It was indeed a “bonus” for the 40 Dragons, represented by 8 different Nations, to wake yesterday morning and see a healthy breeze blowing it’s way in from the Bay Of Biscay, as the forecast was not looking good… However, La Baule can boast about it’s 12km long sandy beach, overlooked by the most beautiful villas and many high society seaside residences. All of these factors help to heat up the land to create a “sea breeze” effect with the cold air above the sea rushing in to replace the warm air from the town as it again reached temperatures in the high 20’s….
In race one yesterday which was the 4th race of the competition it was Edward Simmons who won the race, the first International race win, of his career and deservedly so. Ed and his team had to battle hard in their FRA 334 “Avel Dro” as the small amount of “flood” tide, and a still unsettled breeze made every manoeuvre costly and maximum concentration was required at all times. Then in race two of the day (race 5 overall) it was the turn of local helm Mikael Mahe sailing FRA 368 “Cloud Nine” who made an excellent first beat and then took the chance of sailing low on the downwind leg. This paid well as Mikael and his team were able to push hard right on the second upwind and stretched their distance to have a very comfortable victory.
In race three of the day, race 6 overall, it was the chance for the overall leaders GBR 585 “Full Speed” helmed by Martin Payne and crewed by Dominic and Olivier Bakker, to cross the fleet after the most perfect start at the slightly biased Pin End of the line. This enabled the “Full Speed” team to take a huge lead into the first mark and never be challenged. At the end of the second upwind the race was shortened and the Full Speed team were greeted by more support boats and cheering local Y.C.L.B. members than supporters at the recent America’s Cup!! Well it sounded and felt like it anyway :-). The amount of club members who take the time to come out onto the water is unbelievable and is what sets this wonderful club above all others…..
At the official Dinner last night the winning teams were presented with prizes and gifts from the local lifeboat station, “Les Sauveteurs en Mer” from the Station SNSM, La Cote D’amour. All the competitors were treated to an excellent meal and copious amounts of liquid refreshment. Another three races are planned for today, so it’s still too early to pick a winner….
Overall results after 6 races : 1st GBR 585, 2nd FRA 334, 3rd NED 309.
Higher, Faster, Longer……………… Stavros (GBR 585).