Is Bernardo the Youngest European Race Winner?

IMG-20170816-WA0010 Winning crew of Race 1 was 15yr old Bernardo Torres Pego, GER 1177 “Pow Wow”.

Pedro Andrade nailed the opening race of the 2017 European Championship today with his crew of Charles Nankin & Bernardo Torres Pego, who joined the Pow Wow team after owner Michael Zankel had to withdraw. Despite not participating in the Swiss Nationals their course strategy could not be faulted.

SSDominating Race 1 of the European Championship in Lake Thun was GER 1177 “Pow Wow”.

Starting near to the committee boat, Pedro soon tacked onto port and went all the way to the right hand side of the Lake. Meanwhile, many of the 63 boat fleet elected to start further down the line as there was a port end bias. However, it was the right side that paid catching many top sailors out, including several locals who also thought the left side would be favourable…

Although several of the major players pulled through to record “counters”, other potential contenders, including our current World Champions, found themselves at one point, counting single digits from behind 😉

crossClose racing on Lake Thun as the European Championships finally get underway. (With Swan)!

However, it was great to see GBR 633 helmed by Ron James finishing in 12th place with his Wife Julia sailing her first race since knee surgery. With Jamie Lea calling tactics, this team sailed a fine race after a difficult start, showing good fleet awareness and speed. Well done Julia, great to see you back. 🙂

RRGBR 633 helmed by Ron James, with Julia and Jamie Lea showing good downwind speed.

Fighting their way through to finish 2nd today was GER 1170 helmed by Markus Brenneke, crewed by Jochen Schumann & Ingo Borowski. This talented team finished in 3rd place at last years Europeans in St Petersberg, so will be looking to improve on that result this year.

SCCThe 2016 European Champions,  RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov,  finished 5th today….

In 3rd place today was RUS 98 helmed by Igor Goikhberg, crewed by Dmitry Berezkin & Roman Sadchykov. After recently competing in Cowes at the Edinburgh Cup, Igor and his team adapted well to the flat waters and gentle breeze that was on offer to the fleet today…

Top 10 Results.   1st GER 1177, 2nd GER 1170,  3rd RUS 98,  4th GER 1162, 5th RUS 27,  6th RUS 34,  7th GER 1194,  8th SUI 320,  9th UAE 9,  10th RUS 76…

Many congratulations to all the boats who finished in the top 10 today, it was not easy and nor will it be for the remaining three days… Tomorrow the start time is again 08.30 so it’s off to bed now for some rest before a new day 🙂

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

Many thanks to Elena Razina for these excellent on-the-water photo’s….   !!


Continue reading

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Is Bernardo the Youngest European Race Winner?

“Thun Up” on Hold….



  • Very Little wind on Day 1 of Dragon Europeans.
  • Unfortunately the wind did not play ball today and no racing was possible on Lake Thun…    The 64 Dragons from 14 Nations set forward onto the Lake anticipating a day of Champagne Sailing… However, the breeze proved fickle in both strength and direction. Principal Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ tried his very best and showed admirable patience considering the conditions, but alas, it was simply not possible…
  • Swiss regulations prohibit the use of VHF on the Lake so his job of communnicating with competitors is not made easy. It’s such a pity as the Dragon Fleet are now used to receiving excellent regular up dates whilst afloat, which enhance the on-the-water sailing and give the genuine reasons why racing is sometimes delayed…

HornDuring the European “Opening” Ceremony the Alphorn’s were played at Thunersee Y.C.

So now the 64 boat fleet will have a 8.30am start tomorrow, to hopefully “kick off” the 2017 European Championships in style….  It maybe a hectic beginning to this well organised event in the Swiss Mountains, but the Dragon Sailors are certainly up for it..

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



Continue reading

Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on “Thun Up” on Hold….

Dmitry is Most Certainly…. in Thun.

perfectDmitry Samokhin is the number 1 in Thun, as he records 5 wins & 1 second place!

