RP160407_KJCTD1_5514 (2)The first start of the Juan Carlos Trophy in Cascais, with less than 15 seconds to go.

A beautiful sunny day greeted the 26 Dragon’s to the Grade 1 event in Cascais yesterday as the 21st Juan Carlos Trophy started with a “full on” day of sailing….  One minute it was flat calm and peaceful, the next second it was “batten down the hatches” as the Northerly wind picked up to 25 knots!

On a day not for the feint hearted there were all the thrills and spills to excite us and test the skills and experience of these top International teams….

RP160407_KJCTD1_0889Former World and Gold Cup winner Tommy Muller wins the 1st race of the J.C. Trophy.

Inevitably there were many place changes as teams battled with the rise and fall of pressure combined with some major wind shifts, that meant a variety of different boats led the races over the three up winds and down wind legs.

In race one it looked like the right hand side of the 2 mile beat looked favoured, then the middle looked good, but in the end it was the left side that really “kicked in” with more pressure and proved the most advantageous.  GER 1133 “Smaug” helmed by Tommy Muller, crewed by Vincie Hoesch and Ingo Borkowski took the initiative and won the race.  Although they were pushed hard by RUS 27 and GER 1123, Anatoly Loginov and Michael Zankel had to settle for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

RP160407_KJCTD1_0714Is it a Bird ? Or is it a Plane ? No it’s Victor Folgeson in RUS 35 flying down the course 🙂

Race 2 started again with just a “P” flag, this time the 4 OCS boats from the previous race made sure they kept their discipline and it was a clear start. However, the wind began to increase and it looked at one stage as though the course may have to be shortened, for safety reasons. But after the 25 knot squall passed through, it settled down to another game of “snakes and ladders” as both sides of the course looked good a different times…

RP160407_KJCTD1_0692GBR 769 “Hombre” wins Race 2 of the Juan Carlos Trophy, with an “unusual” new Spinnaker.

On the final beat the pressure really dropped away before a substantial left shift saw GBR 769 “Hombre” and POR 66 “Drago” take full advantage to finish 1st and 2nd, just ahead of UAE 9. So Martin Payne, crewed by Antonio Matos and Joao Vidinha took the gun and thanked their lucky stars …  Left was right and right was wrong…..   🙂

Leading the Corinthian Sailors is the top local team on POR 56 “Peggy” helmed by Miguel Magalhaes, crewed by Jorge Melo and Jose’ Magalhaes. They put together two good races with a 10th & 12th to currently put them 8th overall.

So early days yet and 6 more races to sail and with another strong wind forecast today lets see what unfolds in this high quality event in beautiful Portugal…..

Higher, Longer, Faster…….     Stavros.    (GBR 769).

Many thanks, as always, to Ricardo Pinto for these amazing photo’s ….. Ricardo is recently back from his great work at the America’s Cup Racing in Oman !