Two Bullets for the “Bear” were not enough on the last day of racing in Cascais because RUS 76 was just too good yet again…  Yes Camper’s, Dmitry Samokhin guided by top tactician Andrey Kirliuk and the Biggest Russian in the World, “Aleksey Bushuer, made it a “Hat-Trick” of wins by taking the 5th winter series title here in Cascais. Dmitry has already won in Monaco and also took the 4th winter series trophy, so this win makes him the most successful helm so far of 2012. With just a 2pt lead ahead of yours truly (Martin Payne) helming “Bear” GBR 751 crewed by Rui Boia & Rubrio Basilio it was all up for grabs on the final perfect sailing day yesterday! But, after winning race one we were only able to make 14th place in race two, so despite another win in race three it was not enough as Dmitry’s  recorded a 6th, 3rd and 2nd places so he deservedly kept his lead. Well done to all aboard his RUS 76  “Strange Little Girl” for such top consistent sailing in this “Rock Star” Fleet……. In 3rd place overall was POR 47 helmed by the local favourite Henrique Anjos, crewed by Pedro Alemao & Francisco Ramada. These local sailors never give up and after a very consistent set of results (never out of the top 10 in all 8 races), deserved to be top Portuguese Boat !!

The other race winner yesterday was Finito’ helmed by top Dutch Sailor Pieter Heerama who had held the lead after day one, but after a medioca day on Saturday, fought back hard on the final day to finish in a very creditable 4th place overall. Pieter who was crewed by Theis Palm and Gerd Heyden, will be returning to Cascais at the end of the month to race his RC 44 in a 12 boat fleet which will see Russell Couts and many of the Worlds top sailors show their skills off this famous Portugal coastline….  Good Luck to his yacht “NO WAY BACK” as it takes on some spectacular RC 44 teams.

In 5th place was former Olympic Medalist Uli Libor in SUI 307 who is very quick in light to medium conditions and then in 6th place still looking for his normal “exceptional” boat-speed, was former World Champion, Tommy Muller.. I’m sure Tommy will be fighting hard to retain his Juan Carlos Trophy in two weeks time as the 2nd Grade 1 event of the year takes place in Cascais 1st-7th April…  Looking back it was a really fantastic regatta with 8 races sailed over three days during which some amazing photo’s were taken by Richaro Pinto, a name of the future…  Check out Ricardo’s work on his website

So now all eye’s turn to Italy and the San Remo event, incorperating the Italian Nationals. Around 50 boats are expected and I will also be there, so I had better post this “Blog” and get my backside into gear if i want to make the first race on Thursday. ….  Meanwhile the Portuguese take just a short break in their busy programme before the “New” Spring Cup begins April 1st for three days preceding the Juan Carlos Trophy,already mentioned 4-7th. Will you be in Italy or Cascais??  If not make it next year, I can tell you it will not be a disappointment…  To be racing upwind in sunshine, blue waters surrounded by Dolphins is a unique experience..

Higher, Faster, Longer……  still Growling…      Stavros.  (GBR 751).