5 May 2011 – Douarnenez, Brittany, France – Translation of official press release issued in French by the press office of the Guyader Grand Prix.
Wind and tension mount in Douarnenez
There was good air today on the Bay of Douarnenez for the second day of the Dragon regatta at the Guyader Grand Prix. The results of yesterday’s protests had a considerable impact on the overall results, with in particular, four disqualifications in the second race decided by the jury yesterday evening. Among those decisions, the original Ukrainian leader of the day, Markus Wieser (UKR 7), was pushed down into 43rd place following a disqualification for a failure to acknowledge a port/starboard incident in the second race. Meanwhile his team mate Lars Hendriksen UKR 8 was one of two boats (the other was Ron James in GBR 633) awarded redress for a start line incident in race one. Hendriksen and James were both forced to pull out of the race and the jury subsequently awarded them average points putting Hendriksen into the overall lead. The various protests illustrate just how hungry the competitors are for victory in this prestigious event.
The bar is set very high
The entry list of the Guyader Grand Prix reads like the most beautiful pages of the history of yachting. Olympic medalists and champions of all classes come together in their Dragons to enjoy this splendid and exceptional gathering on the Bay of Douarnenez. On the water, the presence of these stars of sailing bring a very special intensity to the races. The 77 entered teams share the same passion for the Dragon, but nourish different objectives and this big fleet, drawn from the four corners of the world, are here for the gain. The bar is increasingly high, to appear in the top 20 becomes a true challenge which can generate a certain impatience sometimes, even, a zest of aggressiveness what explains the over eager starts and other protests.
Two beautiful races today
For the Race Committee, Jean Gabriel Cléac’h and Jean Coadou control to perfection this pack of 77 crews. They were able to start the first race (race three of the series) at the end of the morning after a general recall. With the Black Flag flying the committee released the Dragons and five of them were called OCS (over the line) and thus disqualified. It was Lar’s Hendriksen’s Ukrainian crew UKR 8 that won the first race following a close battle with the only Irish competitor Cameron Good (IRL 211) and with the single Australian crew of Richard Lynn (AUS 208). Jean Breger (FRA 391) was the first Frenchman on the line in 10th position. The Dragons of Louis Urvois (FRA 365) and Bruno Jourdren (FRA 395) finished 13th and 14th in this race.
With continuing ideal conditions of sun and about fifteen knots from the South East, a second race was started at the beginning of the afternoon. This time again the crew from Odessa of Lars Hendriksen UKR 8 set the tone with a victory without challenge. To confirm the supremacy of the Ukrainian Bunker Team, UKR 9 arrived second…
In the overall provisional classification, before jury hearings and after four races, Lars Hendriksen, Igor Siderov and George Leonchuk of Bunker Boys UKR 8 are unsurprisingly holding a confident lead with a 19 point advantage over second placed Klaus Diederichs in Fever (GBR 758), crewed by Andy Beadsworth, the former tactician and coach of the British America’s Cup Challenge, and fellow America’s Cup veteran Simon Fry. These podium positions are supplemented by Evgenie Braslavets on Bunker Prince (UKR 9), and reigning Dragon World Champion Laurie Smith sailing his brand new boat Alfie (GBR 751), who is just three points behind in fourth place.
Tomorrow the fleet in Douarnenez will be joined by two additional classes – the M34, the new boats of the Tour de France à la Voile, and the Longtze, the Dragon of the 21st century, for Trophy STEF-TFE.
The results are on line at www.grandprixguyader.com