20140309_165053 (320x180)Gustavo Lima, Jose’ Matoso & Frederico Melo, proudly hold the Juan Carlos Trophy!..

With just 2 weeks remaining before the 2104 Europeans take place in San Remo, the 2013 European Champions added another victory to their impressive C.V. Yes fellow sailors all over the world, POR 66 helmed by Jose’ Matoso won the 2nd Grade 1 event of the year, the “Juan Carlos Trophy” Just!

I say “just” because a the end of another fantastic day of racing on the flatter water off the coast of Estoril, the top 3 boats were separated by just 1pt….  The first race of the morning, started in a good 18kts from the North East, and it was GER 1123 “Pow Wow” helmed by Michael Zenkel who made an excellent start and capitalized on a 1.3 mile first beat against the tide by heading inshore. Despite the close attention of POR 66 and NED 769 (Pieter Heerema), the German team sailed well to hold on and win the race.

In 2nd race of the day, GBR 786 “Clairvoyant” the beautiful cold moulded Dragon formally owned by Ted Sawyer was again showing excellent speed. In fact had the lower port shroud not broken on the first downwind leg, Martin Payne, Shawn Kingston and Dave Dwyer would probably have held on to an impressive lead to record their second win of the championship. However, Dragon’s do not go too well upwind in any sort of a breeze without “both” the upper and lower shrouds, doing their jobs. So the “Clairvoyant” team sadly had to retire on safety issues. This left the way clear for POR 66 to record his 2nd race win, with his nearest overall rival NED 769 Pieter Heerema in 2nd.

09/03/14 -  (POR) - Dragon King Juan Carlos I Trophy - Day 4NED 769 “Hombre” helmed by Pieter Heerema, crew of Theis Palm and Kasper Harsberg.

Going into the final race of this 8 race series, It looked as though the overall prize was just between two boats, POR 66 and NED 769. However, POR 64 helmed by local hero Alvaro Marinho had other ideas and took an early lead leaving Heerema and Matoso in a sort of “Match Race” up the final beat!

09/03/14 -  Cascais (POR) - Dragon King Juan Carlos I Trophy - Day 4POR 64 “Lady Tati” Alvaro Marinho, Nuno Barreto & Rodrigo Vantacich win race 8.

Unfortunately, the team on board the Netherlands boat had slightly miscounted the points which meant they tied with POR 66 on 24pts, but Jose’ Matoso and his team took the Championship on count-back. With Alvaro and his team just 1pt behind on 25pts finishing 3rd. How close can it get…….

09/03/14 -  Cascais (POR) - Dragon King Juan Carlos I Trophy - Day 4POR 66 lead around the final top mark in race 7 of this 8 race series in Cascais.

Although the POR 64 team did not quite catch the leading two boats overall, their last race victory won them the “Stavros” Trophy which the club kindly awarded to thank both myself and Vincent Hoesch (Vincie Trophy is awarded to 1st race winner), for the support we have given to the Club Naval de Cascais over the last 15 years.

20140309_164937 (320x180)(Pictured) Rodrigo, (myself) Alvaro & Nuno receive the Stavros Trophy for winning race 8.

So there we have it my friends and fellow sailors, another Grade 1 event over, with fantastic courses, excellent Race Management and wonderful sailing conditions. As we congratulate Jose’ and his team, we can now all look forward to the coming 2014 Europeans, in San Remo, just around the corner!

Higher, Faster, Longer………………    Stavros.  (GBR 786).