Belgium leads Dragon contest
There was blue sky and a light breeze for the opening of the Grand Prix Guyader Dragon today. The 75 Dragon keelboats had the whole Baie of Douarnenez before the 'big' boats join them tomorrow.
After the eventful Coupe Crédit Mutuel Bretagne won by the Danish team headed by Jens Christensen - head of North Sails Europe - the Grand Prix Guyader Dragon 2012 has brought together the best competitors including all of top 25 world-ranked teams.
Only one race was run today starting at 12:10 as the wind weakened mid-afternoon, and Jean Coadou, head of the race committee, decided the conditions were no longer favourable to start any more races.
In a 10-12 knot southerly, the fleet completed a 6.5 miles long course. Four boats quickly took the lead and ran the show until the end of the first leeward leg, including the Danish winners of the Coupe Crédit Mutuel Bretagne. But then the Belgian team, skippered by Ben Van Cauwenbergh, on Blackout overtook the quartet.
The leading French boat lies in 13th place with a crew from Cannes led by Gérard Blanc on Tsuica. Bruno Peyron, teamed up with Gwen Chapalain and Louis Urvois on Ar Youleg II finished 16th after nicely gaining on the fleet.
"I am delighted to be back here," said Peyron. "It's made me get out of the office and get some air. As usual, I trained a lot given that I haven't been on a Dragon since the last Grand Prix Guyader..!'
Lawrie Smith and his all-star cast of Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavinor are holding 29th place, third among the British boats which are led by Klaus Diederich's Fever (with Andy Beadsworth and Jamie Lea) and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox's Jerboa in 26th.
Full results here