Three man photo 2Malte Philipp and Thorsten Imbeck winners of the worlds in 2001, and with them is Michael Kurtz (left) who sailing MON 9 finished 3rd in 2012 and were the Grand Prix Winners last year!

With around 60 boats now registered and launched at the Yacht Club de Cannes, everything is ready for the first Grade 1 event of the year. I caught up with Michael Kurtz, general manager of Pantaenius Insurance (who are regular sponsors of many dragon events), to ask what were the expectations this year of his successful MON 9 team, who won last year. ” Well Stavros, last year we did not have so many boats taking part, as the Europeans in Cascais pulled a large amount of International Sailors to Portugal. However, Malte has been sailing well this year and with Thorsten (his World Championship winning crew),  joining us we are hoping to do well”.

Looking around the west bay of Cannes today, seeing many top teams practicing their skills on a beautiful winter’s day, it is obvious this will be a very tough regatta to win.  Many past and present champions are taking part, and the boats seem to look newer and more fantastically maintained than ever before. With racing starting tomorrow over a four day period it will be a great opportunity for the Dragons to show off to the rest of the world their premier status as the top one design keelboat class…

Higher, Faster, Longer…….   Stavros.  (GBR 789).