Two years ago here on the Islemere in Medemblik, the Double Olympic Gold Medalist Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen won the Dragon World Championship. Now he leads the 34 boat fleet by 4pts with just one race remaining, in second place is his crew of those Worlds, Theis Palm who is now helping former Dutch National Champion Pieter Heerama (NED 316) and Willem van Walt Meijer. In 3rd place overall is NED 300 Michiel van Dis, crewed by Marc van Bemmel & Rik Wolters. All three have a chance of taking the title!!

The 5th race of the championship started again on time, due to the preparation, experience and excellent planning of Race Officer Theo Smits. With an 11am start it’s so pleasing as a competitor to see the committee leave the harbour 2 hours in advance to set up the course and prepare a “fair” start line…. Of course you need to have wind, here in Medemblik the weather has been mixed. But despite the rain, sun, cloud and short showers, the Dutch Organising Committee have proved their worth, well done!

I have seen so many days ruined by time wasting at starts and between races, whilst so many race officers are too “fussy”… Just drop the marks, set the course and start the races..  Get on with it, just like Theo and his excellent team are doing here………….

So to the race winners, well the Petticrow Agent from Holland Andre du Pon made an excellent start from the middle of the line and was never overtaken as he sailed his brand new Petticrow NED 408 around the three up-wind legged course to win comfortably.  In the second race, PR Hoj-Jensen GBR 745, crew by Peter Bowering and Joost Hou Weling, took control of the race after starting clean towards the PIN end.  It was never easy but “The Man” kept control of the fleet to add another victory to his consistent overall scores. Now that he can discard his OCS from yesterday, he holds the lead from Pieter 316 and Michiel 300….

NED 311 Bram de Wilde had a very good day in his beautiful varnished Borresen Dragon recording two 3rd places, which has moved him deservedly into 4th place overall. But I don’t think Bram can catch the leaders with just one race remaining ……..

So Petticrow boats are 1st, 2nd and 3rd. All using North Sails…. Now we all dine at the famous Medemblik Castle, before the deciding race at 11.00am tomorrow…   Can the “Man” clean up again… or will Pieter or Michiel upset the return of PR Hoj-Jensen!

Whatever the outcome tomorrow, I would recommend to any Dragon racer to visit Medemblik and see what a great job the organising committee are doing. I can see why they have made a bid for the Gold Cup for 2014…  I give them my full support …..

Higher, Faster, Longer………..  Stavros.  (NED 372).