Bernardo Freitas, Martin Westerdahl and Lars Linger won the Dragon Grand Prix European Cup Finals after a day of intense competition on the Bay of Palma, Mallorca.
The Swiss Sophie Racing team of Hugo Stenbeck, with Bernardo Freitas helming after Stenbeck had been called away unexpectedly, won the four boat final ahead of Italy’s Evgenii Braslavets sailing Bunker Prince with Sergey Pugachev and Sergey Timorkhov.
Taking third place was Russia’s Dmitry Samokhin sailing Rocknrolla with Kasper Harsberg and Andrey Kirilyuk, and fourth Germany’s Nicola Friesen, sailing Khaleesi with Vincent Hoesch and Aleksey Bushuev.
For the second day of the Finals, eight teams came to the line to contest the Quarterfinal and decide which five boats would join Friesen in the Semi.
Britain’s Grant Gordon took the win ahead of Bernardo Freitas with Sweden’s Martin Palsson third, Portugal’s Pedro Andrade fourth and Russia’s Dmitry Samokhin fifth move forward to the Semifinal.
The Semifinal, which started only minutes later, started in 20 knots and heavy rain with it.
Freitas was over at hte start and had to recross the line, but made his return quickly and then sailed a spectacular beat to round the first mark in second behind Samokhin with Friesen third.
The squall went through as quickly as it arrived and with the wind back under ten knots Samokhin, Freitas and Friesen held their positions to the line. Palsson, Gordon and Andrade crossed the line in that order, but then turned for home having failed to qualify for the Finals.
The final started in six knots of breeze.
Braslavets was forced away from the line leaving him at a distinct disadvantage, and at the first mark Freitas led Samokhin with Friesen third, with Braslavets right on their tail after a good recovery.
Up the second beat the wind went light. Freitas and Braslavets opted for the left, Friesen and Samokhin went right and at the second weather mark it was Freitas who led comfortably with Braslavets second Samokhin third and Friesen fourth.
While Freitas cruised to the line for victory Samokhin did all he could to pass Braslavets and the two boats virtually match raced into the finish, but Braslavets hung on for the silver medal by inches from Samokhin with Friesen fourth.
Sweden’s Martin Palsson, Gustav Garedeback and Thomas Wallenfeldt were crowned Corinthian Champions. Four Corinthian teams had made the cut to race in the European Cup Finals, but Palsson was the only one to make it through to the last day and he was delighted with their result.
Dragon Grand Prix European Cup Finals 2019 – Final Results
1st. SUI311 – Sophie Racing – Hugo Stenbeck/Bernardo Freitas
2nd. ITA77 – Bunker Prince – Evegenii Braslavets
3rd. RUS76 – Rocknrolla – Dmitry Samokhin
4th. GER1207 – Khaleesi – Nicola Friesen