_JVB1644 (320x207)GBR 758 “Fever” helmed by Klaus Diederichs, crewed by Andy Beadsworth & Simon Fry..

This superb photo (taken by Jacques Vapillon), shows the current World Champion and his team in action during the Coupe de Bretange which they won with a 6 point advantage. With no discard during this excellent 4 race regatta there was no time for errors and Klaus Diederichs once again proved his skill and consistency to win yet another major International event.

Klaus said “We are delighted to win this “warm up” event in Douarnenez. Since winning the Worlds I have taken time out helping my friend to sail his 70′ yacht all around Southern America. It was a fantastic experience and has given me a fresh appetite for Dragon Racing. I hope by winning this first event we have not “Jinxed” our chances of the main Guyader Grand Prix”… 

The day started very well for GER 1133 Tommy Muller who, as the over night leader, recorded a 3rd place in the first race. But unfortunately Tommy’s team saw their chances fade as they could only manage a 23rd in race four. It was not an easy day for tactics as the wind was shifting through 40 to 50 degrees at times, as the boats headed upwind towards the town of Douarnenez. With gusts in excess of 18kts at times, crews had to be on full alert when crossing on port tack, as angles and boat speed changed dramatically. Also on the downwind legs, huge amount of distance could be gained or lost as massive gusts swept down the course…

One team that definitely knew their way back towards the shore! as it’s their home town was FRA 365 helmed by our main “Sponsor” Christian Guyader now the proud owner of Louis Urvois boat “Ar Youleg II” and crewed by local hero Gwen Chapalain and Erwan Dubois, as they won the first race in style. Gwen and his Wife Anne (plus their sons) put a great deal of effort each year into the organisation of this terrific event, they represent the huge work that goes on behind the scenes to keep Louis Urvois “Dream” alive so that the Douarnenez legacy will go on and on…..

An other team that sailed brilliantly yesterday was DEN 138 “Eva” helmed by the current European Champion Lars Hedriksen, crewed by top professionals Pedro Andrade and Frithjof Kleen, their 2nd and 1st place finishes showed how well the conditions suited them as they read every shift correctly and showed complete domination on the race course. Although their first race position of 26th on day one ruined their overall score, they must be one of the favourites for the main Guyader Grand Prix.

However, the two teams putting in the best 4 results overall (behind Klaus) and showing superb consistency were FRA 396 Legend, helmed by Remy Arnaud, crewed by his son Herald and Pascal Civel who finished 2nd counting a 14th, 2nd, 5th & 5th.  Followed by the top Russian Team RUS 76 (sailing a Doomernik Dragon) Dmitry Samokhin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev. Who recorded a 2nd, 9th, 14th & 3rd. Great sailing from these two teams who now all look forward to the main event.

As I write this more Dragon Masts are being raised in the boat park area as new, fresh teams join us for the Guyader Grand Prix. With 50 boats entered and much longer and more demanding courses planned, it will take only the BEST of the BEST to lift this prestigious trophy on Saturday Night…..

Higher, Faster, Longer………..    Stavros.  (GER 1102).