“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…

Wait

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.

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on “Blue Haze” all over Cannes….

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).

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on 39th Regates Royal in Cannes.

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_Panorama

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Final IDA Grade 1 Grand Prix in Torbole’…

Pieter is Simply the Best…

20170910_165904

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…  🙂

20170910_170131

“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 🙂

20170910_165622

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).

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Pieter is Simply the Best…

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.

rainbow

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).

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Day 3 of Dutch Nationals in Muiden.

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..

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on 3 Race Wins for NED 412.

Day 1 of Dutch Open Championships

NED247

Race 1 of the Dutch Open Championships gets underway in Muiden with 37 boats…

“It is the largest and strongest fleet for 15 years” was the call from Dutch Secretary Philip de Koning yesterday as the 37 international teams had 2 very close races yesterday organised by the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club (RNLYC) in cooperation with the Dutch Dragon Association.

Race 1 started first time around 12.00 under a “P” flag with a clear start, NED 412 started centre line and continued waiting for the first real header…  I spoke to Lars Hendriksen “We were out early to give us a clear idea of the high’s and low’s on each tack. With the wind mainly at 260 degrees it was all a matter of local shifts coming in..  We knew the wind from the North Sea would be disturbed as it came over Amsterdam and as there was no prediction of a left or right turning wind, our game plan was to trust the compass. Also when the wind was neutral we kept to the middle of the course to take advantage of the next shift”…

NED412Winners of Race 1 & 2 NED 412 “Troika” helmed by Pieter Heerema, with Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen.

Great words of advice from Lars the winning tactician of race 1 and 2 which helped guide Pieter Heerema to his two victories.  In 2nd place overall is NED 345 Reinier Wissenraet, sailing with Pim Harmsen Beek & Marc Reijnhout. This top Dutch Team finished with a 3rd and 2nd place to keep the pressure on the leaders… Also having a great first day was the 2015 & 2016 Dutch Champions GBR 803 helmed by Quentin Strauss, crewed by Nigel Young and the current European Champion Pedro Catalao Rebelo de Andrade !  🙂

Pedro told me “After a good first race (2nd) we pushed the line a bit hard in race 2 and had to re-start. However, we found a lucky clear lane on Port heading towards the right where we found a 25 degree right hand shift which got us back in the game. We would have finished even better than 4th if it not for the close covering by NED 247 towards the finish :-).

satrat

Start of Race 2 of the Open Dutch Nationals, sees GBR 803 popped & having to re-start.

Today we wait for the wind to ease as the rain squalls are showing gusts in excess of 30 kts…  Also its raining like cats & dogs, so the clubhouse is full..

bnAnother nice photo yesterday from Eric van den Bandt..   Nice 10 to 12kt conditions.

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

 

 

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Day 1 of Dutch Open Championships

Norwegian Champions, SWE 375.

NorwayChampionsGoran Alm, Thomas Wallenfeldt & helm Martin Palsson are the Nordic Champions.

It has been a good year for this top “Corinthian” team from Sweden who have just added the Norwegian Open Championship to their Swedish National title and a very respectful 3rd place in the Danish Nationals.

Martin Palsson, Goran Alm and Thomas Wallenfeldt put together a very impressive series of 5 wins and a 4th place to take the Norwegian title ahead of NOR 281 Steiner Basberg in 2nd and NOR 287 Tor Meinchen who finished 3rd. Many congratulations to these podium teams.

Martin told me “It was a great event sailed in medium to light breezes over two days, with 8 races in Tonsberg. We are very pleased with our season so far as we prepare to meet the big boys and girls again Internationally. Also our Class Federation have bought a Dragon to offer to young sailors, which has already been used by 2 to 3 teams, some of which are planning to buy their own boats. SWE 375 will certainly be joining one of this years winter series, most probably in Portugal”.

So very well done to Martin and his team and it’s great to hear that younger sailors are being encouraged to join our wonderful class. I know there are many other countries including the UK, Belgium and Holland who are pursuing different initiatives to promote new and young sailors into Dragons, long may it continue…

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

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Norwegian Champions, SWE 375.

Gold Cup in St Tropez…13th-20th Oct.

DRAGGOLDCUPCalling all Dragon’s, Entry for Gold Cup closes soon, please join the fun in St Tropez.

Almost 70 boats are already entered for the 2017 Gold Cup!!

This will be a most spectacular event to round off our excellent season…  As part of this years organising committee I can assure you all that no stone will be left unturned in our pursuit to give all participants the ultimate regatta.

gulf-of-st_tropezRacing will take place outside the Gulf of St Tropez to allow for excellent courses.

