Clairvoyant pulls ahead

After another light day on the water at the Aberdeen Dragon Europeans in Cowes

Wednesday June 7th 2006, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: United Kingdom
The 41 competitors in the Aberdeen Dragon European Championship, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, sailed a tough fourth race on this the third day of this extremely competitive championship. With four of the seven races now completed the discard comes into play and in addition there has been a correction to the results published previously with the new results using the correct bonus points scoring system. This does not make any significant change in positions but has changed the points spread which could prove crucial in this hotly contested event.

In the overall standings Denmark and Russia are the dominant nations. Lars Hendriksen of Denmark, sailing with Will Willett and Martin Leifeldt aboard Edward Sawyer's Clairvoyant, leads the championship on 16 points while Germany's Thomas Muller, with crew Martin 'Stavros' Payne and Mario Wagner, lie second on 26 points. Just 6.7 points separate third to ninth places which are held by Valdemar Bandolowski (DEN 30 pts), Bo Selko (DEN 30.7 pts), Georgy Shayduko (RUS 32 pts), Maksim Semerkanov (RUS 33.7 pts), Frank Berg (DEN 36 pts), Alexander Ezhkov (RUS 36 pts) and Jakob Bergbauer (GER 36.7 pts) respectively. Ireland's Simon Brien rounds out the top ten overall on 43 points.

For the third day running the Solent provided sparkling conditions and the Royal Yacht Squadron Race Committee got racing underway as the wind began to build from the west. Championship Dragon racing is renowned not only for the exceptional quality of the sailing but for the gruelling length of its races and today was no exception with the leading boat taking over two hours to complete the five leg course.

With the championship at its mid-point this was to be one of the closest races so far and there was a heightened air of tension from the first signal. At the first weather mark Sergey Pigiugin's team from the Ukraine led the fleet closely followed by Jakob Bergbauer of Germany and Lars Hendriksen of Denmark Peter Nicholson, one of the elder statesmen of Dragon sailing and a Cowes fleet member, rounded fourth with Louis Urvois of France fifth and double Olympic gold medallist Valdemar Bandolowski of Denmark sixth. Georgy Shayduko was the first Russian to round in seventh, followed by Christian Boillot of France, Finland's Lauri Rechardt and then Brits Rob Campbell, Keith Skelsey and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox.

On the first run Pigiugin, Bergbauer, Hendriksen and Nicholson held their positions, but behind them Shayduko had the bit between his teeth and began clawing back places to round the leeward mark in fifth ahead of Bandolowski, Urvois and Boillot. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox was also on a mission and rounded ninth.

On the next beat Shayduko and Wilkinson-Cox kept the pressure on and at the second weather mark Pigiugin continued to lead from Bergbauer but Shayduko moved into third with Nicholson fourth as Hendriksen dropped back to fifth ahead of Urvois and Wilkinson-Cox.

On the final run Hendriksen dug deep and showed impressive boat speed to pull back up into second hard on Pigiugin's heels as they rounded the last mark. They took off up the right hand side but a few minutes in Hendriksen made his decisive move and tacked away. Faced with the dilemma of covering Hendriksen or the fleet Pigiugin stood on, a move which was to be his undoing. At the line it was Hendriksen by 17 seconds from Pigiugin with Bergbauer third, Bandlowski fourth, Shayduko fifth and Nicholson sixth. Ireland's Simon Brien sailed a lovely final beat moving up from tenth to seventh with Semerkanov in eighth, Campbell ninth, Urvois tenth and Wilkinson-Cox eleventh.

Speaking after racing today International Dragon Association Chairman David Dale was delighted with the regatta to date. "The quality of racing at this year's Aberdeen Dragon European Championship is outstanding and every race has been thrilling to watch. The hard work put in by the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Cowes Dragon Fleet has paid of handsomely and it is wonderful to see so many friends from around the globe enjoying racing here in Cowes. Of course none of this would have been possible without our title sponsor, Aberdeen Asset Management, for which we are extremely grateful."

Alongside the main competition our anonymous selection committee have found some worthy winners for the Aberdeen Dragon European Championship Dubarry Team of the Day Award. On Tuesday the award was presented to Mike Hayles and his team Alex MacDonald and Des Davies aboard GBR681 for their heroic determination to compete in this regatta despite the loss of their own boat which sank without trace during the Edinburgh Cup just a week ago. Today's award goes to Lauri Rechardt and his team of Risto Ryti and Nicola McLennan sailing FIN 63, who rounded the first weather mark in 9th place and then conducted a comprehensive fleet review to finish 36th - a performance truly worthy of the Irish Dubarry Team of the Day Award!

Results:

Pos Sail No Boat  R1 R2 R3 R4 Tot Net
1 DEN138 Clairvoyant 13 13 3 0 29 16
2 GER996 Sinewave 0 10 16 23 49 26
3 DEN368 Flawless 48 14 8 8 78 30
4 DEN372 BB King 34 0 5.7 25 64.7 31
5 RUS44 Red October 3 19 29 10 61 32
6 RUS-77 Diamond 21 5.7 14 14 54.7 34
7 DEN66 My Way 19 17 0 27 63 36
8 RUS2 Alisa 8 8 44 20 80 36
9 GER951 Saphir 16 15 37 5.7 73.7 37
10 IRL193 Kin 27 3 31 13 74 43
11 FRA300 Ar Youleg 12 25 19 16 71.7 47
12 POR-48 El Gringo 18 26 12 40 95.7 56
13 GBR 682 Ecstatic 14 18 39 24 95 56
14 RUS-1 Godfather 17 12 28 38 94.7 57
15 GBR705 Danish Blue 31 16 13 32 92 60
16 GBR702 Rascal Rat 5.7 35 24 35 99.7 65
17 IRL176 Phantom 35 23 10 34 102 67
18 SWE 336 Pilen 30 39 15 22 106 67
19 DEN380 Lil 20 22 26 31 99 68
20 GBR684 Hand of Fortune 23 41 18 28 110 69
21 UKR777 Transbunker 42 43 25 3 113 70
22 GBR716 Jerboa 36 37 17 17 107 70
23 RUS25 Versiya 3.0 29 30 22 19 100 70
24 GBR653 Njord 10 34 27 37 108 71
25 RUS34 Russo Orient Express 24 24 23 26 97 71
26 GBR688 Quicksilver III 39 29 30 15 113 74
27 MON-001 Munegu 44 20 36 18 118 74
28 GBR693 Virago 41 32 32 12 117 76
29 GBR708 Rumours 28 27 21 36 112 76
30 GBR709 Kuling 15 45 20 48 128 80
31 RUS3 Bars 33 21 43 29 126 83
32 GBR669 Supremacy 22 33 33 33 121 88
33 GBR660 Aimee 37 44 34 21 136 92
34 GBR610 / 788 Rackham 26 36 38 30 130 92
35 GBR710 / GBR679 Avalanche 25 38 35 43 141 98
36 GBR656 / GBR648 Apalala 32 28 46 45 151 105
37 GBR 700 Princess Jalina 38 31 41 41 151 110
38 GBR681 / GBR690 Stampede 40 47 45 39 171 124
39 FIN63 Nenya 43 42 40 42 167 124
40 GBR706 Chips 46 40 42 44 172 126
41 GBR593 Flamboyant 45 46 48 46 185 137

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