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2019 Dragon World Championship at Fremantle - Day 1

by Jonny Fullerton, Dragon Worlds Fremantle 2019 4 Jan 11:41 GMT 4-9 January 2019

Grant Gordon and his team of Ruairidh Scott, Sophie Weguelin and James Williamson showed the rest of the Dragon fleet the way to go on day one of the 2019 Dragon World Championships held in the aquamarine waters off Fremantle in Western Australia.

Only one race was scheduled for day one to ease the fleet into the start of six days of racing in the choppy waters off Fremantle. An early start time of 0935hrs was set due to the forecast of strong South Westerly breezes that regularly build to a full 'Freo Doctor' during the summer season in Fremantle.

After a short delay the first race of the championship got going at 1025hrs in a light and shifty breeze bouncing around between 180 - 220 degrees. Right on the start gun the wind pressure wobbled between 8 - 12 knots. After one false start the fleet were split separated across the whole course upwind. Both the current world champions, Provezza representing Turkey and Willy Packer's Scoundrel got bogged down tacking in fickle winds at the committee boat end but Grant Gordon's, Louise Racing team broke free heading offshore on the rights hand side of the race track timing his tacks perfectly to snatch an early lead.

At the first windward mark Louise Racing rounded clear of two Dragons representing Russia, Dmitry Samokhin skippering Rocknrolla and Anatoly Loginov sailing Annapurna. The lead pack picked up a bend in the breeze to the right and an increase in pressure to around 10 - 12 knots and so gybed early to soak down ahead of the bulk of the fleet.

Grant Gordon's Louise Racing had a 30 second lead at the bottom gate followed by a cluster of boats all wanting one side of the gate. Dmitry Samokhin parked up with a kite tangle allowing Provezza and Peter Gilmour's Yanmar Racing team from Japan to slip inside. Mid fleet was full of many corinthian teams fighting their own personal club battles.

The second upwind leg was shorter as per the sailing instructions but the fleet were again equally spread across the course. As the breeze gradually increased to 15 - 16 knots Grant Gordon's blue kite popped up around the final mark rounding with a clear lead. Provezza sailed by Andy Beadsworth, Ali Tezdiker and Simon Fry had clawed back to second place from Anatoly Loginov's Annapurna in third.

Grant Gordon's, Louise Racing just had to keep a close cover on the mass of coloured spinnakers to take his first win of the 2019 World Championships by 43 seconds. The current world champions Provezza crossed second and a very close fight for third resulted in Peter Gilmour's Yanmar Racing Team pipping Anatoly Loginov's Annapurna, who sailed the whole last leg with a ripped spinnaker that looked more like a string vest. Anatoly did well not to lose many more places.

Ruairidh Scott comments on his teams comfortable race win today:

"We were pretty confident that the breeze would come from the right at some point, so we started near the committee boat and were keen to get right as soon as we could. We got a tack in pretty early, we were going pretty quick and balanced it a bit from there."

"The rest of the race was fairly simple from there, we gybed and laid down on port on the run and then we defended the right up the second beat and as the breeze started to fill in it was relatively straight forward from then on".

Another GBR registered team, Klaus Diederichs, sailing Fever with Jamie Lea and Olympic sailor Diego Negri onboard, finished fifth and Pieter Heerema with crew Lars Hendriksen and George Leonchuck sixth on their first race sailing off Fremantle. Pieter was one of the last boats to arrive and launch after missing the Prince Philip Cup.

Rocknrolla had to recruit a replacement local sailor in big Jasper Harding to fill the big sailing boots of Alexey Bushuev (The Bear) who himself had to withdraw from competition at late notice.

Willy Packer and his crew of Julian Harding and Jock Packer finished about a second behind Rocknrolla over the line causing Julian to give out a large grunt of annoyance at his son beat him over the line. Willy Packer's Scoundrel was the first Corinthian team in race one of the series.

Other Dragons recording good performances include host yacht club (Royal Freshwater Bay YC) member Ron Packer with John Longley and Matt Maxted. After a poor start Ron recovered to finish 10th on the water ahead of a big bunch of Dragons engaged in close combat. Another good performance on day one was Stephen Locke sailing Taranui with Reubin Rosolin and Patrick Vos. The young Western Australian team suffered a broken tiller racing in the PPC and had a replacement carved by local boat builder Mauro Vischi, made out of American White Oak. The work of art was clearly an enhancement.

Also enjoying a first day on the water the Belgians, Xavier and Anne Vanneste and Karl Odent were just getting used to sailing off Fremantle.

