5th SB20 Cascais Winter Series event crowns season winner
Team MST of Vasily Grigoriev from Russia wins overall SB20 Cascais Winter Series even before the last event was sailed! 42 boats from 11 countries were taking part in the 5th and final event of SB20 Cascais Winter Series 2018/19. Mild spring conditions were forecasted for the weekend. With the sun out and the temperatures near 20˚C the fleet has warmed up even before Day 1 at Practice Race on Friday.
“We are very happy by the high level of participation even though it was something that we knew it was a matter of time. You can see some build-up in the local fleet one year ahead of the 2020 Worlds in Cascais but also the interest from the foreign crews keeps rising,” commented a satisfied António Barros, President of the Portuguese SB20 Class. “Our target is for nearly 50 boats at the Portuguese Nationals in June. We might even get around 60 boats for next season of Winter Series!”
With a 7th finish and a bullet team Bicasco of Luis Santos from Clube de Vela do Sado topped the 42-strong fleet on Day 1 after two races sailed. At the top a group of 4 other boats composed by Actitime, MST, ICWind from Russia and Animal/SailCascais stayed close, all within a two-point difference. Races started a bit late as the Easterly breeze died and sailors had to wait for a Westerly to fill in. The new wind proved a bit shifty, challenging the skills and patience of the teams. Heading to the second and last day everything could happen with a discard if more than four races were to be called.
In a dramatic close to the 5th SB20 Cascais Winter Series, team Metalfrio Solutions of Erwin Russell with Gustavo Lima and Tiago Marcelino on board, took top honours beating a strong fleet of 42 boats. The recently formed team from Cascais sailed a brilliant second and the last day of races, scoring a decisive bullet in the opening race followed by a 7 and a 4, tying the series with ActiTime from St Petersburg, Russia, with Dmitry Tretyakov at the helm, and breaking the tie in their favour.
Victory slipped from the Russian team, that sailed very consistently throughout the event when it seemed impossible. One point behind and in third place local team Animal/SailCascais of Vasco Serpa. “Like many things in life that you had for the first time, like your first beer, your first girlfriend, this first victory for us is something that I will never forget,” – said a happy Erwin Russell in his celebration speech. Well done guys! But as this was the close of the 2018/2019 Winter Series there was more prizes to give.
Team MST of Vasily Grigoriev, from Pirogovo, Russia was the indisputable winner of the whole series and raised the Tony Castro Perpetual Trophy. The Russians scored 2, 1, 1, 6, 4 in the 5 events in Cascais. They were followed by team Animal/SailCascais in second and team Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali of Jose Paulo Ramada in third.
This season Winter Series had more than 70 participants through all events and 21 races were completed out of 30 scheduled, a 70% regatta completion ratio! Congratulations to SB20 Portugal, SailCascais and Clube Naval de Cascais for their successfull cooperation. A busy winter season is over, the Potuguese fleet will now move to Vilamoura in April to then come back for more racing in Cascais for the Spring Cup.
Photos: Luis Fráguas