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Displaying items by tag: Dragon

Racing was very competitive at the Dragon East Coast Championships on Saturday amongst the 11–Dragons racing on Dublin Bay in a decreasing NE breeze which allowed for many place changes in two races sailed in less than 12 knots.

Download results below

Martin Byrne’s, Jaguar Sailing Team, with Adam Winkelmann and John Simms on board from the host club Royal St George returned a 1st & 2nd in racing to take the overall lead ahead of British rivals Mike Budd sailing ‘Harry’ GBR818, who were 1st & 3rd.

"Four teams still in the hunt for the overall title today" 

The title holders, Cameron Good’s ‘Little Fella’ dropped from 1st to 3rd overall with a 3rd & 8th today.

Also in contention are the new Kinsale YC team ‘Serafina’ helmed this weekend by Brian Goggin. They finished 2nd & 4th.

Two races are scheduled to complete the series today with four teams still in the hunt for the overall title.

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Kinsale Yacht Club’s “Little Fella” lead the Dragon Fleet after day 1 with two races of the Dragon East Coast Championships completed at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The Cameron Good crew lead the 11-boat fleet with a score of three pts with a first and second in 12 to 15 knots breeze from 300 degrees on Dublin Bay.

Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team are tied in second overall with top British contender Mike Budd after some tense racing which saw many place changes during both races today.

"The Cameron Good crew lead the 11-boat fleet with a score of three points"

However, the heros of the day were the ‘Serofino" team from Kinsale, helmed by Brian Goggin, who stole a first place in race two with some masterly tactics when they recognised a significant advantage by staying left on the last two beats to sail from 4th to 1st by the finish line in Race 2.

'Little Fella', 'Jaguar Sailing Team' & Mike Budd’s ‘ Harry’ were leading each race today at different stages to provide some close racing in champagne sailing conditions. In the meantime, National Champions, Phantom, remain closely in contention with two fifths today.

Its just two races into a six race series which continues on Saturday and Sunday sponsored by A stitch in Time Embroiderers.

In a race course incident, a crew member fell overboard from one of the Dragons and the next boat behind picked up the crewman. The result then was that one boat had four crew members aboard. A RIB in the vicinity came alongside, collected the extra crewman and returned him to his boat.

In a protest that followed, the boat which lost the crewman retired, and the boat with four crewmen was upgraded by one finishing place.

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The Dublin Bay Dragon Fleet host their East Coast Championships at the Royal St George Yacht Club this weekend.

15 entries are expected from the Dragon Fleets in Dun Laoghaire, Kinsale, Glandore and Abersoch in Wales in the first Championship event for 2018 sponsored by local Dún Laoghaire business, A Stitch in Time Embroiderers.

While the Glandore Dragon Fleet these days provide the greatest fleet numbers the teams from the Dublin Bay Dragon Fleet have for some time been taking the Class Championship titles.

In recent years, Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring & David Williams with Phantom have been sharing the National Championship title with Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team. These teams are both from the Royal St George YC. Also, Cameron Good in ‘Little Fella’ from Kinsale YC can always be found at the top of the fleet.

However, this weekend the Irish Dragons will have their biggest challenge from the number one ranked British Dragon team ‘Harry’ GBR 818 helmed by the legendary Mike Budd.

"Mike Budd’s reputation is feared amongst the sailors in most one-design fleets"

Mike Budd’s reputation is feared amongst the sailors in most one-design fleets as, over the years, he has won no less than eight UK National Championship Titles in various Classes in dinghies & keelboats. Also, he is often to be found as the tactician aboard Conor Phelan’s Class 1 racing keelboat ‘Jump Juice’ from RCYC.

However, after many attempts, he has yet to win the historic Edinburgh Cup which is the UK Dragon National Championship. This event was last won by an Irish team when Martin Byrne’s Jaguar took the title in 2011 & then finished 2nd in 2012. Budd arrives in Dun Laoghaire this weekend with a brand new Dragon and, by his own admission, claims he needs to pace himself against the fastest in the Irish Dragon Fleet if he has any chance at winning his first Edinburgh Cup in Torbay next July. At last year’s Edinburgh Cup in Cowes Budd finished eight overall whereas Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team finished 4th. In the previous years, Ed Cup in 2016 Phantom won the final two races to finish 5th overall. So Budd clearly sees the Irish Dragon Fleet as offering some meaningful opposition in his quest for the Edinburgh Cup.

