Although this report is a week late, I hope you still enjoy reading the events of the final two days sailing 12 lucky Dragons had on the sunny Algarve last weekend. Due to my travel arrangements, Vilamoura to UK via Douarnenez, then a big fall out with Vodafone over the most ridiculous monthly bill I have ever seen, my Internet access has been some what limited.  However….  back to the sailing and basically Jose Matoso’ POR 55 hung on to win by the most closest of margins from POR 56 helmed by Miguel Magalheas who had a superb final two days…..

It resumed on the Saturday/Sunday which saw 4 races of the Dom Pedro Hotel’s Trophy, this followed on the results of the Amadeus Cup, the wind was around 27kts and the waves made for some magnificent surfing…  The experienced Race Officer set the course in closer to the shore so that if conditions worsened, he could easily cancel. This meant that the shore would have an influence, so most boats headed towards the land from the PIN end of the line, looking for that favourable wind bend and a slightly flatter sea. POR 40 Jose Bello made the best start and was never challenged for the remainder of the two up wind and two down wind leg’s.  However, it was POR 56 who was about to make his bid for the overall Prince Henry the Navigator Trophy, so Miguel crewed by Pedro Andrade and the younger Jorge P Melo recorded a 2nd, 1st, 1st, and 1st over the final four races……

Meanwhile the current leader POR 55 Jose Matoso was struggling to maintain his superior sailing of the first two days..  Also Pieter Heerama NED 316 had two only fair days for him and his team as they failed to gain a top three place in final 4 races, but they still sailed well enough to hold onto 3rd place overall.  One sailor who was revelling in the strong wind conditions was Jorge P. Melo (senior), who was helming GBR 751 skilfully around the course… He recorded two 3rd places and a 4th to deservedly take the Dom Pedro’s Hotel 3rd place. At the other end of the age spectrum, Diogo Barros was guiding his young team of Frederico P. Melo and Rubrio Basilio in POR 63 brilliantly through the waves to score a 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, and 2nd !  This boat is a “cold-moulded” LALLOW Dragon from the early 1980’s that Petticrows have recently restored and set-up as new…  It just shows what you can do with older boats, with time, money, expertise and a good “nut” on the tiller…  This Dragon Class of ours is truly amazing…

So finally, the races were complete and everyone enjoyed the sponsor’s hospitality as a large table of goodies was set up in the Vilamoura Marina offering food and copious amount of drinks to all competitors and family as the boats were craned out and packed away.. Then onto the Prize Giving and to the winner goes the spoils…..  On Count Back! POR 55 Jose Matoso won the Prince Henry Trophy, from POR 56 Miguel Magalhaes and NED 316 Pieter Heerama 3rd.  It was an event to remember and certainly an event to come back to next year…  Make Vilamoura a date in your diary for 2012..  The Algarve in April is a wonderful place to be….

Higher, Faster, Longer, Sorry it’s late………………….    Stavros.  (GBR 751).      Next stop Douarnenez…