DSC_7548 (640x426)Bow 14 (GER 11) powers through the short waves to Win race 1 of Europeans in Bastad..

Marcus Brennecke guided by the great Vincie Hoesch, took the 55 boat fleet apart yesterday by recording a 1st and 4th place to take the overall lead of the 2015 European Championships in Bastad.  With fellow Olympic Star Sailor Marc Pickle, Hoesch and Brennecke made the best of a fantastic day of racing.


DSC_8246 (640x429)A bow get’s inside Per Gabrielsson’s “Backstay” (Not something you see everyday!)

In race 1 of the day, GER 11 chose to go all the way to the left corner off the line, helm Marcus Brennecke explained ” Well Stavros, we actually ended up over-standing the port lay-line because we were waiting for a shift before we tacked. Although we slightly over-stood the first mark it did us no harm as we were clear ahead of all the boats coming in from the right”. Marcus continued “On the seconded upwind we played the right side of the course a little more, as both sides of the beat were fairly equal. Then on the third upwind, we consolidated and covered the fleet”. Great sailing and well done to Marcus, Vincie and Mark.

2nd was GER 1103 helmed by young Benjamin Morgan, crewed by his Father Karl and Nico Raedecke. This team, who always winter in Cascais, went hard right off the start line, so it proved that both sides of the course could pay. 3rd was UAE 7 the current World Champion Yevgeni Braslavets, crewed by Sergey Pugachev and Georgi Leonchuk. This experienced team played the middle of the first beat, after an excellent start at the committee boat. 

DSC_7858 (1) (640x401)SWE 354 Anders Liljeblad, Joakim Persson & Fredrik Persson currently 2nd overall.

In race 2 the start got away at the first attempt under a Black Flag, which was an excellent decision by the Race Management Team. This time 3 times Gold Cup winner, Jorgen Schonherr helming his “African Queen” with Christian Videbaek and Thomas Schmidt had a great start and chose the right side of the beat. I spoke with Jorgen after racing “We had good speed in the first race so knew if we made a clean start we could do well. I think the water was slightly flatter on the far right and we had a small 5 degree lift as we came into the top mark”.  Happy day’s and well done to this top Danish Team.

2nd in race 2 was “Newcomers” to the Dragon Class, but very experienced Swedish sailors Anders Liljeblad, crewed by Joakim & Fredrik Persson (see photo above). This well drilled team also had an very good first race so are 2nd overall after two races. 3rd in race 2 was UAE 20 helmed by Hendrik Witzmann and crewed by Theis Palm and Markus Koy. This team from Dubai are starting to look more like themselves again after having to loose a huge amount of weight !! Great to see them all smiling again and more importantly eating again 🙂

DSC_6932 (640x426)3rd overall after the 2 races is GBR 801 helmed by Lawrie Smith, with Joost and Tim.

It was a stunning day here in Bastad both on and off the water, with temperatures in the high 20’s and a clear blue sky. With more of the same forecast over the next few days it will be interesting to see how this top European Fleet of quality Dragon Sailors cope with slightly less wind and flatter sea’s……..

Higher, Faster, Longer…………………   Stavros.  (USA 310).