DSC09774cns_Spihorizont (640x428)The 36 Dragons enjoyed 3 early races yesterday in the “Peler” (Northerly Wind), on Lake Garda.

After a disappointing 2nd day in Torbole’ with not a breath of wind, the fleet had a very early 8am start yesterday in order to complete a 5 race series. However, had the organisers known the final day’s conditions in advance, even more races could have been sailed in the afternoon “Ora” wind, that usually arrives after lunch from the South…

Alas, hindsight is a wonderful thing and the “sailing instructions” stating a maximum of 3 races in any one day was not changed so the 36 boat fleet had to settle for just 3 morning races. At least the 5 races allowed the discard to kick in, which put many boats back in contention for the overall 11th sailing of the Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup.

DSC09841cns_Spinnaker (640x426)Super conditions for the final day of the Hans-Detmar Wagner Cup in Torbole’, Lake Garda.

Race 1 of the day, (race 3 of the series), basically set the tone of the all the first beats…  It paid to start near to the committee boat, tack immediately and sail on port all the way to the right hand side until a nice timely header allowed the lead boats to tack and cross the fleet and round the top mark in great shape. This was judged perfectly by SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” and by gybing at the end of the “Dog Leg” to run back to the leeward gate, Hugo Stenbeck and his top team of Martin Westerdahl and Bernardo Freitas won the race and secured 2nd place overall, despite a 14th & 13th in races 4 and 5…

In Race 2 of the day, (race 4 of the series) it was GER 1123 “Pow Wow” that tacked on an early “layline” from the right side to lead around the top mark and despite a lot of pressure from RUS 76, Michael Zenkal and his team of Pedro Andrade and Phil Blinn held their nerve to win the race…

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GER 1123 “Pow Wow” holds a slender advantage from RUS 76 during the first downwind of race 2.

In Race 3 of the day, (race 5 of the series) it was the turn of UAE 20 ” Desert Eagle” helmed by Henrik Witzmann, crewed by Marcus Koy and Georgi Leonchuk who just managed to finish ahead of GBR 585 “Full Speed”.  This victory rewarded the Dubai based team 3rd place overall in this 5 race series.

DSC09748cns_Full_Speed (640x419)The lead boats who tacked early at the Committee Boat, head into the right side of the beat.

However, the final victory went to “Mr Consistent” RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” who’s owner Dmitry Samohkin was having a break, so it was Andrey Kirilyuk who helmed brilliantly to record 2, 2, 3 in the three final races ! This excellent team, crewed by Alina Dotcenko and Aleksey Bushuev fought back strongly after only recording a 26th & a 12th on day 1. However, it just goes to show that even after a bad day, a very good day can put you right back in the “Chocolates” 🙂

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The winners Podium, Alina holds the Cup High.. SUI 311 (2nd) RUS 76 (1st) UAE 20 (3rd).

In 4th place overall was RUS 35 “Sunflower” helmed by Victor Fogelson, crewed by Oleg Khoperskiy and Slava Kaptuchin who did well to hold on to this excellent result after their stunning two races on day 1. Completing the top 5 places was GER 1123 “Pow Wow” who won race 2 of the day. Well done to all these top 5 teams…

In closing it was a pity sailing ended at lunchtime yesterday, as I felt many sailors would have loved to sail in the afternoon in the amazing “Ora” wind. It is what Lake Garda is renowned for and why all 36 travelling teams made the effort to participate… I hope next year a little more consideration is applied by the race management as the loss of a full sailing day during a three race day series, could so easily have been put right on the final day…..

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

P.S. Many thanks to “Freelance Photographer” Christopher Nordhoff for these excellent pictures….