The 2017 Swiss National Championship concluded yesterday (Sat 12th) with two more races, providing the 26 boat fleet with a full 7 race series…

Overall winners, with a near perfect score, was the excellent team from RUS 76 “RocknRolla” helmed by Dmitry Samokhin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk & Aleksey Bushuev. With 5 race wins and a 2nd place there was no need for this amazing team to sail the final race so they returned to the Thunersee-Yacht Club to enjoy the ambiance and spectacular views of this majestic lake.

skyShortly after the start of race 6 the fleet split 50/50 to the right & left of the Lake.

The first race of the day started with the morning wind from Interlaken. After a general recall out came the Black Flag and off we went… Making gains to the left were TUR 1212 and SUI 297, whilst showing strong on the right was SUI 309. At the top mark it was indeed our current World Champion, Andy Beadsworth, helming TUR 1212 who rounded ahead of SUI 309 and SUI 297. However, Andy and his team fell foul of the Black Flag so were eventually disqualified. Meanwhile RUS 76 had a great battle with SUI 297 and GBR 375, helmed by Ivan Bradbury, who made a significant gain on the second beat.

297SUI 297 Norbert Stadler (far right) was in great shape on the first downwind leg of race 6. 

The course was shortened at the top mark of the second beat as the breeze began to die and it was RUS 76 who just squeezed across the line ahead of GBR 375, with SUI 297 3rd. So Dmitry and his team had clinched the Championship with a race to spare and headed back for a Beer or two 🙂

Meanwhile the fleet were kept afloat and waiting patiently for the breeze to fill in from the North West which is the normal thermal wind. Many competitors elected to swim in the clear water of this beautiful lake and even with a depth of up to 640 metres the water temperature was still around 19 degrees so it offered a very refreshing interlude…


An excellent start of the final race by SUI 317 & RUS 27 as the fleet get away first time.

In the final race SUI 297 and GER 1018 were to two teams fighting for the runners up spot after recording very consistent results over the last 4 days. However, GER 1018 was UFD at the start whilst SUI 297 had another excellent race to finish 2nd and so a worthy runner up overall.  Very well done to Norbert Stadler and his local team of Ralph Muntener & Christoph Burger. The final race winner was RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov who will be one of the favourites for next week, along with TUR 1212 “Provezza” who finished 3rd & eventually 5th overall after the disappointment of the Black Flag in race 6.

1018A happy Christof Wieland (3rd Overall) “Fired” his Champagne to spray Dmitry & Norbert 🙂

So there we have it, the Swiss Nationals completed and Dmitry is the winner. Many congratulations to the top 3 teams RUS 76, SUI 297 & GER 1018 and to the Principle Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ who’s experience & knowledge of this lake is second to none. Also a big thank you to Lotti Schmid for all of her hard work in organising both events.  The stage is now set for a great European Championships and the Thunersee Yacht Club will most certainly deliver….

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

All photo’s were kindly supplied by Peter Kupferschmied..





Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Dmitry is Most Certainly…. in Thun.

Change in Wind but Still Same Leader…

SwissStart of race 4th of the Swiss Nationals on Lake Thun, with the breeze from Interlaken…

As the clouds begin to lift around the mountainous Bernese Oberland region of central Switzerland, the wind yesterday came from the nearby direction of Interlaken. This set a different test to the competitors of the 2017 Swiss National Championship especially to the “new comers” who are finding out more about the small intricacies of lake racing…

As we race by the magnificent scenery of old Timber Houses and Parkland on either side of this wonderful setting it’s easy to forget the sailing and simply enjoy the view :-). Especially as the weather improves and the amazing mountains of Stockhorn, Niesen and the Niederhorn become visible….

At the top mark in the first race yesterday (race 4 of the Swiss Nationals) it was SUI 297 helmed by Norbet Stadler who rounded ahead, closely followed by SUI 325 & GBR 789. Although the overall leader RUS 76 was not in the leading pack it did not take Dmitry Samohkin and his fantastic team of Andrey Kirilyuk & Aleksey Bushuev long before they once again took the lead.

Top3The top three boats at the fist windward mark were SUI 297, SUI 325 & GBR 789.

By the end of the race RUS 76 had increased their lead to record a 4th consecutive win, which is really an amazing achievement, so full praise again to this great team. The current World Champions TUR 1212 finally began to understand the small suttleties of lake sailing to finish 2nd & GBR 789 maintained 3rd place.

