The Dragon Grand Prix Guyader took its final bow today in Douarnenez Bay with a hotly contested final race in conditions that some have described as 'muscular', and which brought the total number of races completed in this perfectly balanced series to six.
Grand Prix Guyader
There was something for everyone and the event has closed with Germany's Markus Wiezer, sailing for Ukrain's Sergey Pugacheve (UKR 7), snatching victory in the last race of the event. Given the quality of the field, winning the 2013 edition is an exceptional performance and entering the top 10 is to join a very small family of world class names in sailing.
To claim victory in Douarnenez is highy significant Douarnenez when the very best in the world are there on the water. This morning, three teams could still claim victory: Thomas Müller (GER 1133), Marcus Brennecke (GER 11) and Markus Wieser (UKR 7). The first two totaled 15 points and the third 17 points (less points you get, the better you are ranked) the fourth (RUS 27), led by Anatoly Loginov had 28 points. One can easily imagine that the atmosphere was both focused and tense between these expectional Dragonists, each of whom have claimed multiple major championships on the international circuit. With three contenders the challenge was on right for the warning gun and the tension was palpable.
To greet the end of the Grand Prix Guyader, Philippe Faure and his Race Committee chose a slightly longer course than the previous days. It was still fresh in the bay with the wind blowing from the west at 20 knots kicking up big metallic waves which blended with the sky and clouds.
On the first start the fleet was over eager so it was into a general recall and then go again. With the added disciplined brought by the introduction of the black flag the second start attempt was clean. On the first beat the fleet went starboard and no escapees were spotted. For our on the water reporting team, Gérard Le Goff, who is no longer able to race since he fell into the water the day before yesterday and was replaced by Louis Urvois junior FRA on 36 led by Bruno Peyron, was a valuable observer. 'The rounding of the first buoy, they were tight, and the fleet were all round in two minutes. UAE 20 rounded first, followed by UKR7 and BEL 80. A large squall is happening on the water. 'Markus Wiezer (UKR 7) was thus increasing the pressure on his two opponents right from the first buoy. We were in the thick of it.
After the squall passed, the wind has lost a little of its luster to soften at 12 knots. Markus Wiezer (UKR 7), gave now quarter and was in second place as he approached the downwind buoy under spinnaker before approaching the second weather mark of the course almost side by side with Henrik Witzmann (UAE 20), who was aggressively defending his leading position in the fleet. The two favorites, Thomas Müller (GER 1133) and Markus Brennecke (GER 11) were not at the forefront, while Anatoly Loginov (RUS 27) fourth overall after the first five races, was now in the lead group for the sixth and final race of the Grand Prix Guyader. But Thomas Müller came back on the last leg moving into in seventh position as he crossed the line, a good performance, however, not enough to allow him to win the Grand Prix Guyader Dragon. It is indeed, Markus Wiezer (UKR 7) who is sacred to Douarnenez this year after battling alongside Henrik Witzmann (UAE 20), winner of the last race of the 2013 edition. This crew, in the colors of the UAE, made their first appearance in the Dragon fleet at the spectacular Grand Prix.
Markus Wiezer (UKR 7) is the big winner with 19 points, followed with a 3-point delta by Thomas Müller (GER 1133) and Marcus Brennecke (GER 11) finished third, 11 points behind. The Grand Prix Guyader is played out between the three teams until the very end ...
As for La Barquera, which included this year for the first time the Grand Prix Guyader, she ended last night for all 10 competitors, but none could reach the port of Douarnenez due to bad weather conditions rampant in the Raz de Sein. They had to cross a virtual line to the south of South Penmac'h and it is the crew of Akela who is the winner in the leg back from Spain to France, as well as that of the descent to Gijon.
Following the Beach race and long distance race on the program of last weekend's Grand Prix Guyader, today children from as young as eight years were able to participate in a race around the buoys from the beach at Sables Blancs, Treboul. Starts were given every hour from 1:30 p.m.. The youngest went first, with the last to go being the Elites (confirmed). Twenty competitors participated in the Beach Race. Tomorrow is the big race, with a course of 15 km endurance proposed.
Grand Prix Guyader