RP_150315_CDWS5S_2055 (1) (640x428)Frederico Melo, Gustavo Lima and Jose’ Matoso win the 5th Winter Series in Cascais..

What a fantastic final day the 27 teams had in Cascais yesterday, with a cloudless deep blue sky and a 14 to 16 kt wind from the East, perfect sailing conditions for the final two races….

Indeed it was a most “perfect” day for GER 1123 “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zankel, crewed by Pedro Andrade and Vasco Empis as they won both races to bring them up to 3rd overall in this excellent fleet. I spoke with local Professional Pedro after the sailing ” Yes Yes Yes…. a perfect day for us, we took the bias on the line at the pin end and made a very good start. This gave us the opportunity to do what we wanted which was to continue for 150m and then tack to cross and cover the fleet. As we got near to the starboard lay line we were just ahead of the boats coming in from the right and so we tacked below POR 66 Jose’ to lead around the top mark. On the first down wind Jose’ gybed away to stay with Lawrie, so this allowed us to sail away from the fleet and have a comfortable win”.  Well done my friend, and race 2 ??

Pedro continued ” We felt the right was getting stronger so we ignored the line bias and started at the Committee Boat, then tacked to the right into more pressure. Although we were 5th at the first mark, we again chose the right on the second beat and in doing so covered RUS 76 Dmitry, who was our closest rival for 3rd place overall. This move gave us the lead so we continued to build on this to win again !  Cascais showed us the best sailing conditions the Dragon Fleet could ask for and the PRO Jose’ Cancela did an excellent job”  Well said my friend and another fantastic “podium” place overall.


GER 1123 Michael Zankel & Pedro Andrade celebrate their “perfect” day, with Vasco Empis.

Meanwhile the battle was on for the overall Championship between POR 66 and GBR 801, so I spoke with winning tactician Gustavo Lima about his day. “As we went into the day with a 1 point lead over Lawrie we just needed one good race, in race one Lawrie was 2nd and we were 3rd. This meant that we could not finish worst than 2nd overall and the only boat that could beat us was Lawrie” !  So as the points were very much in your favour as Lawrie and his team had a worst discard than you did you “Match Race” them in the final race ?  “Yes Stavros, it was a Match Race because our worst score was a 4th, this meant we just had to keep Lawrie back.  After a good fight during the pre start we were in control starting below Lawrie, he had to tack and dip below  all the fleet out to the right. At the first crossing we tacked on top of them, still in control, as they had to tack away again. At the second crossing we tacked on them again and the game was over “.  Congratulations to the POR 66 team.

RP_150315_CDWS5S_5767 (640x426)Runners Up GBR 801 “Alfie”  Lawrie Smith, Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling.

When you study the results it is plain to see that Lawrie and his team started the event with an 8th and 6th place, so this was always going to be a big ask to win overall. However, I am sure Lawrie, Tim and Joost are looking at the “Big Picture” and will be delighted with their speed developed during this excellent regatta. Cascais offered sailors a most glorious opportunity to revel in the most perfect conditions at this time of the year !

In this strong fleet it was great to see GER 1103 “Rosie” helmed by Benjamin Morgan crewed by his father Karl Morgan and Nicholas Raedeche, finish in a very creditable 7th position and take the “CORINTHIAN” first prize. Benni has been gaining in confidence and improving his skills after several winter series in Cascais and it is fantastic to see Young Sailors pushing the rest along !! Many congratulations to Benjamin and his team on Rosie, pictured below.

RP_150315_CDWS5S_2082 (1) (640x428)

                                       Corinthian Champions GER 1103 “Rosie”.

In closing the Club Naval de Cascais and their excellent PRO Jose’ Cancela look forward to inviting even more sailors down to Portugal for the 20th Juan Carlos Trophy in April. This will be the second Grade 1 of our European Circuit and many more teams will be joining this already multi talented fleet. Demark’s Jens Christensen will be unwrapping his new Petticrows, Russia’s Anatoly Loginov will also join the fold. Plus we have the current European Champion Lars Hendriksen and the excellent Pieter Heerema on their way from winter training in Lanzarote…..  is there no end to the countless top sailors in our wonderful International Dragon Fleet…….  ?

Finally, it will be quick turn around for some of us who now travel to San Remo to join in the activities at the Italian National Championships. I understand we will see the Gold Cup holder Markus Wieser testing out his new PCT boat from Dubai along with Evgeny Braslavets, Stefan Link (winner of Cannes Grade 1) and Henrik Witzmann.  Is there no end to the Dragon “FUN” 🙂

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