In the second race of the day (Race 5 of the Swiss Nationals) it was SUI 297 Norbet Stadler who really opened up a fantastic lead and try as they may, RUS 76 could not catch this very experienced lake sailing Swiss team who recently won the Alpen Cup just a week ago. Many congratulations to Norbet and his crew of Ralph Muntener & Christoph Burger. Dmitry did however finish 2nd with SUI 341 Urs Ruppli 3rd.

Swiss1The amazing Mountains surrounding Lake Thun begin to appear as the weather improves.

So overall after 5 races RUS 76 lead with just 6pts and seem most likely to wrap up the Championship today… In 2nd place is GER 1018 helmed by Christof Wieland with TUR 1212 currently in 3rd.

As we returned to the Yacht Club after sailing many more boats are now arriving to prepare for next weeks European Championships. With all the usual familiar faces from around the International Dragon Circuit making up a 63 boat fleet, it will be interesting to see if anyone can beat RUS 76 who are in the form of their lives….

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

My thanks again to Peter Kupferschmied for these on-the-water photo’s… 🙂





Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Change in Wind but Still Same Leader…

Another Win for Dmitry….in Thun.

67RUS 76 “RocknRolla” recorded their 3rd straight win today to lead overall after 3 races.

It was a real wet day in Thun as the rain never stopped and the wind eventually died away to nothing…. However, one race was completed, although it required a shortened course on the 2nd upwind leg. Yet again it was the “RocknRolla” team of RUS 76, Dmitry Samohkin, Aleksey Bushuev & Andrey Kirilyuk who proved that yesterday’s two bullets were no fluke. Although they rounded the top mark behind GER 1018, Christof  Wieland, it was not long before this top team took the lead and must have breathed a sigh of relief when the Principle Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ decided to shorten the course.

2017-08-10 11.23.48Just because this tactic paid handsomely yesterday, it was not the way to go today Stavros! 🙁

The wind was similar to conditions of day one, but this time the right hand side proved to be a disaster as the breeze this time filled in from the left. With the mountains covered in mist and the rain continually falling it was not ideal sailing conditions, but the same front runners all made their way to the top of the fleet….

shittyDifficult conditions also downwind as the breeze began to die away, whilst the rain kept falling.

So full praise go to Dmitry and his team, 2nd place went to GER 1018 Christof Wieland, Peter Koenig & Joshua Weber who remain 2nd overall. Whilst GBR 375 “Blue Haze” helmed by Ivan Bradbury, crewed by Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk finished 3rd and also remain in 3rd place overall…

The forecast for tomorrow (Friday) is not getting any less wet !  However, the long range forecast is for much sunnier and warmer weather by the weekend. This will no doubt please all the competitors in this Swiss National Championship, plus the 38 other teams that are now on their way to boost the European Championship up to a 63 boat total…  It should be fun….   🙂

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

Thanks to Peter Kupferschmied for another assortment of photo’s, much appreciated.


Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Another Win for Dmitry….in Thun.

2 Bullets for RUS 76 on Lake Thun…

76Coasting to 2 race wins on an overcast Lake Thun is RUS 76 “RocknRolla”…..

It was a fantastic start for the recent 2017 Russian National Champion Dmitry Samokhin today on Lake Thun as he won the opening two races of the Swiss National Championships. Crewed by his loyal team of Andrey Kirilyuk & Aleksey Bushuev they “nailed” both races in tricky shifting conditions which averaged around 6 kts from the Northwest…..

TheFuckerMaking another excellent start is RUS 76, Dmitry Samohkin, Andrey Kirilyuk & Aleksey Bushuev.

It was nice to see 26 boats participating in this National Championship acting as the warm up for the 2017 European Championships that begin next week. The Principle Race Officer Bruno Barthlome’ set two very good start lines which “paid” to go predominately right in the first race and left in race 2…..

Current World Champions “Provezza Dragon” helmed by Andy Beadsworth had to settle for two 4th places that put them 3rd overall. However, this is the first outing for this amazing team as they begin to “learn” about the Lake.


