Super start for Graham Bailey and his team aboard “Aimee”.

While most of Europe braced itself for more Storms bringing ferocious wind and rain, 11 lucky Dragon teams enjoy perfect sailing conditions down in Portugal’s famous Algarve. Pedro Andrade, working along side Vilamoura Sailing, told me “It was absolutely amazing, 10-15 kts from the Southwest, all day sunshine and l sailed in just T shirts & shorts! 9 races were completed in this series, which brings the total of 24 races after 3 events”.
Perfect conditions down in Vilamoura, the jewel of the Algarve.

With teams from Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Germany and Portugal there is no doubt Vilamoura is developing into a popular venue for Dragon racing. Next winter numbers will most certainly increase as the Grand Prix Grade 1 circuit will finish in Vilamoura during November including the “Finals”. Furthermore, those boats who decide to winter their boats in Portugal will have the bonus of a further Grade 1 event in Cascais during the Spring of 2021.

2018 Gold Cup winning team Stephan Link, Frank & Michi (hiking) 🙂 

At the end of the 9 races, the team with the lowest score was Stephan Link helming ITA 86 (one of the 8D charter boats), crewed by Frank Butzmann and Michi Lipp.
Pedro & Nino (PRO) present the Winners Stephan, Frank & Michi.

In second place overall was Cascais helm Francisco Pinheiro de Melo (Coca).. who was crewed by Charles Nankin and João Vitinha.  Francisco was also chartering one of the 8 Dimension boats POR 85 and is no stranger to the Dragon Class as his Father Jorge was a legend in the class for many years, with all three son’s (Francisco, George and Vicente’) following in his footsteps.

2nd overall POR 85, Francisco, Charles & João fight hard in Vilamoura.

In 3rd place overall was top International Sailor Graham Bailey, Sailing with his Wife Julia, Gillian Hamilton & Will Heritage. This British team have transported their Ed Cup winning boat Aimee GBR 782 down to the Algarve for the winter and relished the superb conditions. Electing to race with a team of 4 to bring them up to the 285kg weight limit, which is proving ever more popular these days as previously under-weight teams can now compete at the highest level.

Pedro & Nino present Graham, Will, Julia and Gillian with 3rd place.

So there we have it fellow sailors a full sailing program completed once again in this excellent location. Vilamoura Sailing are doing a very good job offering the very highest Race Management, a wonderful Marina and super apres Sailing gatherings. I look forward to joining the fun early next month for my 8th Stavros Match Race event 8th to 10th March. We still have a couple of places available should any team wish to improve and upgrade their skills in the most challenging of racing format…the Match Race! If you think you are up to it, contact Pedro Andrade or Nuno Reis at Vilamoura Sailing for more information…..


Higher, Faster, Longer…….   Stavros.