Nicola Friesen, Pedro Andrade and Kilian Weise Win in Port Camargue.

The 3rd IDA Grade 1 of 2022 took place in Grau de Roi from October 12th to 15th attracting 32 participants from 11 different Nations. The organisers of the Societe’ Nautique Grau de Roi/Port Camargue provided an excellent on shore base with many helpers and volunteers giving the highly competitive fleet the best opportunity for a great regatta. Although the wind was not fully on board with the plans, 5 races were completed over the 4 days orchestrated by a very competent race management team led by Paul Bastard. Paul made the very best out of difficult conditions and his efforts were well received by the competitors.

Light winds on the opening day in Port Camargue. Race 1 won by SWE 4.

Race 1 was won by Jan Secher helming his new Petticrows SWE 4, crewed by Richard Sydenham & Mitchell Gerrard. They made the best on the left hand side of the course and finished strong as the wind began to die away. On day 2 the PRO bought the fleet early to the club thinking a Northerly breeze may be strong enough to sneak in at least 1 race before the wind died. Unfortunately, despite best intentions, the fleet had to stay ashore and no sailing could take place. However, day 3 was full of life and 3 top quality races were completed, the first of which was won by BEL 82 “Herbie”.

BEL 82, Winners of Race 2 & 3rd Overall. Stefan Hellriegel, Gustavo Lima & Helm Xavier Vanneste.

After a quick turn around race 3 got underway and this time it was a Corinthian Team aboard GBR 818 “True Story” (David Tabb) who took advantage of a shift at the bottom gate to lead from French Legend Gery Trentesaux FRA 428 “Band a Part”. Despite some hard work by the three girl crew aboard GBR 818 it was FRA 428 who pipped them on the spinnaker run to take the victory.

GBR 818 Dave Tabb with Laerke Norgaard, Astrid Harsaae & Laerke Sorensen 2nd Overall Corinthians.

Not only did FRA 428 Gery Trentesaux win race 3 but his consistent sailing over all 4 races saw him leading overall despite finishing 9th in the 3rd race of the day (race 4) which was won by GER 1207 Nicola Friesen. So this gave Gery and his 4 man team a lead of 3pts, but everything would change on the final day.

FRA 428 win Race 3 & finished 2nd overall. Gery Trentesaux, Sofian Bouvet, Christian Ponthieu & Jean Queveau.

Going into the final day the forecast was not promising, but the PRO held his nerve and just before the cut off time started race 5. This 90 minute race saw 5 races completed which meant the discard came into play, so in the end the championship was decided between just 2 boats GER 1207 & FRA 428.

The race itself was convincingly won by JPN 56 “YRed” helmed by Peter Gilmour, crewed by his son Sam and Yaji Yasuhiro. It was a true master class from this yachting legend and moved them up the ranking to a very respectable 5th overall, just behind Jan Secher in SWE 4 who finished 4th overall. But the battle was on between Nicola and Gery for the title and in the end it was Nicola, Pedro & Kilian who finished ahead to give Nicola her first Grade 1 victory…  Many congratulations….

Top Corinthian Team was SWE 401 “Nono” helmed by Martin Palsson who will soon be defending his magnificent success last year at the Grand Prix Finals where he won the Sami Salomaa bronzed carving “Flow” (see below)..


Top Corinthians in Port Camargue.  SWE 401 Martin Palsson, Goran Alm & Melker Lundberg. 

So Martin will now take the “Flow” and the Lowell & Phyllis Chang “Corinthian” Cup over to Palma… For the Puerto Portals 4th IDA Grade 1 and Finals November 15th to 20th. There is still time to join in the fun over in Mallorca and the Officers of the IDA are giving the opportunity for a “Last Chance Race” on the first morning of the finals to qualify. Yes, due to the covid restrictions we will allow boats the chance to reach the final 20! So this opportunity should not be missed……

Once again my heart felt congratulations to Nicola and her team aboard GER 1207… and to Paul and his team for a great week in Port Camargue. A special mention must go to Fred Japasse and his wife for the excellent photo’s and the use of their lovely Catamaran for our Committee Boat…..

Higher, Faster, Longer…..    Stavros.