Ivan Bradbury GBR 375 leads the 15 boat fleet in sunny Vilamoura 7th-9th Feb.

With perfect sunshine and light to medium southerly winds all 15 teams thoroughly enjoyed the 4th winter series racing in the Portuguese Algarve. While many parts of Europe dealt with snow, rain and cold northerly winds, Vilamoura showed why many International Dinghy Sailing Teams use this winter base for Olympic Training. Meanwhile, a growing number of Dragons are making their way down to join in the fun.

   Ivan Bradbury, crewed by Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk sail “Debutant” to victory.

There were 6 races completed over the 3 days with experienced International Race Officer Nino Shmueli maximising the conditions & providing enjoyment for all. Later this season we are extremely fortunate to have Nino as our PRO for the German Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn (July), the Spanish Grade 1 & Finals in Palma (Nov) and finally the 90th Anniversary Celebrations San Remo (Oct). I look forward to working alongside Nino at these Premier events.

   FRA 420 Stephane Baseden, IRL 201 Martin Byrne & BEL 88 Guy Cellis enjoyed Vilamoura.

2nd overall helming one of Pedro Andrade’s charter boats “Earth” was Benjamin Bonnaud crewed by Goncalo Ribeiro, Joao Matos Rosa & David Abecassis.  Benjamin is new into the class after much success sailing 470’s. As the current French National 49er Coach he is a great addition to the Dragons.

3rd overall was FRA 426, the new V6 Petticrows of Gerry Trentesaux who is now in his 3rd Dragon season after numerous years with major successes in Offshore Racing. Gerry also sailing with a 4 man team of Christian Ponthieu, Eric Brezellec & Jean Queveau.  Very well done to all the podium teams.

       GBR 375 crosses the fleet on Port tack during the “Vilamoura Sailing” Winter Series.

All in all this was a very successful event and offers another great winter option for the Dragon Class. Many congratulations to “Vilamoura Sailing” and Pedro Andrade for putting this special venue back on the map. I recall many happy times sailing in Vilamoura (late 90’s) and look forward to joining the action next winter. 

Next up we will see a 30+ fleet in Puerto Portals, Palma 15-17 Feb, followed by part one of the Italian Championship in Alassio  22-24 Feb. Will you be there ?

Higher, Faster, Longer……….   Stavros.