After a short delay the 20 boat fleet were sent out to the “A” course, which is basically three miles west of Cascais and takes the sailors out to one of the most fantastic race tracks in Europe. The old “Fisherman’s Tale” of go Right in Cascais no longer runs true… as sometimes left gives you more wind and most certainly yesterday, more tide! Those of us that can remember events during the Gold Cup here back in 2008 can confirm most races were won from the left hand-side of the first beat and not the right… So there is no set way to go, which makes it a great place to sail and gives everyone a chance.

In race one, our ex-IDA Chairman Robert Campbell GBR 766 had a good start at the committee boat (which had to double anchor to keep it’s bow head to wind) end of the line and made use of the strong ebb tide that carried the fleet upwind. It was definitely stronger on the left of the course which is why Rob’s “Gybe Set” at the top mark won him the race. This manoeuvre allowed Rob and his team to run back to the gate in less tide to give him the lead, whilst the rest of us pushed tide all the way back down. Making the best of the bunch was Ton de Waardt helming GBR 767 Bear, who managed to hold an inside track on the starboard gate mark, which gave him a huge advantage after rounding… Ton held on to finish 2nd behind Rob Campbell with RUS 76 helmed by Andrey Kirilyuk 3rd.

In race two the tide was starting to slacken on the right of the course but Benny Morgen helming GER 1103 took full advantage of the remaining ebb tide and more wind out on the far left. His lead at the top mark hardly allowed any of us to read his numbers on the main sail !! So Benny and his Dad could sail the rest of the race nice and easy to take the winners gun..  well done. In 2nd place was UKR 8 Yevgen Braslavets who had a problem at the start of race one after being towed all the way out to the race area, could not pull up the main !!  But after being towed all the way back into the Marina, managed to fix the problem and sail a very good second race. 3rd place went to RUS 31 “Integrity” Andrey Nikandrov.

Up until the third race yesterday’s leader Lars Jensen helming NED 316 was yet to finish top three, however his top tactician and crew Theis Palm explained “We were actually doing well in the first two races but when you are sailing someone else’s boat, particularly a “Cold Moulded” you have to take it easy…” Theis continued “at one of the top marks we had decided to duck one boat to be safe, but because of the closeness of the pack, we ended up ducking five boats!” Still Lars and his team hung in well and with a 3rd place finish in the last race of the day, still maintain their overall lead by 5pts.  The winner of the third race was Lars Hendriksen DEN 138 who had a good battle with GBR 758 Andy Beadsworth, both boats showing exceptional speed….

Meanwhile back on shore, the Portuguese Petticrow Agent Vincente’ Melo and his wife Joana are doing an excellent job keeping the fleet going. With the Petticrow van and Vicente’s container full of machinery and equipment, everything can be repair on-site..  A great facility here in at the Club Naval.

So going into the final day of two races, the top six boats are;

1st Ned 316 Lars Jensen.  2nd UKR 8 Yevgen Braslavets. 3rd DEN 138 Lars Hendriksen. 4th RUS 76 Andrey Kirilyuk. 5th GBR 758 Andy Beadsworth. 6th GBR 767 Ton de Waardt.

If we get another fantastic day of wind, sunshine and great sailing, all competitors will be smiling and well set up for the Grade 1 Juan Carlos which begins on Thursday…  60 entries, and a good forecast, why are you not here ?

Higher, Faster, Longer……………  Stavros.   GBR 767.