GER 1018 “Dirndlwind” lead around the bottom gate in race 2 under close pressure…

2nd overall today is GER 1018 helmed by Christof Wieland who made some excellent tactical decisions to record a 2nd & 5th with his team of Peter & Benedikt Koenig. Also showing great speed today was GBR 375 “Blue Haze” who currently are in 4th position overall after recording a 6th & a 3rd…

Tomorrow will hopefully see 2 or 3 more races as these excellent boats test out the Lake and make the necessary changes to bring their boats up to speed in these “idyllic” flat water conditions….

Higher, Faster. Longer…………   Stavros.

Many thanks to Peter Kupferschmied for these nice photo’s….






Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on 2 Bullets for RUS 76 on Lake Thun…

Graham Bailey and Team Aimee Win Edinburgh Cup

The Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2017 sponsored by Oliver Morgan Architects and Stoneham Construction Ltd came to a stylish conclusion in Cowes with a thrilling deciding race and a truly spectacular prize giving dinner and closing ceremony.

IMG_8440Going into the day, four boats were in contention to claim the prestigious Edinburgh Cup, which was first raced for off Cowes from the Island Sailing Club sixty-nine years ago. This year 38 teams from six nations challenged for the right to engrave their names onto the trophy and with a single race to go Graham Bailey sailing GBR782 Aimee with Julia Bailey, Will Heritage and Will Bedford, Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen sailing GBR813 Danish Blue with Hamish McKay and Paul Blowers, Andy Beadsworth sailing TUR1212 Provezza Dragon with Simon Fry and Ali Tezdiker, and Martin Payne sailing GBR585 Full Speed with Chris Britten and Gillian Hamilton were separated by only four points and all able to win.

IMG_8037Yet again the wind was incredibly shifty and ranging anywhere between 6 and 16 knots. The tide was taking the teams across the line and it took three attempts to get them underway. Payne fell foul of the black flag on the second attempted start and his chances of victory were over. When they finally got away at the third attempt Bailey opted for the Committee Boat end and Beadsworth and Hoj-Jensen were together at the pin. Initially Beadworth and Hoj-Jensen looked good but a massive right hander turned the tables and those on the right ended up having to reach in. Bailey rounded in fifth with Beadsworth and Hoj-Jensen safely behind them. While Eric Williams sailing GBR682 with Katie Cole and Rory Paton led the fleet, the second beat threw up another big shift and by the second weather mark Beadsworth had overtaken Bailey and the two rounded almost overlapped, while Hoj-Jensen had dropped down the fleet.

IMG_8343To win Beadsworth now needed to get three boats between himself and Bailey. Beadsworth tried every trick in the book but Bailey is not renowned as one of the calmest men in yachting for nothing, he kept his head and simply never gave Beadsworth the chance to get away. On the line Williams took the race by a comfortable margin with the family team of Jono, David and Lynette Brown and Frances Wood sailing GBR770 Storm second and Tom Vernon, Oliver Spensley-Corfield and Adam Bowers in GBR810 Badger third. Beadsworth followed them in for fourth with Ireland’s Martin Byrne in IRL216 Jaguar with Conor Byrne and Pedro Andrade fifth and Bailey sixth and secure as Edinburgh Cup Champion. Hoj-Jensen had his worst race of the series and finished sixteenth.

IMG_8289To close the regatta, the crews and their guests gathered at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club for a black tie prize giving dinner and dance. In welcoming everyone to the event’s finale, Regatta Chairman Gavia Wilkinson-Cox paid tribute to the sponsors and all the many volunteers who had helped make the regatta possible. She particularly praised the terrific work of the Race Committee led by Gill Smith who provided excellent races despite the exceptionally challenging conditions and she paid tribute to the wonderful Dragon Class and its incredible diversity saying, “We have newcomers – boat owners and crews (certainly for one, racing for the first time and only saw a Dragon for the first time last week!), women crews, women helms, teams of 3 crews, 4 crews, family crews, teenagers, disabled sailors,
Past, Present and future winners, international and national, Corinthian and Professional sailors. This is a reflection of the incredible diversity of the International Dragon Class. The age of this hugely competitive fleet (the boats!) spans 60 years! From Josephine of 1957 to the newest Provezza, launched this year! Both boats sail for Turkey, so at each end of the Fleet age group – does this make it Turkey Sandwich?! Or perhaps more ‘Turkish Delight’?!”

