The 5m waves that have been crashing against the Western shores of Portugal reduced to just 2m as the first day of the 4th Cascais Winter Series got underway yesterday in 18ts of breeze. With 35 boats now racing as the 2013 Portuguese Winter Season really “kick’s” into gear, it was a chance for the locals to lay down the challenge to the rest of the Dragon world that intend to take part in the Europeans during April. Indeed that is exactly what happened as POR 55 helmed by the Club Naval de Cascais President, Jose’ Matoso  crewed by Olympic sailor’s Gustavo Lima and Frederico Melo brilliantly won both races….

Last evening Jose told me “Both races went according to plan, to stay more on the left as we thought the wind should be stronger and would tend to lift us. Both starts were also good as most boats were late and drifted to leeward due to the current, especially in the first race.” Joso’ continued to say ” We were apprehensive before the races as we had changed the mast and rig, so were not sure about the set-up. But it seemed to be right!”

Also showing well in the first two races was Danish legend Jorgen Schonherr helming his latest “African Queen” to 2nd place in race 1, directly behind Jorgen was RUS 27 helmed by Vadim Satsenko who was substituting until Anatoly Loginov arrives today.  In race two Vadim had another excellent race to finish 2nd but right on his heels was Eric Williams, helming “Bear” GBR 767 who finished 3rd. Eric was enjoying his first visit to Cascais as was quickly in the groove mastering the difficult wave formations and tricky wind shifts…  His vast experience dominating most sailing back in the Solent over the past few decades came to the for.. He is certainly one to watch out for today.

With three races planned for today and a forecast of around 10 to 12 kts, it should be a great day. Andy Beadsworth has now arrived to join past Edinburgh Cup winner, Klaus Diederichs and Patrick de Barros will be back to join Vincent Hoesch, who recorded a 4th in the 2nd race yesterday. With more local boats due to appear today, this high standard International Fleet will test the nerves and skills of the very best sailors…..

Higher, Faster, Longer………..   Stavros.  GBR 767