The Dragons start racing in their East Coast Championship on Friday at 13.00hrs on Dublin Bay and continue until Sunday in the six race series.

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There's an unexpectedly icy welcome for the Dragon fleet in Cannes, this week where the 'Beast from the East' is making its presence felt earlier in the South of France than it is in Ireland. 

Unseasonably low temperatures and high winds will test the sailors over the next four days.

The Dragon fleet is assembled for the Grand Prix Regatta and they're expecting a tough few days.

Racing at the event is due to start tomorrow.

North Sails is a major supplier to the fleet and North Sails Ireland's Nigel Young will be racing in the regatta this year.

Published in North Sails Ireland

When Ireland’s senior Dragon sailor Don Street (87) of Glandore bids us to pay attention, we always do, as Don’s experience in many areas of sailing is unrivalled writes W M Nixon.

But when Don suggests we all sit up and take notice of the sailing of Gordon Ingate of Australia, there are many of us already right there with the Guru of Glandore. For Gordon Ingate of Tasmania makes the well-tested slogan “Sailing: A Sport for Life” seem barely adequate, as he is still winning serious races at the age of 92, and everything about the man is an inspiration.

His most recent achievement was a clear victory in the Australian Dragon Championship 2018 in Victoria, which concluded at the weekend. Racing against a fleet of 26 boats, and crewed by Amy Walsh and David Giles, his boat Whimsical was anything but. His clear victory of 4 points including three bullets was about as un-whimsical as you can get.

But then, this perhaps greatest Corinthian sailor the world has ever seen seems to specialize in clearcut wins in boats whose names indicate a certain vagueness. He first leapt to international renown in the 1965 Admirals Cup, when he was one of the Australian team with his classic Robert Clark-designed Caprice of Huon

Caprice was an elegant veteran of 1948 or thereabouts, strongly built of the finest Huon pine. But Ingate and his crew had her in such perfect racing trim in 1965 that she cut a swathe through the fleet, particularly in the Solent racing where he made off with major trophies in Cowes Week. Two years later in 1967, he and Caprice were back again with team mates who matched his previous performance, and they won the Admiral’s Cup.

gordon ingate2Gordon Ingate – still winning majors at the age of 92

Thereafter, he was very much a force to be reckoned with at Olympic and America’s Cup level. But he’s at his best when racing his own boat tuned to his own very high standards, and racing in fleets which provide the proper settings for his skill sets. Grown-up sailing, in other words.

Thus it was altogether appropriate that when a celebrity was sought to fire the starting cannon for the recent Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race, they asked Gordon Ingate to do the honours. The Australian commentator didn’t even have to think of saying who he was. And now he has won in the Australian Dragons Nationals. Yet again.

That said, our own Don Street is as full of enthusiasm as ever, and his latest evidence of eternal youth is a drive to get the Glandore Dragons to permit racing crews of four. This is so that any youngsters keen to learn about these wonderful boats can get a taste of it without initially being expected to play a crucial crewing role.

The ancient Howth 17s tested the idea some years ago. It worked so well that racing four up is now the preferred option for many boats. And it has been so successful in introducing newcomers to the class that the fleet is in better order than ever – not bad going for a class founded in 1898.

glandore dragons3The Glandore Dragons – veteran skipper Don Street argues convincingly that they should permit a fourth hand aboard for racing to encourage class growth. Photo Kathleen Hayes

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#NorthSails - As previously reported, North Sails celebrated a record-smashing year for offshore yachting titans competing with its 3Di performance sails.

But clients of the sailmaker — with a longstanding base in Myrtleville, Co Cork — also had a big year across the One Design classes around the globe.

In the Etchells class, Stella Blue helmed by Steve Benjamin won the 2017 Worlds in San Francisco at an event where fellow North Sails clients Senet Bischoff and KGB took the Corinthian title and finished third overall.

Elsewhere, in Toronto, Rossi Milev’s Clear Air sailed into first place at the J/24 Worlds, the same event where Lizzy McDowell’s U25 Howth Yacht Club team Scandal finished a respectable 42nd amid the mammoth international field.

