Peter Gilmour receives the Louis Urvois Trophy & French National Trophy from Rene’ Bideau.

Winning Podium (from top left) Gerard Mitchell, Richard Sydenham & helm Jan Secher 2nd overall SWE 800. Joao Matos Rosa, helm Michael Zankel & Diogo Silva Pereira 3rd overall POR 90. (Front row) Winners Sam Gilmour, Yaji Yasuhiro & helm Peter Gilmour JPN 56.

32 teams enjoyed 7 races over 4 days in the delightful bay of Douarnenez 3rd to 6th of May. This popular sailing venue delivered, once again, top quality racing and great on-shore hospitality. The “Societe’ des Regates de Douarnenez ran a very smooth regatta with efficient and precise craning in and out, well organised berthing and a nice social program. All 32 teams were tested in some strong conditions with a mixture of grey skies and occasional sunshine, with the odd rain squall which made for exciting racing.

 

Exciting Racing in predominantly heavy winds in Douarnenez… POR 90 (3rd overall).

From the off-set Peter Gilmour stamped his authority by winning race 1, although SWE 800 (Jan Secher) took race 2, it was Gilmour once again who battled hard to take race 3. As a tough competitor and someone who has trained for years in the heavy airs off Fremantle in Australia, this Yanmar Team are really becoming a major force on the International Dragon scene.

 

With the Grey Skies came the squalls, but a great time was had by all 32 teams.

In Race 4 it was time for the best Corinthian Team in Douarnenez to take the win. NED 309 helmed by Guus De Groot, crewed by Hay Winters & Richard Van Rij caught a great left shift half-way up the first beat to round the top mark ahead and maintained their lead. Race 5 went again to SWE 800 with Jan Secher really enjoying his brand new “teak decked” V6, the special 800th boat built by Petticrows! Jan crewed by Richard Sydenham and Gerard Mitchell continued to put the pressure on the overall leaders throughout the Championship.

 

Race 5 winners SWE 800 & FRA 418 (3rd Overall Corinthians) set the pace…

Race 6 on Day 3 was once again won by JPN 56 giving Peter, Sam & Yaji a comfortable overall lead with just one race planned for the final day. That evening we had a fantastic Dinner at the Late Louis Urvois‘ Hotel de France. It was very well attended and a great night was enjoyed by all.

On the final day, again in strong winds it was GBR 585 “Full Speed” that took the win. Yes, my 31yr old Petticrows showed that there was still life in the old dog yet (including me 🙂 ) and with the help of Will Willett & Jonny Everett, we finished in style.

 

Winners of Race 7 GBR 585…        Corinthian Podium NED 309, GBR 818 & FRA 418

Top 3 Corinthians’. 1st NED 309 Guus De Groot, Hay Winters & Richard Van Rij.  2nd GBR 818 David Tabb, Laerke Noorgaard & Rob Goddard. 3rd FRA 418 Rene’ Bideau, Stevenn & Matthieu Bideau.

This really was another amazing week in Douarnenez and with the Gold Cup on the horizon in 2025 I’m sure more boats will look to join in the fun next year. The great Louis Urvois laid the foundation of this excellent Dragon venue and many thanks to PRO Didier Cozic & Chairman of the Jury Yves Leglise for making it a special regatta.

The final words go to winning helm Peter Gilmour who told me “The club atmosphere and town of Douarnenez were very welcoming. The conditions and race area were excellent which led to some very close racing and a wide number of race leaders. The Yanmar Racing Team were delighted to have won the regatta and look forward to returning to Douarnenez in the future”. Well said Peter and many congratulations to You, Sam & Yaji…..

Higher, faster, Longer……    Stavros. (GBR 585).