Klaus Diederichs GBR 758, crewed by Jamie Lea and Simon Fry, dominated the first day of this Clube de Naval winter series event here in sunny Portugal, on a day which saw Cascais at it’s best. The brisk Northerly wind, that had blown all night at around 30kts, reduced sufficiently for the 21 boat fleet to take to the water on time for the 2.00pm warning signal. When the wind blows from the Estoril shore, it can be quite shifty and constant “Gear Changes” are required by these top International Dragon Teams in order to make the best boat speed as the pressure ranged between 10-18kts. Athough I held the lead after the first lap in my new Petticrow “Bear” GBR 767 (648), my top tactician and good friend Mark Pettitt from Dublin decided that the new (Black) windward mark was being laid, as we covered our close competitors GBR 758 and POR 55 Jose Matoso, by the club’s grey RIB and so we tacked on lay-line…..  But it was to our amazement and surprise to see that  the “Black” mark was infact attached to the RIB and was indeed it’s 200 horse power engine!..  Happy Day’s…  🙂  GBR 758 and POR 55 both seeing the correct new mark, took their chance to pass us and go on to finish 1st and 2nd respectively with us 3rd.

In the second race of the day, Diederichs was forced out to the left-hand side of the course whilst most of the fleet headed right as that seemed to be favoured side at the top end of the 1.0 mile beat. Again POR 55 made excellent speed and together with POR 63 helmed by Diogo Barros, came in well from the right, only to see Diederichs find a wonderful “Left-hand” shift which suprised the fleet as they once again took the lead…. Klaus and his team did a great job to increase their lead and take the winning gun for back to back victories !! Jose Matoso crewed by top Star Helsman Gustavo Lima and Stefan Hellriegel, sailed really well to record back to back 2nd places and sit just two points behind Klaus overall. POR 63 also did well to hold onto 3rd place in this second race with their relatively new team…….

Today the wind is forecast to be much lighter but with 6 more races planned for the next two days and the temperature to touch the mid 20’s, I wonder if there is a better place to be sailing in Europe right now ??  More news to come after todays happenings, stay tuned Campers…….

Higher, Faster, Longer………..    Stavros. (GBR 648).