The Irish Eyes Keep Smiling..............................
As I sit here with the snow all around me on Sky TV, I can't
help thinking, "what's all the fuss about? all I see is blue
sky here in Palma de Mallorca" yes, another hot day ahead!
Training here begins at the weekend and not a moment too
late. As when I arrived in Calanova yesterday, 12 Russian boats
are already here! So watch out, they really mean business.
But before all that let me fill you in on the first two regatta's of
the year. Following Don O'Donoghue's Irish success at the end
of 2006, Olaf Sorensen and Mike Cotter have kept the Irish fleet
at the for, with two fine wins in the Ski Vol and the Primo Cup.
In a 38 boat fleet sailed in the bay of Juan le Pins, Antibes.
Sorensen with his crew Shawn Kingston and a little help from
yours truly, took the trophy from Gerrard Blanc 2nd and new-
comer, 80yr old Jan-Eric Dyvi finished 3rd. It was a light wind
event in which Gavia Wilkinson-Cox and Len Jones both
showed well. The sun shone and the cobwebs eased away,
as many smiling faces were very glad to be sailing again after
a long winter. But, Olaf's IRL 190 Chrisiana, took the title.
Four days later in the rich and famous tax haven of Monaco,
Mick Cotter with his KIN team, in IRL 196 took the Primo Cup.
With the event now run over 4 days, 28 boats battled out the
variety of winds over 10 hard fought races. Olympic Silver
Medalist from the Flying Dutchman days, Uli Libor took up
the early running along with Cotter and European Champion
Lars Hendrickson. With past Danish National Champion,
Jasper Washing Machine Bendix, and Sorensen fresh from
his Ski Vol win, nibbling at everyone's toes. All was set for
a very competitive regatta. Indeed such is the strength in
depth of the Dragon Fleet these days, many competitors are
rightly able to win a race and an ever growing number a
regatta. So it is never over now until the fat lady sings.
However, despite Libor's minimal lead going into the last
day and Sorensen's late charge of two 1st, a 2nd, 4th & 5th
over the last two days....IRL 196 Whisper took the regatta with
Uli Libor 2nd and Jasper Bendix 3rd. 4th was Jan-Eric Dyvi
sailing very well again in only his 2nd Dragon event, crewed
brilliantly by Farr 40 World Champion trimmer, Jean Sebastian
Ponce. Its a great credit to the Dragon class that sailors can
still compete at the youthful age of 80...(and I'm not talking
about the event winner, Mick Cotter.. even tho he may look 80).
So Campers, that's really all for now. No new jokes to tell,
only the same old ones keep reappearing. But, there are
many more regatta's ahead. Whilst some of us lucky ones
train down here in Palma, Cascais has it's first of two events
starting 22nd Feb. Try to make the effort this year, Patrick
de Barros and his magnificent team in their newly built
Clubhouse will make you more than welcome. With 10 days
between regatta's there is time to fly home to the cold, real
world of work, work and work.. Before jetting south again
to race in a location second to none amongst the dolphins,
sun and variety of warm winds the Atlantic offers.............
After that there are three, yes 3 regatta's all based in Palma.
With ferry crossings from Barcelona and Valencia at 50%
discount, there has never been a better time to travel to
Mallorca. With the warm up Calanova event 22nd March,
the Princess Sofia will see record numbers before the one
and only Gold Cup in early April. 3 events all more our less
back to back. So that's it my friends, give up work, pack up
the Dragon and get behind the wheel to drive south into the
sun, fun& be part of our unique International Dragon Class.
Higher, Faster, Longer,,,,,,, Stavros.
p.s. Poul-Richard and I still have the odd space in our diary's
for our two month training camp, down here in Palma.
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