The current European Champions Jens Christensen, Kim Andersen and Anders Bagger sailed brilliantly to win “Both” events in Douarnenez last week sailing DEN 405 “Out of Bounce” to prove that the superstition of winning the warm up regatta is not bad luck ! Although only three races could be completed in both the Coupe de Bretagne and the main Grade 1 Grand Prix Guyader (so no discard allowed), the most consistent team deservedly took the honors..  Afterwards Jens said he was “Very happy with his “New” Petticrow Dragon”, saying “it was extremely quick” and he “thoroughly enjoyed his first visit to Douarnenez”….         May you have many more Jens, congratulations….

Runner Up and 2nd overall was the current Gold Cup holder Markus Wieser from Germany helming “Bunker Queen” UKR 7 with owner Sergey Pugachev and Matti Paschen. Markus was the only other competitor from the 73 boats to finish with three scores in the top 10….!   The final podium place & 3rd overall was one of 2012’s most successful sailors, Dmitry Samokhin crewed by Andrey Kirillyuk and Aleksey Bushuev who sailed extremely well again in their “Strange Little Girl” RUS 76. Dmity has not been helming Dragons long, so to continue this excellent run of form in quite amazing…..

However, whilst these three fantastic teams can consider themselves at the very top of World Dragon sailing, the notorious “Black Flag” destroyed many dreams on the last day in a wet and cold Douarnenez…  It was a final day of heartache for one team in particular from Belgium, Ben Cauwenbergh and his team in BEL 80 who recorded a Black Flag in their “Blackout” in the final race after following up their brilliant win in race 1 with a second in race 2. Ben would have known he was leading overall going into the last race, but he was called over with 8 other boats as the PRO struggled to get the fleet away on a very difficult day. Seeing their boat number on the Blackboard after the second General Recall would have been like a stab in the heart from a blunt knife, as they sailed back to the harbour for an early crane out.

Three other top contenders to feel the “Black Flag” pain in the first race yesterday was URK 8, UKR 9 and GER 1123.  I’m sure Lars Hendriksen, Evgeny Braslavetz and Tommy Muller all felt somewhat aggrieved, when the line was so heavily biased to Starboard, that their numbers were recorded when simply half the fleet had forced the General Recall…. It questions once again the massive decision to implement this “Terminal” deterrent so soon when the starts become difficult mainly due to drastic wind shifts and NOT the FAULT of the competitors…….   Please can Principle Race Officers take Note ????????

However, as I have no wish to start another major debate, let me finish by saying that despite probably the worst ever weather conditions in the 13 years of Douarnenez Sailing, it was still an excellent and well organised regatta and will remain the number 1 in all Dragon Sailors Itineraries…  Well done to Gwen, Annie and their amazing team of helpers once again…. We will all be back in 2013 and beyond ……(some of us will be with you also in August :-)) .

In closing a very special mention and my heartfelt congratulations to GRB 633 sailed by Husband and Wife Ron & Julia, crewed by Mark Pettitt who finished a creditable 8th overall in this World Class Event.  Ron and Julia have won in Deauville but this must rate highly on their Dragon CV. Well done and keep up the support you both give our fantastic class……  For the full results, please visit the main web site.

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