Following a sumptuous meal, the prizes were presented, with Graham and Julia Bailey and their teenage crew of Will Heritage and Will Bedford being awarded both the Edinburgh Cup and the Corinthian Trophy for all amateur crew to rousing cheers. Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry and Ali Tezdiker were second in the overall competition while Tom Vernon’s third place in the final race had brought he, Oliver Spensley-Corfield and Adam Bowers up the rankings to fill the final step of the podium. In the Corinthian Division second place went to Jono, David and Lynette Brown and Frances Wood, while in third were Simon and James Barter and Donald Wilks.

fullsizeoutput_1930With the prizes presented The Reverend Ian Bloomfield was called upon to give the final blessing and close the Edinburgh Cup 2017. Having offered up a most humourous prayer the “reverend” suddenly burst into song and was soon joined by one of the “waiting staff” and one of the “guests” in a surprise programme of popular opera including Nessun Dorma and Rule Brittania, which had the entire audience on their feet, singing along and waiving their napkins in the air. A truly fitting end to a marvelous regatta.

In 2018 the Dragon Edinburgh Cup will be held in Torquay from 30 June to 7 July.

Posted in 2017 Edinburgh Cup | Comments Off on Graham Bailey and Team Aimee Win Edinburgh Cup

Calling all Corinthian’s….

clubThe Royal North Sea Yacht Club will host the 4th Corinthian Cup July 29th-Aug 2nd.

Entries are now coming in for the 4th IDA “Corinthian Cup” to be hosted next weekend by the R.N.S.Y.C. in Ostend, Belgium…


Racing will take place over three days, starting from Sat 29th August under the guidance of Principle Race Officer Dirk Sledsens, who is vastly experienced in organising superb Dragon Racing at this great location.

corinthian2Will the Belgium “Ballerinas” take the Corinthian Title in 2017 ?  🙂

So lets try to get a good turn-out and support the hard work that goes into running such an event..  Organiser’s Anne Vanneste & Alex Helsen are hoping that their neighbouring Dutch Fleet will take the opportunity to send many teams to join in the fun and competitive racing…

corinthian---A great “Social” programme is waiting at the Royal North Sea Yacht Club…

With teams already committed from Germany and the UK this should prove to be a very competitive and social fleet…  So don’t delay, take this opportunity to sail against Corinthian “Only” Sailors with no Coach Boats 🙂

Higher, Faster, Longer…..     Stavros.



Posted in Other reports | Comments Off on Calling all Corinthian’s….

Snakes and Ladders on Day Three of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2017 in Cowes

img_7912The penultimate day of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2017 sponsored by Oliver Morgan Architects and Stoneham Construction Ltd in Cowes, produced one truly extraordinary race which shook the leader board up and leaves four boats in close contention going into the final race.

As they set off for the race area, the competitors found that the forecast north-westerly was instead an extremely shifty south-easterly of around 10-12 knots. Even seasoned locals famed for their ability to read the Solent’s vagaries with ease have found themselves struggling to make sense of the apparently random shifts this week and today was no different. Recently crowned Dragon World Champion and Solent local Andy Beadsworth summed the situation up with a wry smile saying, “It’s a little bit harder to win here that it was [at the Worlds] in Cascais! It’s home waters and I thought I knew what was going on in the Solent, so I thought I knew how to go the right way, but we’re getting it wrong with monotonous regularity.”

Beadsworth, sailing TUR1212 Provezza Dragon with Simon Fry and Ali Tezdiker, had had a disastrous race four and went into the day in fourth place on 31 points. Ahead of him were Igor Goikhberg in RUS98 Murka with Dmitry Berezkin and Roman Sadchikov in third on 26 points, Poul Richard Hoj-Jenson in GBR813 Danish Blue with Paul Blowers and Hamish McKay on 21 points and Martin Payne in GBR585 Full Speed with Gillian Hamilton and Chris Britten leading on 16 points.

