Race 2 of the Dragon Gold Cup was again started at the first attempt with just a “P” flag by the experienced and well respected IOR Christian Haake. Just three boats were early starters, two re-started, one did not so scored an OCS. Despite an oscillating wind of between 120 & 140 the course was set at 135 as the wind further up the course was more right….
With most of the 66 boat fleet electing to tack as soon as possible it was GBR 801 helmed by Lawrie Smith, crewed by Joost Houweling & Petticrows owner Tim Tavinor who made the best of the shifting conditions to lead at the top of the 2.4 mile beat. Boats that went to the right too early seem to loose height & pressure, so it was better to be more middle right, than all the way right.
Leaders all the race until the final beat GBR 801 “Lawrie Smith” who had to settle for 2nd.
The 2 boats right behind Lawrie at the top mark were RUS 76 and AUT 218. These 3 boats extended nicely from the pack as they made their way down towards the bottom “gate”. However, as the weather began to close in making visibility difficult it also shifted the wind more to the left so a course change was signalled at the gate for a new bearing of 120 degrees.
One of the boats who had made an early start was GER 1123 “Pow Wow”, but due to the quick thinking of tactician Pedro Andrade, they were able to gybe around the Pin end and re-start getting a fortunate “lane” on port and round the first mark 20th ! This proves once again that starting with just a “P” flag allows boats to still be in the game and not sailing back into the Marina DSQ!
GER 1123 “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, with Pedro Andrade & Phil Blinn.
As the race progressed there was plenty of opportunity to make gains and likewise losses, but that is the nature of the game. Sadly AUT 218 eventually dropped back after a fantastic beginning, but GER 1123 continue to make huge inroads into the top 20 boats and eventually finished in 3rd place!
For the final upwind leg the course was re-set back to 135 degrees as the sun began to come out and the wind eventually shifted to the right. Several top teams such as UAE 20 and UAE 7 lost out on the left whilst others made huge gains on the right… For the 2 leaders GBR 801 and RUS 76, it was neck and neck up to the very end, with RUS 76 finally getting the victory after pushing further right before the shift came. So a great win for Dmitry Samokhin, Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev in their “Strange Little Girl” 🙂
GER 1103 was the first Corinthian Boat helmed by Benjamin Morgan, crewed by his Father Karl and Nicolaus Raedecke. GER 1151 “Puck IV” Philip Dohse, Oliver Mose & Christian Moller were 2nd and GER 1078 “Troika” Tim Ladehof, Tim Jesse & Arne Brugge were 3rd.. Congratulations to all 3 Corinthian Teams.
Overall leaders after 2 races are GBR 801, followed by RUS 76 & RUS 34… However, all these sailors know that it’s early days… 4 more “Gold Cup” races to go and it most certainly is never over till it’s over…..
Higher, Faster, Longer……. Stavros. (On the EBB TIDE Committee Vessel).