RP_150609_DRAGW_8144 (640x428)POR 66 “Drago” Jose’ Matoso, Gustavo Lima and Frederico Melo win again in La Rochelle..

Day 3 of the 2015 International Dragon World Championship could not have been more exciting or exhilarating for the 80 Top Teams in La Rochelle. With just 1 race scheduled our International Race Officer Philippe Faure, set a 2.5 mile first beat and a perfectly square line. Unfortunately some of the competitors were too eager at the start so a “Black Flag” was introduced and subsequently on the second and third general recall’s, certain boats were disqualified. The line was fair so I’m afraid there was no margin for error.

It is always a heartbreaker for any team to see their sail number on the blackboard which means their race is over…..  However, it is the only way control and discipline can be maintained in order to make a “fair” start. Of the 10 boats that were disqualified during two subsequent restarts, 4 of these were top contenders for the overall championship. RUS 27, SUI 311, DEN 410 and UAE 20 were among the early starters and had no option but to make their way from the racecourse back to the marina in La Rochelle….

RP_150609_DRAGW_8160 (640x428)GER 11 “BBXXL” Vincie Hoesch, Markus Steinlein and Marc Pickel finished 2nd in Race 4.

The race was then re-started at 2pm and the line was called “all clear” so 70 Dragons headed upwind for their first 2.5 mile leg in an oscillating 12 to 20kt wind from predominately 035 degrees…  Making another brilliant start from the committee boat end was POR 66 “Drago” who shot off the line and immediately developed a nice advantage on the right side of the course. Meanwhile GER 11 “BBXXL” played the shifts well from the centre of the course, whilst UAE 8 “Bunker Boys” made their gains from the left side. This proved that it was a completely equal race track and the teams who played the oscillations the best, would reap their just rewards…….

RP_150609_DRAGW_9302 (640x426)UAE 8 Yevgen Braslavets, Aleksander Murchuk and Sergiy Timokhov 3rd in race 4.

There were many place changes throughout the 3 hour race, with exhilarating downwind sailing on the small but surfing waves and huge upwind gains as the wind increased and decreased in pressure, but in the end POR 66 was victorious. Which rewarded Jose’, Gustavo and Frederico with their 2nd win.

I spoke to the winning team at the end, Gustavo said he was “Happy” :-) Whilst Jose’ told me ” I have never raced in such a changing wind, not only in different wind shifts but also in pressure”. Jose’ went on to say “I was very pleased to keep Vincie at bay”.  Yes Jose’, you did well my friend, very well indeed…..

2015_06_09_DWC_506 (640x427)RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” still lead overall after 4 races in La Rochelle……

In the overall standings, RUS 76 still hold an impressive 11 point lead ahead of UAE 8 in 2nd and AUS 255 moving up to 3rd after another “outstanding” performance from the “Boys Down Under” :-)  Yes fellow sailors, this amazing team on “Dragonfly” finished a creditable 4th yesterday to not only hold this fantastic position overall but also lead the “Corinthian” Fleet and the “Masters” competition !!  Great Sailing to William Packer, Denis Cullity and Julian Harding…. Could this “Golden Team” do the “Treble” ??????

2015_06_09_DWC_415 (640x427)AUS 255 “Dragonfly” chase POR 66 “Drago” in race 4 of the World Championships….

It’s not outside the realms of possibility ……………….

Higher, Faster, Longer………………    Stavros.  (GBR 585).