The final day of the 2018 Douarnenez Grade 1 Grand Prix, sponsored by Guyader, saw the 40 Dragons quietly trickle out of the town Marina in sunshine with a slight southerly breeze. By the time the first race (race 6) got underway, the breeze seemed more settled with normal oscillations that you expect with wind coming from the land. The three main overall contenders, TUR 1212, NED 412 & GBR 819 all rounded the top mark in good shape. But as the wind dropped on the downwind leg NED 412 gained an advantage with skilful measured gybing. This allowed NED 412 to round the left hand gate looking for new pressure which tactician Lars Hendriksen hoped would come from the west, TUR 1212 also elected to favour the right side in hot pursuit. Meanwhile GBR 819 Klaus Diederichs looked “strong” on the left side of the second upwind after rounding the right hand gate and could now almost touch the shortened course finish only metres away. But… as the southerly wind completely died the right side became the place to be, so it was Pieter Heerema who took the win, TUR 1212 Andy Beadsworth finished 3rd and GBR 819 Klaus Diederichs 5th…
NED 412 “Troika” Pieter Heerema, Lars Hendriksen & George Leonchuk win Race 6, but had to settle for 3rd overall.
This set of results saw TUR 1212 and NED 412 tied on 9pts with GBR 819 5pts further back. As the current World Champions only had a 4th place discard, it meant Klaus Diederichs could no longer catch them overall even by winning the final race. So now that Pieter Heerema was the only threat, you could be sure Andy Beadsworth would be giving the Dutch Skipper his full “Americas Cup” Match Race attention. In simple terms, if TUR 1212 could prevent NED 412 finishing in the top 4 the Grand Prix title was theirs and that is exactly what happened… Meanwhile, the 7th and final race was all out tussle between FRA 207, GBR 585 and in the end GER 1162, with the latter, Stefan Link eventually taking the win.
NED 412 “Troika” Pieter Heerema holds the Trophy with Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen.
It was a very pleasing final day for Pieter Heerema, with his team of Lars Hendriksen and Claus Olesen, as they rounded off a successful championship with a 1st and 3rd place to win the 23rd H.M. Juan Carlos Trophy by a clear 8pts. Pieter told me “Portugal is having an unsettled spring with lots of rain, cool temperatures and an unbelievable swell. But we were very happy to perform well in a 7 year old Petticrows instead of our usual Pedersen & Thuesen. In the end our lead of 8 points looked comfortable but it did not feel like that. There were huge waves and huge shifts with big dead spots making it very tricky and nerve racking”. Well done to the NED 412 team…
Close racing on the final day in Cascais, as NED 412 Pieter Heerema wins overall.
Despite the 8 point lead of the winners, it was all extremely close for the other podium positions with only 1 point separated the next 3 boats. SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” (23pts) just squeezed out NED 411 “Olinghi” (23pts) on countback leaving SUI 296 to finish 4th (24pts). So congratulations to Hugo Stenbeck for taking the runners up spot and well done to top Lady Helm Charlotte ten Wolde for finishing 3rd overall
Runners Up SUI 311 “Sophie Racing” Hugo Stenbeck, Martin Westerdahl & Robert Stanjer.
It was a very good 3rd and 2nd place on the final day that helped the 4 person “Olighi” team of Charlotte Ten Wolde with sister Juliette, best friend Janka Holan and local professional Pedro Andrade take the final podium place. It’s great to see 3 young ladies sailing at this level in the Dragon Class, always smiling and adding so much colour to the fleet ? Well done girls !
3rd Overall NED 411 “Olinghi” Juliette & Charlotte ten Wolde, with Janka Holan & Pedro’s Brother ?