Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Dragon Gold Cup action underway in the bay of Douarnenez

by Véronique Guillou Le Bivic on 20 Aug 2013
Dragon Gold Cup 2013 day 1 Jacques Vapillon © www.vapillon.com
The Gazprom International Dragon Gold Cup has commenced with 77 participants on the start line for day one of racing in the bay of Douarnenez; the first of six days and six intense races, a particularly tense taster of what is to come.

For the fourth time the prestigious international event is being organized in Douarnenez by the city’s Société des Régates (lit. Regatta Society). Winner of the day is Annapurna (RUS 27) followed by Strange Little Girl (RUS 76) – Dmitry Samokhin and Lady Jane (FRA 386) – Luc Pillot.

From 16th to 24th August the Bay of Douarnenez is home to what can quite easily be compared to a World Championship event, with 77 teams from 17 countries and including 19 French participants.

Talk on the pontoons suggests that at least 20 of these teams may well be able to claim the title. Whilst it is also said that for victory they must be consistent, because at the Gazprom International Dragon Gold Cup, there is just one long race a day, with each race counting towards the final classification. With 77 boats on the start line, it is obviously not an easy affair.

Among the natural title nominees we can mention the current world champion Lawrie Smith, the current European champion, Jose SM Matoso, the leader of the IDA (International Dragon Association) classification, Markus Wieser, the triple winner of the Gold Cup (2003-2004-2005) Jörgen Schönherr, the last Gold Cup winner, Thomas Müller and the group leaders of the Russian fleet including Dmitry Samokhin, Anatoly Loginov, and Mikhaïl Senatorov.

There hasn’t been a French winner of the Gold Cup since it began in 1937.

But at Douarnenez this year there are at least three French teams who would like to throw a spanner in the works; current French champion Rémy Arnaud, Olympic medallist Luc Pillot, and the Grand Motte sailor Jean Bréger.

Markus Wiezer, leader of the IDA classification seems to think that Pillot’s team are among his main opponents, and whilst not being one to quote those who might make life difficult for him, he has also mentioned at least ten other possible claimants to the title, including British sailor Laurie Smith, his Ukrainian colleague, Yevgen Braslavets and nearly all the Russians!

It was a laborious start for Jean Coadou and the Race Committee who were not able to officially begin the Gazprom International Dragon Gold Cup until 16h43, when lack of wind and shifty conditions meant the Committee were forced to change the course start line on several occasions, not to mention the accompanying tension within the fleet of the competitors.

A first start was given according to plan at 15h with a westerly wind and steady eight to 10 knots. An early start for several so it was a general recall. The second procedure was once again laid down but frustrated when the wind shifted about 20º. The course therefore had to be changed before a third start could be undertaken, and was once again interrupted by the wind shifting back to the west.

Another start line, another procedure and another general recall! The fifth start showed the black flag with eight victims.

The sixth start finally saw the Gazprom International Dragon Gold Cup given the off, under a black flag and five boats disqualified.

This first restless day of racing was also a chance to get a good lead over the fellow competitors but without falling into the trap that such a temptation might represent. Markus Wiezer compares the race to downhill skiing, explaining this morning that it was vital on the first two days of racing not to mess up the first gate roundings, and that confidence would gradually come later.

'You have to make good choices straight away. We are usually quite an aggressive team but in the Gold Cup you have to find a good balance between this kind of aggressiveness and a more conservative way of sailing, not take any short-sighted risks and particularly not the event by saying that you are going to win!'

And the favourites were clearly protecting their future; there was not one team among the boats them to be disqualified.

Dutch sailor André Du Pon (NED 414) one of the disqualified teams of the day, admitted that the nerves and anxiety provoked by four start procedures and more than evident out on the water, were partly responsible for his Dragon Gold Cup website

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82upffront 660x82InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Didac Costa to take part in Vendee Globe despite lightning damage
Dídac Costa has shown today he is absolutely determined to overcome one more obstacle on his way to the start line. The Spanish sailor Didac Costa has reaffirmed that he will be taking part in the Vendee Globe despite lightning damaging part of his boat’s electronics. His team has called for new sponsors to overcome this latest difficulty. Costa will be the fourth Spanish sailor who has attempted to complete this gruelling race
Posted today at 11:49 am
Vendée Globe – Kito de Pavant heading for Les Sables d’Olonne
Conditions look ideal for the delivery trip for the Bastide Otio monohull, which is due to arrive in seven to 10 days. The start is drawing near and Kito de Pavant is already on his way to Les Sables d’Olonne. On Monday in Port Camargue, the crowds were out on the quayside and on the water to offer their best wishes to Kito and his IMOCA 60 Bastide Otio.
Posted today at 11:25 am
The Azimut Challenge, a useful rehearsal before the Vendée Globe
The event was an opportunity for some of those about to take part to see how they measured up against each other. Starting from Lorient, the event was an opportunity for some of those about to take part to see how they measured up against each other.
Posted today at 11:05 am
Split personality conditions at Day 3 of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds
Mother Nature had some surprises in store for the 68 boats that assembled on the Berkeley Circle for third day of racing Mother Nature had some surprises in store for the 68 boats that assembled on the Berkeley Circle for the third day of racing at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club, namely split personality conditions that tested each boat's light- and heavy-air skills, as well as their patience as conditions played tricks on racers and the Race Committee alike.
Posted today at 3:43 am
First all-female Extreme Sailing Series™ team to compete in Lisbon
First all-female GC32 team will make its debut at the penultimate event of the year in Lisbon in just one week’s time. The first all-female GC32 team, Thalassa Magenta Racing in partnership with the Magenta Project, will make its debut at the penultimate event of the year in Lisbon in just one week’s time.
Posted on 29 Sep
Sébastien Josse's lead up to the Vendée Globe
The skipper of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild is setting sail on his fifth round the world in 14 years. The skipper of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild is setting sail on his fifth round the world in 14 years. As such, the sailor can rely on a vast amount of experience, bolstered by all the expertise of the Gitana Team, the offshore racing stable founded in 2000 by Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild
Posted on 29 Sep
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Clipper 70 fleet makeover begins
Maintenance Team at Race HQ is now hard at work to refit the Clipper 70s in preparation for the 2017-18 race. After clocking up an average of 41,000 miles each during their tenth edition race circumnavigation, the Maintenance Team at Race HQ is now hard at work to refit the Clipper 70s in preparation for the 2017-18 race.
Posted on 29 Sep
Building conditions on Day 2 of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds
San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during summer/early fall, and Day 2 of Alcatel J/70 Worlds San Francisco has a storied reputation as a world-class venue during the summer and early fall, and Day Two of the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, did not disappoint.
Posted on 29 Sep
Rescue effort wins Round the Island Race Seamanship Award
Sacrificing his race to go to aid of stricken competitor has resulted in Jeff Warboys being awarded the Seamanship Award Sacrificing his own race to go to the aid of another stricken competitor has resulted in Jeff Warboys, skipper of the Sigma 33 Workout, being awarded the 2016 Round the Island Race Seamanship Award, sponsored by Haven Knox-Johnston.
Posted on 28 Sep
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's view of Day 2
Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru captured these images of the always picturesque classics as they sailed in a light breeze
Posted on 28 Sep