5 Races now completed in Vilamoura.

The 14 lucky Dragon Team’s who are enjoying the sunshine and warm sea breezes in Vilamoura have now completed 5 of the 8 scheduled races over the past 3 days. Today the fleet hope to sail 3 more races in possibly the best conditions of the week with a forecast of 12 to 20 kts from around 170 degrees. Yesterday, sailing again in light 5 to 7kts of gentle breeze the two race winners were SUI 311 & GER 1207.

SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” winners of Race 4.

After winning the “Flow” (Sami Salomaa’s beautiful bronze sculpture) last year Bernardo Freitas is relishing helming Hugo Stenbeck’s “Sophie Racing” with his excellent team of Martin Westerdahl and DiogoPereira. Hugo was unable to travel due to the pandemic, so asked Bernardo to cover for him as he did in last years IDA European Cup Finals and Bernardo has his sights set firmly on retaining this magnificent trophy.  To that end his first priority is to finish as high as possible in this Grade 1 event which then leads directly into the Finals over the coming days. At the moment “Sophie Racing” is level on 8pts (after discard) with Marblehead Champion Pedro Andrade. Pedro told me “Today was quite light, the right hand side of the course was paying, so we played the right along with Bernardo who had very good speed. In the end Bernardo won the race and he managed to get a boat in between us by covering us on the second beat, so we finished 3rd (in Race 4)”. Pedro continued “In the 5th race again we were very close to Bernardo and on the last beat we both managed to overtake 3 boats to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively”. Many congratulations to Pedro and his team for their results so far…..

Pedro Andrade, with Afonso Domingos & Kim Andersen leading overall after 5 races.

For this event Pedro is racing with Star Class legend Afonso and former World Sailing President Kim Andersen who is thoroughly enjoying being back in the Dragon Class after his 4 years of service in WS. The Dragon Class are very proud of Kim and I’m sure his usual Danish Helm Jens Christensen is looking forward to having Kim back again for future events.

The winner of race 5 was top Lady Helm Nicola Friesen GER 1207 “Khaleesi” crewed by the Bavarian “Dream Team” Vincie Hoesch and Michi Lip. Nicola has a beautiful house just down the coast from Vilamoura and I’m sure she is enjoying her time in the sunny Algarve whilst the rest of Europe goes into Lockdown. I wonder if she will remain in Portugal or fly back to Germany…  I know what I would do :-)

GER 1207 “Khaleesi” Nicola Friesen Wins Race 5 with Vincie and Michi.

With her consistent sailing counting 4, 5, 4 & 1st Nicola moves up to 4th place overall on equal points (14) with 3rd placed RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin who must be looking forward to 3 more races today offering an opportunity to climb further up the podium. Dmitry who is crewed by Kasper Harsberg and Andrey Kirilyuk is always at the front end of the fleet in all conditions, so Pedro and Bernardo will have their work cut out to hold RUS 76 back….   Let’s see how the day develop’s under the excellent guidance of Vilamoura Sailing led by International Race Officer Nino Shmueli..   More to follow.

Higher, faster, Longer……    Stay Safe..     Stavros.