Although this was a warm up regatta to the main event (Juan Carlos) that starts today, this 1st Spring Cup was a very good event run in strong winds. 21 boats made it to the start line yesterday on course “B” which is situated off Estoril. With the wind predominately from the North, gusting 25kts at times and shifting through 50 degree’s being “in phase” with the shifts was the name of the game.

In race one a big left hand shift came it less that a minute after the start, so boats starting down towards the PIN end had a huge advantage over the rest of the fleet. Surprisingly this shift lasted the whole mile beat, so offered no chance of a come-back to unlucky boats who started at the committee boat end of the line. In fact it was such a huge left-hand shift, that some port boats over-stood the lay-line, so it was Lars Hendriksen DEN 138 who rounded the top mark first and never looked back as he held his lead from RUS 76 in 2nd and GER 1103 in 3rd.

The regatta leader Lars Jesen although crossing the line well up the fleet, was one of the four boats adjudged OCS and so needed to sail the last race to stand a chance of winning the event. However, as Theis and the team had the owner Pieter Heerema arriving, they decided to save energy and go ashore to prepare the boat for the next event.  This was also the decision of Lars Hendriksen and his team of Will Willett and Lars Stenfeldt, who had just won the race and were then favourites to take the title… But believe me the conditions were tough out there, so I understand why they withdrew…

So with the two main contenders gone, this basically left the championship between RUS 76  Andrey Kirilyuk and UKR 8 Yevgen Bratslavets. Indeed it was UKR 8 that seized the moment and dominated the last race from start to finish. Four boats broke away from the main fleet on the first beat, by getting well in phase with the shifts and judging their tacks to perfection. They were UKR 8, GBR 780 Grant Gordon, GBR 767 Ton de Waardt and NED 411 Charlotte Ten Wolde..  Although GBR 780 dropped out after the 2nd beat, the race continued to be very exciting until the very end..  Which saw Vincent Hoesch come through to take 2nd place and RUS 31 3rd.  Great sailing in shifting and cold conditions….

So overall, UKR 8 1st,  RUS 76 2nd, DEN 138 3rd, GBR 758 4th, NED 316 5th GBR 767 6th.

A very nice warm-up event of 7 races over 3 days.  The next Spring Cup will precede the Europeans, same format, hopefully warmer weather…. 🙂

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