It’s still raining……  

Higher, Faster, Longer….. (Wetter)….      Stavros.  (NED 247).

Again Thank You to Eric van der Bandt for these great photo’s taken in testing conditions..



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