With seconds to go, Beadsworth shot clear of the pack, which was holding back for fear of being pushed over the line by the tide, midline and was able to tack onto port and port tack most of the right side of the fleet. It was almost impossible to keep up with who was leading, as the big shifts pushed boats down snakes and up ladders constantly. At one point Payne looked good on the left, but he ended up virtually last around the weather mark. Meanwhile, Martin Byrne and his team of Pedro Andrade and Conor Byrne in IRL216 Jaguar had done the best job of picking their way through the minefield to lead Graham Bailey, sailing GBR782 Aimee with Julia Bailey, Will Heritage and Will Bedford, off down the first run, with Goikhberg a very close third. Beadsworth and Hoj-Jensen both rounded just inside the top ten.

From here on in Byrne kept clear air and extended his lead, but Bailey had his work cut out to keep the pack at bay as Beadsworth and Hoj-Jensen dug deep to fight their way to the front. As the boats closed the line at the end of the third and final beat, Byrne took a comfortable victory from Bailey with Tom Vernon in GBR810 Badger crewed by Oliver Spensley-Corfield and Adam Bowers third. Beadsworth had made his way up to fourth, Dmitry Bondarenko in Hauschreckeand with Vadim Statsenko and Alexander Shalagin was fifth, Hoj-Jensen sixth and Goikhberg seventh, but Payne unable to do better than 20th, which he immediately discarded.

So the showdown in tomorrow’s remaining race is going to be a humdinger. Bailey tops the leader board with 12 points, Hoj-Jensen is on 14, Beadsworth 15 and Payne 16. The forecast for that final race is 12 gusting 20 knots from the north-west, but we’re beginning to learn that what is forecast and what we get are not necessarily related this week so stand by and watch this space.

After sailing the crews once again repaired to the Island Sailing Club’s terrace where the daily prize giving included the presentation of the Crews Race Trophy, which went to Nigel Cole sailing Avalanche, and the Youngest Sailor Trophy which went to Will Heritage of Aimee. The prize giving was followed by the final special raffle draw of the event. Over £30,000 of prizes have been given away in the draw, for which all boats are eligible, and the top prize of a Petticrows Dragon radio model yacht was drawn tonight. One of the rules of the draw is that if the winning person is not present to collect their prize then they miss their turn and another ticket is drawn. Tim Tavinor of Petticrows assisted Regatta Chairman Gavia Wilkinson-Cox by drawing the winning ticket, but the name read out elicited no response and so Tim went in for a second ticket. As he read out the name Furious a huge cheer went up and owner Owen Pay was for once completely lost for words and clearly absolutely delighted with his new toy.

Tomorrow’s final race is programmed to get underway at 11.00 and the regatta will conclude with the Edinburgh Cup 2017 Prize Giving Dinner Dance at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club.

Members of the press wishing to receive further information or attend the regatta should contact BDA Press Officer Fiona Brown on or +44 (0)7711 718470.


Posted in 2017 Edinburgh Cup | Comments Off on Snakes and Ladders on Day Three of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2017 in Cowes

Tricky Conditions and Mix Fortunes on Day Two of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2017 in Cowes

fullsizeoutput_175bWhat a difference a day makes! After the opening day’s torrential rain and strong winds, day two of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2017, sponsored by Oliver Morgan Architects and Stoneham Construction Ltd and hosted by the Island Sailing Club, Cowes, produced light airs, brightening skies and a complete reversal of fortune for a number of the competitors.

By the time Race Officer Gill Smith had the fleet under starters order for the third race of the series, the wind was predominantly circa 10 knots but with gusts up to around 17, lulls down to 6 and big shifts around a mean of nor-nor-east. The wind continued to fluctuate throughout the day and there was the added bonus of an exceptionally big spring tide turning between races, so the committee did particularly well to achieve two excellent courses.

Dmitry Bondarenko’s regatta had got off to a lousy start when he hit is head so badly on the boom that he had to withdraw from both of yesterday’s races and return ashore for treatment. With a neat line of stitches in his forehead and a smart new Slam crash helmet, Dmitry and his crew of Vadim Statsenko and Alexander Shalagin, perhaps better known as the European World Championship winning crew of Anatoly Loginov, sailing GBR422 Hauschrecke, proved that you don’t need local knowledge to sail well in the Solent by winning both races. Sadly, their double DNS from day one means that they only make 20th in the overall standings.

