Vilamoura Winners Stephan Link, Michi Lip & Frank Butzmann with Nino Shmueli (Left).

Stephan Link and his experience 2017 Gold Cup winning team won the final Vilamoura Winter Series at the weekend organised by Vilamoura Sailing with IDA International Race Officer Nino Shmueli overseeing 8 races during 3 sunny days with 10 to 14 kts of breeze.

There is no doubt Vilamoura offers amazing weather throughout the winter and why Pedro Andrade has selected this Algarve “jewel” location to realize his sailing dream….

Crystal clear waters in Vilamoura for the 14 Internationals Teams in 5th winter series.

With over 121 sailors participating over the 5 winter series and 1 team racing event, the future looks bright for the resurgence of Vilamoura. In the late 1990’s we always enjoyed top racing conditions at this excellent location, but sadly interest dropped. However, now Vilamoura Sailing working with Pedro Andrade have really put this excellent venue back on the map. A total of 38 races were completed over the 5 winter series showing that conditions are extremely reliable offering competitors more time on the water sailing and less time waiting ashore…

IDA Treasurer Anne Vanneste & Brother Xavier with Andy Beadsworth lead at Mark 1.

With PRO Nino Shmueli running the races (approx 50 mins) the turn around from race to race keeps the competitors alert and on their toes. Then ashore the local seafood, regional wines & refreshments keep everyone happy, making this winter program a great success.

Runner up overall was the beautiful Pedersen & Thuessen of Ivan Bradbury “Debutant” (Formerly FIN 50), sailing with Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuck. Ivan and his team put together some very consistent results over the 3 days to finish just ahead of Marcus Brennecke.

2nd overall, Lars Hendriksen with Ivan Bradbury (Helm) & George Leonchuck.

3rd overall Ingo Borkowski, Marcus Brennecke (Helm) & Jochen Schumann.

All 14 boats will now move up to Cascais for a winter series event followed by the Grade 1 Juan Carlos Trophy early May. Meanwhile, many Dragons based in Cannes and Italy will attend the popular Italian National Championships in San Remo. As the Yacht Club of San Remo will be hosting the prestigious 90th Anniversary of our wonderful class in October, this will give the organizers a chance to pre-welcome many Dragon Sailors to this excellent Liguria venue. I look forward to assisting the Race Management Team and writing more reports during the regatta from 14-17 March, whilst ashore Tatiana Kurbatova will organize things to her usual high and efficient standard.

Higher, Faster, Longer………¬† ¬†Stavros.