Now that the dust has settled after the 12th fantastic Douarnenez event, I would like to share some of the magic moments with you all. After the warm-up regatta I printed that “Hendriksen was the Man to beat”.  Indeed this was exactly how the Grand Prix shaped up. But at the end of the day the only one to beat Lars, was himself. After some truly superb boat speed and tactical sailing he forced the start of the 5th race and received the dreaded “Black Flag”….  “It was a simple yet stupid mistake” Lars told me. As the adrenaline began to rush and another top place was essential to him to maintain his average points after redress in race 2, there was always a risk involved. But still he will be back to fight another day and he won’t even reflect on it this weekend as he takes his son’s sailing in “Eva” his own Pedersen & Thuesen, back home in Denmark. Well done for your 3 fantastic race wins & 6th overall.

It was also great to witness such activity in and around Douarnenez each day, as this quiet, yet hugely populated town comes alive for this festivity of sailing. From the massive Multi-hulls & Open 60’s to the Kite & Windsurfers. A real spectacle of colour, action and non stop entertainment. Yes Gwen Chapalain does an excellent job in overseeing this annual and most amazing event. I am told that around 300 helper’s and volunteers are needed to run all of this! So to those who give up their spare time year in year out a big whole hearted Thank You from all competitors.

From a British point of few it was great to see two GBR boats finish in the top 3….  Klaus Diederichs helming”Fever” crewed by Andy Beadsworth and Simon Fry, repeated their 2010 performance with another well earned and well deserved 3rd place. Whilst our current World Champion Lawrie Smith finished 2nd, crewed by Ossie Stewart and Bill Mastermand he just missed out by 4pts to add this prestigious title to his Dragon CV….so well sailed gentlemen and congratulations on another fine regatta flying the GBR flag… And so to the winner from the Ukraine Evgeniy Braslavats UKR 9, crewed by Sergey Timohov and Alex Murchuk putting together an excellent series, well done….     It’s worth noting that none of these top three boats won a race !  Proving once again that consistency is the name of the game. You win races in big fleet by “banging” corners, but you only win regatta’s by conservative sailing…… 

For the record:

Evgeniy, Royal Denship from 2005, with Fritz Sails.   A1 Main  C2 or C2v Genoa.                          

Lawrie, Petticrow 2011, with North Sails.   A 10 Main and MJ8 Genoa.                           

Klaus, Petticrow from 2010, with North Sails.  A10 Main and MJ8 Genoa.

Finally, by far saving the very best to last….   Louis Urvois, the overall organiser who’s dream is realised of seeing the largest fleet attending an annual Dragon regatta in his home town in Brittany, was given two standing ovations by a jubilant and raucous crowd of competitors who gathered in the huge marque for the final Grand Prix dinner. Although Louis was unable to sail this year he was always at the “helm” of this wonderful orchestrated event. Well done my friend you once again are “King Louis” of France……………….  

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