Yes Campers, I am not losing it! Tommy was helming RUS 27 in this first “warm up” regatta here in Cascais with Vadim Statsenko and Alexander Shalagin as crew. Regular helm and owner Anatoly Loginov will now re-join his team, whilst Tommy jumps into his new Petticrow Dragon supported by his “Bavarian Dream Team” Hoesch and Lip…..  It was another super day for Dragon racing as the 12-14kt breeze from the NW kept the 20 boat fleet on their toes with lots of suttle wind shifts and pressure changes…

In race one of the three sailed, GER 1036 helmed by Stephan Link had to call on all the years of experience of his top tactician and famous German Sailor, Frank Butzmann to guide him successfully around the race track in which they managed to optimise every shift to their advantage. Muller was close behind them at the finish as was HUN 57 Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi and his team who after winning the very first race have had a series of crashes (none of them their fault!) who finished 3rd.  In race two the fleet split but it was the boats on the left who gained the most and RUS 31 helmed by Mikhail Senatorov was furthest left so held a comfotable lead at the top mark. The same wind direction was maintained on the second beat, so RUS 31 was able to control the fleet to take the win. In 2nd place was the President of the Club Naval POR 55 Jose Matoso, who was just out for the day practicing after finishing all his “RC 44” duties over the last few days. Jose’ has Louis Urvois top crew Gwen Chapalain (from Douarnenez) on board, so must be one of the favourites when the main Grade 1 event starts today. In 3rd place of the second race was RUS 2 Alexander Ezhkov who was beginning to put together some consistent results.

In the final race the decisive shift came on the second upwind leg with pressure and 25 degree’s of change coming in from the right, first to spot this and take full advantage was local professional Rui Boia helming POR 46. Rui managed to defend his position well on the third and final beat to take the victory from SUI 307 Uli Libor 2nd and again RUS 2  finished 3rd.

However, Tommy Muller had done enough in the previous 6 races to give him the overall title from GER 1036 Stephan Link 2nd and RUS 2 Alexander Ezhkov 3rd.  So Tommy goes into today’s racing as the “Man to Beat” as he tries to retain the Juan Carlos Trophy. With 8 races over four days and the fleet now up to 30+ boats, it will not be easy for him, especially as he now has to keep his “Bavarian Dream Team” off the Red Wine (before sailing!) for the next few days…..  Can Tommy succeed ? Or will the current European Champion Jens Christensen (who now joins the fleet), have his say ? Or maybe RUS 27 with Anatoly back in the driving seat will be the Champion ?  Whatever happens, rest assured you will all be the first to know…….   Keep on reading ….

Higher, Faster, Longer……….     Stavros.  (GBR 767).