Racing for the Traditional Dutch Dragon Trophy form 1937
The annual opening of the Dutch season starts with the GP Aalsmeer. A serie of races over three weekends to win the legendary Dutch DragonTrophy since 1937. In total 27 teams participated. One Estonian team, seven Belgian teams, three German teams and 17 Dutch teams.
After 19 completed races the team NED 422 (Jan, Oliver and Dominic Bakker) were the winners of the Cor Groot Dragon Trophy 2018. It has to be said that Dmitri Bodarenko and his team with the beautiful restored Pedersen & Thuessen GBR 408 also sailed an impressive serie, however due to several DNC’s they missed the first place with 4 points difference from Team NED 422.
It was fantastic to enjoy the presence of a total of seven Belgian Teams, including the brand new Petticrows V6 Herby II owned by Xavier and Anne Vaneste. They proudly re-babtised their new boat in Aalsmeer with their famous Brugse Zotte Beer. We wish Xavier and Anne many happy regattas with their new boat.
Koele Brugse Zotte in een Optimist en de nieuwe V6 op de achtergrond
Next to German friends who sail for years with the Dutch fleet, we were proud to see new Dutch teams and new Dutch sail numbers as well in Aalsmeer. The Dutch fleet showed their eagerness to compete and the positive energy of the fleet during all weekends.
Part of the spirit resulted from the well run races by the Race Committee of the Westeinder Lake and the crew of the WV Aalsmeer, who hosted this event for the logistics and catering. The long relationship between the Dutch Dragon Class and the WV Aalsmeer during their 75 years as a sailing club was underlined with a nice souvenir for all sailors. Many happy years of sailing, WV Aalsmeer !
The Dutch fleet will continue the season sailing from Muiden from 5 May until the end of June where a local fleet of 21 Dragons and the local Race Committee of the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club will be the host during four weekends racing. See the Race Calendar under RACING and don’t hesitate to register to come racing at the IJsselmeer.
Easter weekend 2018
The Easter Weekend 2018 was chilly with drizzle and light airs increasing to a cold NW-ly Bf 4 and a maximum temperature of 6,5 C. 21 Dragon teams however showed that Dragon sailors are eager to start sailing at the beginning of the season.
The Westeinder Lake is difficult to sail due to the (easter)egg shape and the relative short up wind leg in SE conditions. It results in different and shifty wind directions left and right from the center line.
Those who were able to tack or gibe in anticipation of the shifts moved forward. Those who did not read the wind direction and the build up of new wind lanes correctly, found themselves in the back field.
It would certainly have helped the GBR 408 of Dimitri Bodarenko and his crew from Estonia / Russia, who are used to sail in those conditions. They became the overall winners of the three races of the Easter Regatta. Team BEL 80 (Ben van Cauwenbergh with a.o. Pier de Iongh) performed also very steady to become second. Team Bakker NED 422 scored the 3rd place overall.
Dmitri Bodarenko sailing a superb race in his refitted Pedersen & Thuessen.
Sometimes creating stress for his competitors at the top marks.
Team Pfeiffer (NED 1) winner of the first 2018 race. Pieter’s clinic certainly helped during this race.
And a beer (on request) for a Belgian team from the floating media platform before the 2nd start. They sailed much better afterwards. The other pictures tell the story of the crews for itself.
The weekend 14-15 April
A detailed report of the racing and the socials can be read (in Dutch) in a news item elsewhere on this page. The conclusion of this weekend with superb springtime weather was that the Belgian fleet had a good feeling for the very light air conditions, that the NED 1 and NED 432 scored a win, but also several results finishing in the back field and that team NED 422 sailed a steady race laying their foundation for an overall win.
The final weekend 21 – 22 April
Again a wonderful ‘ Mediterranean’ like sailing weekend and an Italian Dinner Buffet for all participants after the racing on Saturday. The sailing was fantastic, but difficult due to a light breeze from the south, blue skies and temps around 24 C. Prior to the last race on Sunday the wind even died, resulting in an Alpha flag on the committee boat. No more racing with a total of 19 series completed.
Team GBR 408 showed their skills during the 18th race with one minute ahead of the also strong team BEL 80. But in the final race, we saw the three local Westeinder Lake Dragons scoring the 1,2 and 3. In particular the winning score of team NED 282 was applauded, since it is the first winning score of Reinier, Maaike en their (most experienced) helmsman of the day.
Where the Solings were struggling to finish their 3rd race of the day, the Dragons had to wait for wind. The RC took a wise decision to cancel further racing for the day, to allow timely craning and prize giving.
Dutch Dragon Class president Klaas Ruigewaard underlined again the appreciation of the Dragon sailors for the many volunteers of both the WZW and the WVA, including the Bakker family who were part of the organisation of a superb GP Aalsmeer 2018 event. A warm hand from all sailors underlined those words.
Apart from the the applause for the overall winners, team NED 422, the teams GBR 408 and BEL 79 were applauded for their overall results of the last five series during the last weekend.
The pictures tell more that 1000 words.