33 boats battle at the start in superb conditions in the 19th Derby Dragon, La Baule.

With 10 races completed in a variety of conditions, over 4 wonderful days  (26th-30th May) both on and off the water, the “cream” once again, rose to the top.  So yes, it was inevitable that “The Man” (Poul-Richard Hoj-jensen) sailing with BDA secretary Chris Brittain and Katie Cole from Burnham-on-Crouch would find themselves at the top of the leader board at the end of this well managed and “fun” regatta. This time they were pushed hard by my team in GBR 585, Guus de Groot in NED 309 and Tam Nguyen in HKG 55, but at the end of the day the “Legend” lives on….

Dominique Mollet (President of Y.C.L.B.) with Chris, Poul-Richard, Katie & Clem Baley (V.P)

La Baule is all about the people of Yacht Club La Baule , from the moment you arrive the warmth of friendship in the atmosphere is contagious as it quickly spreads through the competitors so everyone is smiling. This Yacht Club runs many events through their busy year, but the Derby Dragon now in it’s 19th season, is second to none. The support from the helpers and volunteers of this amazing club is like one big family from spectating during the races then the comradery ashore. If you ever consider making a trip to an event, this is the one you have to do!

My loyal & fantastic team of Olivier & Dominic Bakker were pleased to finish 2nd overall.

Last year’s runner up Guus de Groot sailing his beautiful NED 309 “Furie” came back strong at the end of the event to just pip Tam Nguyen for the final podium position.

NED 309 “Furie” helmed by Guus de Groot with Richard Van Rij & Leo Hartman 3rd Overall.

“Hotel Hermitage Barriere”, one of the main sponsors of Y.C.L.B. is an amazing place to stay, with incredible views over the race  course and the golden beaches which is full of activity on this special coastline of France.

The view from Hotel Hermitage over La Baule, offers a majestic start to the day.

The top Lady helm of the week was Anne Chapalain sailing with her Husband Gwen and Jacques Caraes in FRA 365 “Ar Youleg” (Louis Urvois former boat). Finishing 6th overall with many top 5 results, Anne sailed an excellent regatta.

First Lady helm FRA 365 “Ar Youleg” Anne Chapalain, Jacques Caraes & Gwen Champalain.

Next year will see the 20th Anniversary of the Derby Dragon which will mark a special celebration for the Dragons in La Baule. 19 yrs ago I had the pleasure of crewing with Poul-Richard at the first Derby Dragon in 2001, which we won, so his knowledge of the race course stretches far and wide. He also told me at the prize giving “This was a nice Birthday Present as I am 75 yrs old on Sunday. In 1991 I first sailed the Soling European Championship here in La Baule and during a very windy race a photo was taken with 2 Soling’s rolling downwind as I passed them both! This photo was presented to me and displayed at the club for many years.  It is always a pleasure to race against the sailors here and enjoy the friendly hospitality. I will be back next year for sure”.

Once again all the sailors thank Y.C.L.B. for another fantastic Derby Dragon. As Poul-Richard just said “I’ll be Back”…….

Higher, Faster, Longer…………..    Stavros.   (GBR 585  “Full Speed”)

My thanks to Stephanie Billarant for some of these excellent photo’s.