Anne describes her first experience of racing off Fremantle:

"We were expecting a lot of wind since everybody has warned us this week. When we got out on the race course it was not too windy actually but it did indeed build up quite quickly.

The race course is nice, its beautiful waters, very clear and we saw a dolphin. We were the first boat out and we had the company of a dolphin so that was very beautiful. We ended up 20th in the race and we are very happy with that."

Sailors were ashore by mid day before the predicted 'Freo Doctor' had a chance to build.

Racing resumes on day two of the championship with two races and an earliest start time of 1005hrs. Again the breeze is due to be lighter in the morning building later in the day.

Results after Day 1:

PosSail NoBoat NameSkipper/CrewR1Pts
1GBR820Louise RacingGrant Gordon / Ruairidh Scott / Sophia Weguelin / James Williamson(Great Britain) 1)1
2TUR1212Provezza DragonAndy Beadsworth / Ali Tezdiker / Simon Fry(Turkey) 2)2
3JPN56YRedPeter Gilmour / Yasuhiro Yaji / Sam Gilmour(Japan) 3)3
4RUS27AnnapurnaAnatoly Loginov / Vadim Statsenko / Alexander Shalagin(Russia) 4)4
5GBR819FeverKlaus Diederichs / Jamie Lea / Diego Negri(Great Britain) 5)5
6NED412AAAPieter Heerema / Lars Hendriksen / George Leonchuck 6)6
7RUS76RocknrollaDmitry Samokhin / Andrey Kirilyuk / Jasper Harding(Russia) 7)7
8AUS214ScoundrelWilliam Packer / Julian Harding / Jock Packer(Australia) 8)8
9GER1058Sabine IVKai Michael Schaper / Jochen Schuemann / Klaus Skripalle(Germany) 9)9
10AUS211French ConnectionRon Packer / John Longley / Matt Maxted(Australia)10)10
11AUS184TaranuiStephen Locke / Reuben Rosolin / Patrick Vos(Australia)11)11
12AUS203TatsuAndrew Foulkes / Andrew Bennett / Matthew Stafford(Australia)12)12
13GBR763BertieSimon Barter / James Barter / Donald Wilks(Great Britain)13)13
14GBR600PennyFarthingRobert Campbell / Richard Timms / Andrew Biddle(Great Britain)14)14
15AUS201WizzardryRay Chatfield / Peter Massee / Karen Chatfield(Australia)15)15
16AUS109AeolusPeter Bowman / Jennie Fitzhardinge / Ben Fitzhardinge(Australia)16)16
17AUS144HotspurEthan Prieto‑Low / Brad Stout / John Low(Australia)17)17
18NED411OlinghiCharlotte Ten Wolde / Juliette Ten Wolde / Pedro Andrade / Janka Holan(Netherlands)18)18
19AUS205Karabos IXNick Rogers / Leigh Behrens / Simon Burrows(Australia)19)19
20BEL82HerbieXavier Vanneste / Anne Vanneste / Karl Odent(Belgium)20)20
21AUS198WhimRobin Hammond / Tony Yates / Arthur Phillips(Australia)21)21
22AUS210LinneaSimon Prosser / Mark Glew / Stephen Wray(Australia)22)22
23AUS223Canewdon WitchTrish Ford / Graeme Fardon / David Hay(Australia)23)23
24SUI318CK1Wolf Waschkuhn / Tim Tavinor / Philip Catmur(Switzerland)24)24
25AUS213ShapesGeoff Totterdell / Shane Yensch / Chris Maclean(Australia)25)25
26AUS224AkulaMatthew Whitnall / Steven Cole / Christian Brook(Australia)26)26
27AUS219Blue MarlinSandy Anderson / John Moncrieff / Harry Coulson / Caroline Gibson(Australia)27)27
28AUS176Amazing GraceAndrew Moss / Charles Stanton / Jeremy Nolan(Australia)28)28
29AUS221SaphiraIan Malley / John Hay / Andrew Henderson(Australia)29)29
30AUS193Adios IIIGraeme Aldersea / Jonny Warren / James Aldersea(Australia)30)30
31AUS216LiquidityRichard Franklin / Stephen Collibee / Phil Burgess(Australia)31)31
32GBR802TarakonaHugh Howard / Jacqui Crawford / Kevin Podger(Great Britain)32)32
33=HKG1Jump (Aus 181)Marc Castagnet / Frank Dobbels / Clive Jones(Hong Kong)SQ)35
33=AUS191RelentlessDavid Lynn / Jack Lynn / Freek Bijlsma(Australia)NF)35

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