Tomorrow over 40 Dragons will start the Belgium Nationals here in Ostende… It’s not only a National Championship but also the warm-up for the Gold Cup (with nearly 80 boats) which starts 4th Sept and the Belgium Dragon Association have pulled out all the stops to make “Us” competitors feel at home. They have even built our very own “Dragon Bar” in the middle of a Council owned Car Park, so there is no question where we will all gather each day after racing to tell of the “If Only” stories, or “The wind shifted” or ” I basically cocked up!”  all the hard luck stories from various lucky sailors who have made the effort to support this prestigious annual event..   As the current Belgium National Champion, I feel I have come “Home” here to Ostende and I very much enjoy the strong tides, unpredictable changing winds, great hospitality and race management, excellent long courses and in the evenings the many superb restaurants this thriving town has to offer…

Over this weekend I have helped train Hans, Lien and Bert De Bie who won a chance (A prize offered by the Belgium Association at their Boat Show) to race a new Petticrow Dragon in the Gold Cup! It’s so important for our wonderful class to encourage the younger sailors into the Dragons and the Belgium Dragon Association have done a great job in promoting this chance for these excellent and enthusiastic local sailors…  Lien is an excellent helm and she has not only taken to the difficult characteristics of the Dragon but she has really enjoyed the surfing conditions the sea’s off Ostende have thrown at us over the past two days…  Gybing in 22kts of breeze and 5 foot swell, no problem…  Watch out for them next week, they will be the young smiling team passing you …………  🙂

So all the results of firstly the Belgium Nationals to follow over the next four days…(Mon to Thurs).

Higher, Faster, Longer, Surfing………….   Stavros. (USA 310).