Going into the day Andy Beadsworth, Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen and Martin Payne were in a three way tie for the lead on six points apiece. All three are world class sailors, but on paper Beadsworth, as recently crowned Dragon World Champion, should have had the upper hand. But even the best in the world can have an off day and that was certainly the case for Beadsworth today.

In race three, Solent racing legend Eric Williams, aboard GBR683 Ecstatic with Katie Cole and Rory Paton, led the fleet at the weather mark, with Bondarenko, Graham Bailey sailing GBR782 Aimee with Julia Bailey, Will Heritage and Will Bedford, and Igor Goikhberg sailing RUS98 Murka with Dmitry Berezkin and Roman Sadchikov, hard on his heels. This group fought it out for the remainder of the race with Bondarenko eventually gaining the upper hand from Bailey, Goikhberg and then Williams who all crossed the line within thirty seconds. Beadsworth, and his worlds winning crew of Simon Fry and Ali Tezdiker in TUR1212 Provezza Dragon, followed the leaders in on the front of edge the chasing pack for fifth.

As the boats hardened up to cross the start line for race four, Beadsworth looked terrific at the committee boat end, almost a boat length ahead of his nearest rival. Sadly, a big right-hander, which only seemed to affect the left side of the line in the closing minute of the sequence, meant that those who’d started at the pin made huge gains immediately and there was absolutely nothing those on the right could do about it.

Gaining most at the pin end was Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, sailing GBR761 Jerboa with Mark Hart and Andrew Nordon, closely followed by Rob Gray, Kay Tavinor and John Greenwood in GBR448 Tarka II and Williams. All three flipped rapidly onto port, crossed the fleet and rounded the weather mark first, second and third respectively. Behind them Beadsworth turned onto the first run around 12th and gybed off in an attempt to get back in the game. Sadly, that attempt did not work and by the leeward mark he was well down the fleet and struggling to gain any traction. Bondarenko won the race with Hoj-Jensen second, Wilkinson-Cox third, Martin Payne, sailing GBR585 Full Speed with Gillian Hamilton and Chris Britton, fourth and Jono Brown in GBR770 Storm crewed by David and Lynette Brown and Frances Wood fifth. Back down the pack Beadsworth was trying it all, but evrything just seemed to end in disaster and he finished the race in 20th place.

In the overall standings, the single discard will not come into play until after tomorrow’s fifth race has been completed. As a result, Payne now leads the fleet by five points from Hoj-Jensen with Goikhberg third and Beadsworth fifth. But Payne is realistic and knows that had the discard come into play today Hoj-Jensen would actually be leading the regatta with Beadworth second and himself third. Payne summed up the complexity of today’s sailing perfectly saying, “It’s like a chess game, you have to think three or four moves ahead, and even then it could still be wrong. It’s going to be a tough regatta.”

Mike Budd was runner up at the 2016 Edinburgh Cup and with his crew of Mark Greaves and Irish Olympian Mark Mansfield came into the regatta with high hopes. With four of the six scheduled races now complete he lies in a somewhat disappointing ninth place. Asked what he feels is different about this year’s event he commented, “We’re not doing as well as we’d hoped, to be honest, because the standard is so good. It’s a really hot fleet, we’re really enjoying the racing.”

Apres sail, the teams repaired to the Island Sailing Club terrace to enjoy the Edinburgh Cup Drink of the Day, a delicious Hendricks Gin & Fever Tree Tonic served with a slice of cucumber, and the company of good friends in the sunshine. Once again the daily prize giving was followed by a special draw with yet more happy Dragon sailors going home with fabulous goodies.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a west-nor-westerly breeze that will clock round to the north-west during the morning at 14 gusting 22 knots. Championship race five is due to start at 11.00 and will be followed by the traditional Edinburgh Cup crews race. A total of six championship races are scheduled and the regatta continues until Friday 15 July.

Posted in 2017 Edinburgh Cup | Comments Off on Tricky Conditions and Mix Fortunes on Day Two of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2017 in Cowes