Ireland’s Andrew Craig threw down the gauntlet to Lawrie Smith yesterday by winning two of the three races and finished second in the other….  Graig helming the chartered boat “Finito’ showed his intent with some excellent tactical sailing in 20kts of ever shifting wind. His top dragon tactician, Mark Petit, chose many perfect upwind lanes as the strong gusting winds shifted up to 30 degrees at times… Smith did win the first race and held onto the overall lead in this 20 boat fleet, by finishing 2nd in the final race of the day.  He now has 7pts, with Craig chasing him closely on 9pts..

It was a fantastic day of racing as Race Officer Jose Cancella, set windward legs of 1.4 miles in a brisk Northerly wind. The flat water as boats neared the top mark as the wind funnelled off the shores of Estoril, saw dragons converging on unbelievable angles, as each boat tried to gain every inch of advantage on their way to the first buoy. Then hoisting all the colourful spinnakers to run back out into the challenging Atlantic Sea…   With three races planned for today, in similar conditions, the chasing pack will fight it out for the 3rd podium place. Mikhail Muratov currently holds 3rd position, but there are a number of us close behind him and with three races remaining anything can happen.

Will the great Lawrie Smith, crewed by Tim Tavinor and Oswald Stewart be able to hold off Ireland’s finest, Andrew Craig, Mark Petit and (I don’t do ropes), Brian Matthews…..  And who will join them on the winners rostrum at the end of the day ??  With 20 kts forecast all the teams know it will be another tough, but exhilarating day of sailing, “Hike Hard and Hope”…..      as we see Cascais at her best…..

Higher, Faster, Longer………….   Stavros.