Principle Race Officer Phillip Faure will be calling the shots, whilst I will be announcing VHF information throughout the event.  Courses will be set outside the Gulf of St Tropez to allow for 2.5 nautical mile Upwind leg’s with well set start lines of a sensible length.

AS2

Winners of the 2016 Gold Cup, SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” Bernardo, Hugo & Martin. In Denmark.

The S.N.S.T. look forward to hosting this prestigious event which offers one quality race per day over 6 race days with no discard. First race Sun 15th..

With entries & payment required by the end of August, please make sure you don’t miss out on participating in this unique event at such an amazing venue… 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer………    Stavros.  (On the Committee Boat).

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Gold Cup in St Tropez…13th-20th Oct.

Pedro Andrade is European Champion

received_1498078426898270World Champion crew Ali Tezdiker sprays European Champion at Prize Giving..

What a fantastic final day we had in Lake Thun..  At first any further racing looked unlikely as the anticipated early morning breeze from the mountains overlooking Interlaken did not materialize. So the 62 International teams had to wait again patiently ashore..

ShortieWaiting for the wind at the Thunersee Yacht Club, a great photo from Michael Kurtz.

However, the God’s were good to us and at around 12.00 Principle Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ allowed the Dragons onto the lake as the afternoon “Thermal” wind from the North West began to show encouraging signs.

In fact as the boats hoisted spinnakers and made their way down this beautiful lake the wind began to build and the prospect of sailing 2 races was about to become a reality. Not only would 2 more races validate the series, but it would also allow for a discard, which many of us were hoping for 🙂

The start of race 4 was recalled under a “U” flag and quickly restarted with a Black Flag. The top mark bearing was set at 305 degrees, but the wind was shifting like crazy as the 62 boats got underway. At times it was possible to point directly at the mark on starboard tack, so boats who started at the committee boat end of the line were in great shape. However, at the top end of the beat the wind shifted back to the left so it all became a little tricky to say the least 🙂

Family

Winners of Race 4 was GER 1151 the Dohse “Family” Philip & Nicola & daughter Pia.

Making the most of these shifting conditions was GER 1151 who went on to win the race, followed by UAE 7 in 2nd place and RUS 76 3rd. In 7th place was GER 1177 helmed by Pedro Andrade who now moved into the overall lead on just 19 points after the 4 races. However, by shortening the course at the end of the second upwind leg it gave time for a 5th and final race, which of course would then allow a discard. So the Championship was all on the final race and may have even been decided on “count back” as it was last year between RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov & GER 1162 Stephan Link in St Petersburg!

There were actually 5 teams that could still win GER 1177, GER 1170, GER 1162, UAE 7 & UAE 9. However, although RUS 76 could not beat Pedro’s 19 points even if they won the final race, Dmitry and his team could still reach a podium place..  So race 5 got underway and most of the fleet tacked to the right shore, whilst a small number chanced their luck on the left. At the top mark the lead boats from both sides were equally matched with GER 1184 rounding ahead of RUS 27, GBR 770 and GBR 789. In the end it was RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov who won the race, followed by RUS 76 in 2nd GER 1186 was 3rd and UAE 7 was 4th.

EC

With none of the overall contenders at the front of the fleet it meant GER 1177 “Pow Wow” Pedro Andrade, Charles Nankin and Bernardo Torres Pego are the 2017 European Champions… ! Fantastic result, well done 🙂

FinalThe final Podium RUS 76 Dmitry 2nd, GER 1177 Pedro 1st and UAE 7  Yvegen 3rd.

Final scores Pedro Andrade, Charles Nankin & Bernardo Torres Pego 19pts.

Dmitry Samokhin, Andrey Kirilyuk & Alexey Bushuev  21pts.

Yvegen Braslavets, Sergey Pugachev & Sergey Timokhof 21pts.

Top Corinthians were GER 1186 helmed by Tanja Jacobsohn, crewed by her Husband Bernard and Jan Scharfetter..  By finishing the final race in 3rd position this put Tanja and her team in 9th position overall which is a fantastic result in this high quality championship.

TanjaTop Corinthian and 9th Overall is Tanja Jacobsohn, Bernard Jacobsohn & Jan Scharfetter.

A big thank you to all the helpers and volunteers at the Thunersee Yacht Club for hosting this fantastic event in such a wonderful location. The Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ did a great job in really testing conditions whilst the “Star” of the show was Lotti Schmidt who ran the whole event impeccably from start to finish…  Well done Lotti and a huge thank you from all the competitors 🙂

LottiPrinciple Organiser Lotti Schmidt of the Thunersee Yacht Club… 

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

 

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Pedro Andrade is European Champion