Yesterday in Cascais, the first two races of the 2nd winter series were held with 10kts of breeze from the south which produced very difficult sea conditions.  Big steep waves with little wind are probably the most testing conditions a Dragon team can meet as they try to keep moving fast by sail trimming, careful helming and good body positions to maximize forward movement of the boat….

The most experienced helm racing in this 20 boat fleet showed his Olympic Medal winning qualities by comfortably winning the second race after a steady 3rd position in race one. So Lawrie Smith, helming a “Brand New” out-of-the-wrapper Petticrow, leads the event by 4pts from RUS 96 Mikhail Muratov who finished with 5th and 3rd places respectively.  Race one was won by local helm Pedro Mendes Leal POR 50, who took the lead on the first beat coming in from the left hand side of the course.  Ironically, Smith gained his advantage in race two by choosing the right hand side of the course, so conditions were changing all the time, which kept all competitors on their toes as they drove their boats upwind….

Today will see three more races which begin at 11.00. The forecast is for 10-12 kts of breeze from the North, which will bring sunshine, flatter seas and provide the ideal race area for these very experienced sailors to do battle…..            Higher, Faster, Longer………………..Stavros.