It was another brilliant day for sailing in the colourful and picturesque La Rochelle to round off 4 days of excellent racing for the Vasco de Gama trophy. In the end the winners of this “Historical” Trophy were the very experienced Russian team of “Annapora”, RUS 27. I had the opportunity of seeing these guys work at their very best, as they recorded a 1st and 3rd and I held on to get two 2nd places during the final two races yesterday. Every tack or gybe they make is for a reason, every second they sail, they are beautifully trimmed and going very fast. They never seem to go the wrong way & they never seem to make a mistake in their manouveres. I know cause I was there…… !
I called this trophy “Historical” because it was a “renaissance” of it’s initial purpose, which was to be competed amongst three “Latin Nation’s”, Italy, France and Portugal. Further more at La Rochelle we surpassed this primary goal and bought to the party many other Nations. We had Australian, Russian, Great Britain and Antigua represented, as well as France and Portugal.. This trophy dates back to the 1950’s when it was presented to the Dragon Class by Don Antonio Heredia (Portuguese) to be raced between the 3 Latin Nations. Vasco de Gamma the great Portuguese explorer, was born in 1460 and our current IDA Vice President Jose Matoso POR 66 was hoping to get his hands on this beautiful trophy, pictured below. “If we had WON, it would have stayed in Portugal” Jose said…. 🙂
So RUS 27 took the cup, POR 66 Jose Matoso had to settle for 2nd and FRA 405 Philippe Presti was 3rd. In 4th place was “Legend” FRA 396 Remi Arnaud and 5th “Hombre”, GBR 769 or ANT 1 Martin Payne….(Stavros) etc……
The Societe’ des Regates Rochelaises (who will be running/organising the Worlds) have made an excellent “Show Case” for their Worlds in 2015. They have all the ingredients for A MOST PERFECT WORLDS…. well done to Claire and her fantastic team……. La Rochelle is ready and waiting for us… 🙂
Over in HOLLAND at the Dutch Open Championships, with NED 412 Pieter Heerema already crowned as winner, there was a big collision shortly after the start of the final race that really affected the overall results. NED 402 the “Bakkers” made a slight misjudgement and tacked in front of NED 373 Theo Dietz, Boris Bayer and Joop Doomerni. NED 402 retired “honourably” from the race which saw Poul-Richard Hojensen move up to 3rd overall and NED 373 given “redress” to take the runners up spot behind Pieter Heerema. A Fantastic result for Theo, Boris and Joop… Congratulations…
Joop Doomernik told me later, “Since my recent boat ‘Apollo’ was raced and tuned by the RUS 76 team, (Andrey & Alexsey) in Douarnenez, I have tweaked many of my boats, passing on my tuning tips to customers and friends. Indeed NED 419 which was new & straight out of the box showed great promise, as did the young team sailing NED 410 who finished 2nd in the final race”. Great stuff from the Doomernik Camp… Joop went on to say “After NED 402 made their error, they showed great sportsmanship to retire, leaving the race and heading back for the harbour”.
It is true that “Real” Champions know how to lose as well as how to win….
Meanwhile over in Rorschach, Switzerland…….
I still do not have the full results, but I can tell you 100% for sure that Peter Cunningham who helmed the “BEAR” CAY 789 to victory with Simon Fry and Pedro Andrade, over 38 other boats to win the Swiss Nationals is still settling his damage deposit with the Hotel Rebstock, for the number of broken Tables needing to be replaced after the “Party Celebrations”…
What a way to start your Dragon Racing career……… well done Pete !!
Higher, Faster, Longer……….. Stavros. (ANT 1).