GBR 819 “Fever” Klaus Diederichs, Diego Negri & Frithjof Kleen win in Imperia.

The second event of the 2021 Riviera Trophy for the Dragon Class took place in Imperia at the weekend, with 8 teams enjoying the Italian weather which provided two excellent sailing days after no wind on the opening day. The Riviera Trophy is a new event realised in collaboration between the Italian and Monaco class associations.

Another super photo from Giulia Cimarosti at the Imperia regatta.

After losing Friday 19th with no wind, 5 races were completed over 20th & 21st Feb in complete compliance with Covid regulations under the management of a careful Race Committee, with a Northeasterly wind offering superb sailing conditions. One of the 8 teams was SUI 318 Wolf Waschkuhn helming his brand new Petticrows V6 for the first time crewed by Charles Nankin and Joao Vidinha. Wolf told me “On Saturday and Sunday we had brilliant conditions, with winds up to 21kts from around 45 degrees. There was a difficult swell as the current was against the wind but great sailing and extremely close racing. We were delighted to finish on equal points with the top 3 teams, but just lost out to Klaus (GBR 819) on count-back. All credit to a well organised Committee who also took time to listen to the feedback from the competitors. Unfortunately we will not be able to go to Monaco (as it’s currently on the Swiss no go list) but we will be in San Remo for the final event of this new Riviera Trophy”. Many congratulations Wolf, a great start in your new boat.

SUI 318 “1 quick 1” Wolf Waschkuhn, Joao Vidinha & Charles Nankin 2nd overall.

In 3rd place overall (also finishing on 7pts) was the winner from Alassio Dmitry Bondarenko helming his GBR 408 “Joanna” a lovely refurbished Pedersen & Thuessen, crewed by Alexander Shalagin & Alexei Nuraschin. Dmitry is enjoying this early season racing and will be looking forward to competing again in Monaco.

GBR 408 “Joanna” Dmitry Bondarenko, Alexander Shalagin & Alexei Nuraschin 3rd overall.

The Italian Dragon Class Secretary Marco Cimarosti is doing a great job and getting more Italian sailors into the fleet, Marco explained to me “There was a great battle for the podium with three boats finishing on the same score (7 points), Fever GBR 819 prevailed, SUI 318 second and the Estonians were third. ITA 79 with Tommaso Chieffi at the helm had another good regatta finishing 4th and in 5th position was our IDA Chairman Jens Rathsack. The next event of the Riviera Trophy will be in the principality of Monaco in two weeks time, then the final regatta at the end of March in San Remo. A great season awaits the class in Italy, following on from these events with the first Coppa Italia in Castiglione della Pescaia, Bellano. Then again back to Imperia, plus the Italian Open Championship in Torbole’ and lastly the 4th IDA Grade 1 Grand Prix at the end of October in San Remo”. With the 2022 Europeans also to be held in San Remo, the Italian Dragon Class are really going strong, just like their America’s Cup challenge out in New Zealand!

Winners behind the masks ­čÖé Klaus Diederichs, Diego Negri & Frithjof Kleen receive their prizes from IDA Chairman Jens Rathsack.

Overall winner Klaus Diederichs told me “We had some really great sailing in Imperia, the courses were well set and the Race Committee did an excellent job. It was extremely close racing and my thanks go to my crew Diego and Frithjof (who is standing in for my normal crew Jamie Lea who is unable to travel from the UK at the moment, due to Covid restrictions). It has been good to get back on the water again and as I’m currently living in Italy the Riviera Trophy has given us an opportunity to get back into racing safely”. ┬áMany congratulations Klaus to you and your top team and well done to the Italian organisers who have managed to hold another top quality, successful event during these difficult times…

Higher, Faster, Longer……. ┬á Stay Safe. ┬á ┬á ┬áStavros.