RP_150819_DRAGGP_6261 (640x360)RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin, Aleksey Bushuev & Andrey Kirilyuk lead overall in Kuhlungsborn.

33 Dragons had the most perfect day of racing yesterday on day 1 of the German Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn. This final Grade 1 event of 2015 could not have wished for better conditions as the battle for top spot began at this  most wonderful venue on the Baltic Sea.

Professional Race Officer Christian Haake from Lake Starnberg has a very simple but effective manner as he conveys his instructions to the extremely experienced fellow organisers. He also has the full “respect” of the sailors which makes for excellent racing, very little time wasting & great starts…

Race 1 was started after one general recall under the “U” flag with RUS 27 & FIN 86 being the only two boats over the line. At the top mark it was RUS 98 “Zenith” that rounded first with UAE 7 helmed by Markus Wieser right behind. For some reason UAE 7 elected to gybe at the spreader mark and this turned out to be a huge mistake! Those of you who are regular readers of my “Blogs” will know, I never advise sailors to make this manoeuvre when in the leading few boats as you then sail directly into less air under the rest of the fleet….  UAE 7 went from 2nd to 10th !!

I spoke to tactician Matti Paschen after the race ” Yes Stavros we made the cardinal mistake of gybing straight away. It put us in bad air & we dropped back to 10th position by the leeward gate and had to spend the rest of the race playing catch up” !  However, it was RUS 76 “Strange Little Girl” helmed by Dmitry Samokhin who made the best of a slight right-hand shift on the second beat who won the race. 2nd was the ever improving SUI 313 “Free” helmed by Dirk Oldenburg, crewed by Paul Mckenzie & Dominik Zycki, 3rd was GER 1133 “Sinewave” helmed by Tommy Muller, crewed by Vincie Hoesch & Fithjof Kleen. These 3 boats pulled away nicely from the fleet over the 90 min race.

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Winners of Race 2 were UAE 7 “Bunker Boys” Markus Wieser, Michi Lip & Matti Paschen.

Race 2 was started under a “P” flag, in 12 kts of wind that slowly increased to 18 kts as the race developed. Once again it was RUS 76 who made the initial jump on the fleet to round the top mark 1st after an average start at the Committee Boat end of the 420m line. However, Dmitry and his team had to settle for 3rd place in the end after UAE 7 & UAE 8 piled on the pressure over the 100 minute race of 3 up wind and 2 down wind legs. So it was Markus Wieser who took the gun from our current World Champion Yevgeni Braslavets, crewed by Sergey Timokov & Alexander Michuk sailing “Bunker Prince” who finished 2nd.

RP_150819_DRAGGP_1152 (640x360)Top Corinthian Team, GER 1113 helmed by Tanja Jacobsohn, lead UAE 7 up the first beat.

The Top Corinthian Team was GER 1113 helmed by Tanja Jacobsohn and crewed by Sabine Lenkmann and Bernhard Jacobsohn. Scoring a 6th in race one and an 8th in race two, Tanja and her team mixed it with the best all day and thoroughly deserved their “Best Corinthian” daily prize after racing.

All 10 of the Corinthian Teams (30% of the fleet) sailed well and really enjoyed taking on the best sailors in the World…  What other sport offers the chance of a “fresh & able” non-professional team the chance to compete in the same arena as the top 10 sailors in the World ???

Can Fred Blogs play Golf at the Masters against Jorden Spieth ??  Can John Smith run on the same track as Usain Bolt ?  Or can Amanda Child race her car against Lewis Hamilton ??  I don’t think so….. 

That is why our beloved sport is so fantastic, all any sailor has to do to take part against the Worlds Best in the Dragon Fleet is to simply “Turn Up” :-)

Higher, Faster, Longer…………..    Stavros.

p.s.  All photo’s taken and supplied by Professional  “Ricardo Pinto”