Port Camargue a most beautiful Marina.

Port Camargue is a district in the town of Le Grau-du-Roi. Built in the 1960’s it is today one of the biggest Marina’s in Europe. Last week the Societe’ Nautique Grau-Du-Roi/Port Camargue ran another fantastic Dragon Championship which attracted 14 boats despite difficult Covid restrictions. With the help of Sud Dragon (a non profitable organisation) 11 races were completed over the 4 days guided by Race Officer Paul Bastard in a variety of great sailing conditions.

The event was dominated by RUS 27 “Annapurna” (see photo) helmed by Anatoly Loginov, crewed by Vadim Statsenko and Alexander Shalagin. This experienced and successful team revelled in the shifty conditions winning all but one of the 11 races, a fantastic achievement. The one race (race 8) which they discarded was won by runner up overall Dirk Oldenburg helming SUI 313 “Free’. Dirk, who was crewed by Ian Ainslie and Joerg Moessnang, commented “The upwind legs were not one track sailing, it was shifty but fair conditions. We had a good Race Officer who is interested in feedback and prepared to listen, everyone had a very friendly approach and it is a wonderful sailing area. There was free convenient parking for participants and berthing directly in front of the Race Office, also the craning (organised by Jean Breger) was smooth and efficient. It was a really good event and I’d like to go back!” Thank you Dirk and many congratulations on your 2nd place overall.

SUI 313 “Free” Dirk Oldenburg 2nd Overall in Port Camargue.

In 3rd place overall was FRA 391 “Ulysse” helmed by local Jean Breger crewed by Christian Gout and Jean Paul Roux. Jean has done an excellent job promoting Port Camargue and with Christian Charee’ who does so much for the local fleet they have an excellent venue for top Dragon Racing. It was a huge disappointment for me not to have joined the fun this year due to covid restrictions, but I can assure Jean and Christian many of us will return in 2021 as we know the event is so well organised.

FRA 391 Jean Breger, Christian Gout & Jean Paul Roux, 3rd Overall.

One of the reason’s Port Camargue is such an excellent sailing venue was explained to me by IDA Vice Chairman Gerard Blanc from FRA 409 he told me “Port Camargue is in the middle of two streams: the Mistral that comes from the Rhone Valley (North) and the Tramontane that comes from Toulouse/Narbonne (West). In the middle there is almost always less wind, plus the fact that the wind comes from the shore, so no big seas offer great Dragon sailing conditions.” Thank you Gerard that makes perfect sense. I also agree 100% with both Dirk and Gerard that it is a perfect ‘Neutral’ sailing venue, no one side is favoured all the time. You have to play the shifts and one minute the right pays, the next it could be the left. On the downwind legs you also have opportunities to make gains by looking for pressure and keeping full concentration, a great place to sail.

In closing I’d like to congratulate the podium teams and thank Fred Jepasse for supplying the photo’s and many short video’s which you can see on the Sud Dragon Facebook page. On behalf of the sailors a huge thank you to the S.N.G.D.R.P.C. for running the event and we all look forward to returning next year.

Higher, Faster, Longer…..     Stavros.