A win and a second puts the Irish team of Ward Woods, Brian Matthews and Mark Pettitt in the top spot at the Dragon event in St Tropez
Competitors at the Hanseatic Lloyd-sponsored Dragon 75th anniversary regatta in St Tropez once again enjoyed light but interesting racing for day two of this ‘once in a lifetime’ regatta.
In sparkling sunshine and light, fickle winds the 270 boats drifted out to the startline and milled around for nearly one and a half hours waiting for a start. Fortunately, the race committee’s decision to keep them waiting proved correct. And the first race was started in a good working breeze from the south-east.
The star in the show in group 1 was undoubtedly the British team of David Palmer, Andy Beadsworth and Graham Wilkinson sailing the brand-new, ‘fresh out of the box’ on Sunday Petticrow Dragon (GBR700) Princess Jalina. After not a particularly great start at the pin end of the line they pulled through to second by playing the shifts well up the first beat. Commenting on the rest of the race Palmer said: On the first run we pulled through to first, and managed to hold it all the way around the course. That was due to brilliant tactics from Andy Beadsworth, and huge hard work from everyone else, so it was a fantastic day. I’m feeling quite emotional right now.” The Irish team of Ward Woods, Brian Matthews and Mark Pettitt who won yesterday’s race gave Palmer and team a good run for their money but had to settle for second. But it does mean they are now leading the regatta overall. Woods commented: “This is great. We won a couple of races in Cannes at the Regatta Royale and ended up tenth overall, we had a couple of good races in the Gold Cup in Medemblik, but this as good as it goes so far.”
An interesting starting procedure in Group 2 which saw the fleet starting with one minute to go and having to be recalled three-quarters of the way up the first beat did nothing to affect the performance of the Swedes in Maria (321) – Tom Lofstedt, Martin Alsen and Martin Larsson – who sailed a superb tactical race and led to the finish. Despite their amazing performance however, they had their work cut out keeping a weather eye on the young British team skippered by 24-year-old Mark Dicker in Scorpio who managed to score a well-deserved second.
Not so fortunate however, was Ulli Libor sailing a beautiful Petticrow-built, cold-moulded three-year-old Dragon with its owner Harro Kniffka (Haseatic Lloyd’s Chairman) when it was involved in a collision with French boat on port tack. “It was so unfortunate and a great disappointment,” said Kniffka, “the other boat just didn’t give way and launched itself on to our boat, breaking the mast, boom, ripping the genoa and gashing the topside.” Fortunately, the gauge in the hull is less serious than first thought and a new mast and sail are currently en-route which means the team should be up and running again by tomorrow morning.
Group 1: blue & purple groups
1. GBR 700 David Palmer – Princess Jalina
2. IRL 181 Ward Woods – Jessica
3. NOR 275 Odd Lofterod – Odd Job
4. GER 963 Dr Peter-Alexander Wacker – Dumbo
5 DEN 319 Soren Pehrsson – Notorius
6. GER 996 Thomas Muller – Sinewave
Group 2: green & yellow groups
1. SWE 321 Tom Lofstedt – Maria
2. GBR 586 Mark Dicker – Scorpio
3. RUS 1 Mikhail Apukhin – God Father
4. FRA 336 Antoine Leblanc – Viking
5. DEN 332 David Holm – Monick
6. FIN 79 Christian Borenius – Eminence
Race 1 – Classics:
1. GBR 402 Laurence Jacobsen – Meteor
2. IRL 34 John Finnegan – Jane
3. GER 170 Heinz-Werner Aping – Fuchur
4. IRL 40 Dan O’Connor – Leprechaun
5. GER 257 Dr Herbert Reich – Chaton
6. GBR 390 Brian Smith -Gem
1. IRL 181 Ward Woods – Jessica
2. GBR 700 David Palmer – Princess Jalina
3. BEL 61 Robert Drontmann – Tenace
4. SWE 321 Tom Lofstedt – Maria
5. GER 996 Thomas Muller – Sinewave
6. GBR 586 Mark Dicker – Scorpio