Reigning National Champion defends his title in Portugal!
The 2019 SB20 Portuguese Nationals started in glorious weather conditions at Clube Naval de Cascais on Thursday, due to the national holiday that fell on this day the National Championship was extented to four days instead of three.
Sun, mild warm temperature and a nice shifty breeze from the NW ranging from 12 to 16 knots welcomed a 30-strong fleet. The story of the day was one. Local José Paulo Ramada and his Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali team stamped a perfect day with three bullets leaving everybody else fighting for the leftovers.
In the three races they were able to pull ahead even when it seemed like a done deal for the Ukrainians of #GameChanger in the first race, the Russians of MST on the second or team Absolut also for Russia in the third race. No, it was not for anyone else but for the current Portuguese Champions, team Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali. “We knew we were fast especially downwind. We started conservative in all races. Never reached the first mark in the top places but we were close and sailed aggressively downwind. Slowly we were able to consolidate places throughout the races and reach the top. We are pretty happy with our perfomance today, but we still have three days in front of us” said a Happy José Paulo Ramada. In second place was the Russian team of MST of Vasily Grigoriev, who sailed pretty solid with a 4, 2 and 3, and in third place the Ukranian team #GameChanger of Julia Freespirit with a 2, 6 and 7.
On Friday another magnificent sunny day greeted the sailors in Cascais with the wind blowing as forecasted from NW with 12-16 knots. Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali consolidated their lead with another solid performance scoring 2, 2 and 1. This together with the three bullets from the day before has left them with a lot of spare space to take a hit.
The first race of the day was won by team Absolut of Igor Ginzburg that started close to the RC boat tacked for the right got the shore lift and from there built a massive lead. Second race was won by team Animal of Vasco Serpa that took the lead at the end of the 2nd beat and hold the pressure from Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali, #GameChanger and Absolut. Third race was for the leader. They managed to get the last left shift on the first upwind to take the first mark and built a sufficient gap by the end of the downwind to sail comfortably in a controlling position the rest of the race. After Day 2 Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali from Cascais were leading with 6 points, followed by team Animal from Cascais and #GameChanger of Julia Freespirit from Ukraine both with 19 points.
Day 3 was a roller coaster in Cascais for the 2019 SB20 Portuguese Nationals. Despite a 9, 8, and 12 local team Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali of Jose Paulo Ramada stayed at the top overall, however other contenders also had trouble with keeping the consistency throughout the day. #GameChanger climbed to second overall with a 14, 2 and 3 and had one of the best days in the fleet. On the scores Vasily Grigoriev, team MST was the best of the day scoring 5, 9 and 2 climbing to third on the table. In the races Absolut of Igor Ginzburg from Russia took the lead on the first downwind and stuck to it on the first race. Team Animal/SailCascais of Vasco Serpa led on the first race from start to gun. And on the third race team ROFF of Manuel Marques sailed brilliantly for an awesome victory. They were leading on the first race at some point so a good day for this crew.
Day 4 has greeted the fleet with deep fog and as reported by RC from the water a 0,5 mile visibility and 0 to 1,5 knots of wind. This situatuon has kept the sailors ashore nervously waiting if the results of Day 3 would be the final. And they were! After 2 hours of waiting the time limit has put an end ot uncertainty and Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali of José Paulo Ramada has crowned the 2019 SB20 Portuguese Nationals Championship!
Dom Pedro Hotels/Generali sailed brilliantly on the first two days and build a solid lead that allowed them to keep the lead even after an average Day 3. Very Well done guys! Ukrainians of #GameChanger of Julia Freespirit also sailed consistently to finish in a well deserved second place. Cascais team Animal of Vasco Serpa climbed to third as Team MST of Vasily Grigoriev was disqualified after a protest on the second race on Day 3. Superb weather conditions, tough competition, brilliant organisation made it an awesome championship.
Well done to everybody involved from competitors, race comitee and to all the staff at Clube Naval de Cascais. Thanks to all the foreign team who joined the challenge and made it a fantastic competition!
Top five results:
1. Dom Pedro Hotels – José Paulo Ramada, Fausto Briosa Neves, António Pereira, Miguel Leal de Faria (CNC/CDP)
2. #GameChanger – Julia Freespirit, Semen Dmytrenko, Victor Kandyba, Pavlo Matsuyev (Kyiv Yacht Club)
3. Animal/SailCascais – Vasco Serpa, Joaquim Moreira, Pedro Costa Alemão (CNCascais)
4. Absolut – Igor Ginzburg, Artem Basalkin, Andrii Klochko, Zhanna Manukian
5. MST – Vasily Grigoriev, Maxim Kuzmin, Mikhail Markin Pirogovo
All-female team Miúdas was awarded a special prize from the Class and the event sponsor Clarins.
Photo: Anna Zykova