1st SB20 Cascais Winter Series opens the season with 30 boats
Saturday, November 3rd marked the first event of another SB20 Winter Series in famous Cascais, the increasing popularity of which and attractiveness of the Class has been phenomenal and goes beyond the fact that Cascais will organise the 2020 World Championship. A multinational fleet of 30 boats represented by Portugal, Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Finland and Russia gathered at Clube Naval de Cascais for this first out of five weekends of winter sailing.
Local top sailors like Olympians Afonso Domingos and Nuno Barreto, Gustavo Lima (Laser) and Jorge Lima (49er), Diogo Pereira (European Dragon Vice Champion 2018) and Mafalda Pires de Lima (Snipe and 470) sailed against José Paulo Ramada and Vasco Serpa who have been dominating the Portuguese fleet in recent years (the active and 2017 National Champions).
On the international side the event saw participation of Brits Rob Clark, who is based in South Portugal and is back with a new boat, and Peter Stratton always with a strong performance, John Harald Orneberg from Sweden sailing with Nuno Barreto and Diogo Barros also in Dragons; Gert Lerno bringing his Sharkbite all the way from Belgium; a number new names on the list from Russia like Denis Solovev in addition to of usually strong Russians from Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as some Spanish sailors. Special greeting always goes to the Portuguese all-female team Miúdas, who always make a shiny appearance with their gennaker matching pink outfits and the smiles.
The first day, that made the whole fleet forget they were in November with the sun out and temperatures of 18c, a North breeze of 10 to 15knots filled the course inside the bay. The massive shifts and pressure differential demanded consistency and made the fleet work hard. The new team of Metal Frio Solutions of Dutch sailor Erwin Russel, who is based in Portugal, with Gustavo Lima and Tiago Marcelino on board mastered the conditions with a 3, 3, 1 to lead the fleet by the end of the day. A display of team work, local knowledge and sailing mastery. Animal/SailCascais trailed them one point behind with a 4, 2, 2.
Closing the TOP 3 was local hero Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali of José Paulo Ramada, António Silva Pereira, Miguel Leal Faria and João Ramada with a victory in the first race, eighth and third in the last race, closely followed by Vasily Grigoriev in the MST with victory in the second race of the day, that could threaten the top places in case of discard.
The second day started with a light southerly breeze and choppy seas. Team Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali of Jose Paulo Ramada, the current Portuguese National Champion scored their second bullet of the event on the first race of the day putting them in contention. Metal Frio Solutions finished 3rd with Animal/SailCascais OCS in the race.
The final two races was about some weather systems passing, which made the wind increase and shift to South West. The swell started to creep higher as well. Animal/SailCascais took the gun on the last two races of the day sealing their victory. Team Dom Pedro/Generali was slightly more consistent in the more difficult conditions than MetalFrio Solutions to steal 2nd place from them. 4th Place was MST of Vasily Grigoriev and 5th Quebramar of Rui Brites with Singaporean 49erFx team onboard of Kimberly Lim and Cecilia Low tied on points with Madeira Islands of John Tavares sailing with Paulo Vasco Manso and João Ferreira, all from beautiful Madeira.
“I had a chat with Erwin, and told him a top 15 would be a good result, a top ten would be great. We closed the podium in the end! The result was way above our expectations but shows we had a very fast progression. We will have to keep working hard but that is the easy part for now as we are all very enthusiastic with our project,” – confessed happy Gustavo Lima after the event.
Overall results available here. The SB20 Cascais Winter Series continue with the second event of the season next month on 1st – 2nd December, already with high interest and the promise of more foreign teams to join! More info on Clube Naval de Cascais page.
Text: SailCascais/Clube Naval de Cascais/Anna Zykova
Photo: Luis Fraguas