Winners, Evgeniy Braslavets, Alex & Sergey Timokhov with Beppe Zaoli

24 teams arrived in sunny San Remo for their 3rd Dragon Winter Series 21-23 January. With nearly 40 boats already based in or nearby the Portosole Marina it is clear the Dragon European Championship 4th – 8th April will be well attended. The Yacht Club San Remo have a great infrastructure to accommodate many Dragons and the addition of GPS marks for the European Championship will allow courses to be set further away from the shore.

Race 1, another great photo from Elena Razina.

Two races were completed on Friday in 6 to 10kts of southwest winds. In race 1 ITA 77 (Evgeniy Braslavets) made a nice start and was soon able to tack onto port and head inshore parallel, but well to windward of RUS 27 (Anatoly Loginov) who had started right by the Committee Boat. These two top teams made extra gains on the first downwind leg to extend their advantage and were never challenged for the remainder of the race to finish 1st & 2nd respectively. GBR 820 (Grant Gordon) pulled through the fleet to finish 3rd.

ITA 77 Evgeniy, Alexander & Sergey win Race 1

Race 2, sailed in similar conditions again with course 1 (2 up winds, 2 downwinds), saw RUS 76 (Dmitry Samokhin) absolutely nail the start at the Committee Boat and tack immediately. Although this tactic worked for Dmitry and his team the main threat came from boats who had started further down the line, as there was more pressure out to sea. Indeed gybe setting on the first downwind was a huge mistake as boats who stayed out in more wind reaped the rewards. GBR 820 (Grant Gordon) was one such team and managed to wriggle their way up to another 3rd place just behind ITA 77 in 2nd and RUS 76 holding onto their lead.

RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin wins race 2, with Kasper & Andrey.

At the end of the opening day as the sun set teams sailed back in for a nice “Pasta” and Wine gathering to chat about their races. It was good to see many smiling Dragon Sailors enjoying Yacht Club San Remco’s renowned hospitality at the start of what we hope will be a full program of events in 2022.

Elena Razina once again captures the moment in San Remo.

On Saturday the PRO Fulvio Parodi held the teams ashore until there was enough wind to race. So Race 3 was sailing in light, testing conditions with pressure changes all over the course. It was again won by ITA 77 who only managed to pip race leader GBR 819 (Klaus Diederichs) on the final downwind. In 3rd place was NED 409 (Bram De Wilde) who showed great tactical awareness with his crew of Jan Bakker & George Etty, so very well done to this Corinthian team.

Race 3 ITA 77 1st, GBR 819 2nd & NED 409 3rd.

Unfortunately, no more races were sailed on Sunday even though it looked hopeful and the teams were called out to sea. But without a stable 5 kt + breeze arriving, Fulvio Parodi cancelled at 2.15pm.

Therefore, with just 3 races completed it was a clear victory for ITA 77. 2nd place overall went to GBR 820 Grant Gordon, Luke Patience, James Williamson & Greg Stewart. 3rd GBR 819 Klaus Diederichs, Diego Negri & Jamie Lea. The Top Corinthian was a new team from Germany sailing GER 33 Hannes Hollaender, Arne Hubregtse & Timo Sommer, who finished a creditable 8th overall.

Top Corinthian Team GER 33 “Amazing Grace”.

2nd Overall GBR 820 Grant, Luke, James & Greg.

3rd Overall Klaus, Jamie, Diego with Beppe.

My thanks as always to Elena Razina for the fantastic photos and to Yacht Club San Remo for another very enjoyable regatta, despite the lack of wind on this occasion.

With further events in February & March leading up to the Europeans in April, this Italian Liguarian Town has so much to offer…..

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