Fellow Howth sailor Laura Dillon on Cloud finished 33rd in the Dragon World Championships in Cascais last June, which saw North Sails powering clients into first (Provezza Dragon, Andy Beadsworth), third (Alfie, Lawrie Smith), fourth (Desert Eagle, Hendrik Witzmann), fifth (Rocknrolla, Dmitry Samokhin), ninth (Louise, Grant Gordon) and 10th (Jeanie, Jens Rathsack) places overall.

And Spanish sailor María Perelló, using North Sails’ Radial R2, won the girls division at the Optimist Worlds in Thailand last July, where Ireland enjoyed had a strong showing in team racing.

North Sails is the world’s leading sailmaker for One Design classes with more national, world and Olympic class victories than all other sailmakers combined.

Published in North Sails Ireland

The RStGYC team retained the Cannonball Trophy for another year but only because there was no final result this weekend on the Solent.

Racing was blown out on Saturday because of 25+knot winds all day. This was followed by literally no wind on Sunday when only two very flukey races were completed.

It was a very unfortunate set of circumstances for The Royal London Yacht Club, the organiser of the event.

Next year the Royal St George host the event when they will use their newly acquired fleet of J80’s as the race boats.

A team from the Royal St George YC return to Cowes in defence of the Dragon Cannonball Team Racing Trophy.

Their competitors included the Royal London YC, the Royal Netherlands YC and the Royal Channel Islands YC.

As a new addition to the mix this year the hosts in Cowes, The Royal London Yacht Club introduced a brand new fleet of J70’s as the race boats.

The Royal St George YC team include former winning helms, Martin Byrne and Tim Pearson who were joined this year by another Dublin Bay Dragon sailor Clare Hogan.

This year the RSGYC invited Conor Byrne, who crewed on his fathers “Jaguar Sailing Team” this season to join the crew. These two return to Cowes together where they enjoyed some success at the British Dragon South Coasts & the Edinburgh Cup last July.

The British Team included recent Dragon Edinburgh Cup Champions, Graham & Julia Bailey who will be racing on their home waters on the Solent. Also the Dutch Team include former Gold Cup & Olympic Medalists in their team.

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The second day of racing at the Dragon South Coast Championships has been cancelled at Kinsale Yacht Club following two one hour postponements this morning writes Bob Bateman.

Race Officer Alan Crosbie went out in a RIB to inspect the course area. Fog and mist early on gave way to only a zephyr of breeze leaving no option but to scrub the two scheduled races. 

The cancellation means Kinsale's Cameron Good takes the championship title as per's report here.

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After four races at the 2017 Dragon South Coast Championship, locals Cameron Good, Henry Kingston and Simon Furney have the overall lead from Royal St. George's David Williams and Peter Bowring writes Bob Bateman.

See results and photo gallery below.

The Dublin Bay boat has the same eight points as the Kinsale Yacht Club leader but double wins today gives Good the advantage in the nine–boat fleet.

Kinsale boat Shawn Kingston's Grey Hare is third and another Kinsale entry, Adrian Bendon's Mar J is fourth.

This morning's racing schedule was put forward to 11am due to a wet windy forecast but it turned out to be light winds on the way out to the first start at the Old Head of Kinsale. Winds were not long in filling in, however, and 15 /18 knots from west–south–west and a lumpy sea produced classic Kinsale conditions.

Williams' Phantom led at the first windward mark but a gybe set from Good proved to be winning move as got into the lead and held on til the finish. 

Racing continues tomorrow. The Race Officer is Kinsale's own Alan Crosbie.

Dragon South Coast Championship after four races

1 IRL211 Little Fella Cameron Good Henry Kingston Simon Furney KYC 8 4 2 1 1
2 IRL176 Phantom David Williams Peter Bowring/Hilary Murray Arthur Mehigan/Conor Grimley RStGYC 8 3 1 2 2
3 IRL188 Grey Hare Shawn Kingston Tony Kingston Harry Lewis KYC 15 2 5 4 4
4 IRL156 Mar J Adrian Bendon Choryna Kiely Matthew Beecher KYC 18 1 3 7 7
5 IRL201 Jaguar Martin Byrne Conor Byrne Adam Winkelman RStGYC 20 5 9 3 3
6 IRL695 Magic Warren Brown/Kevin Hayes Killian Murphy Clare Hayes/Eamonn Timoney GHYC 22 6 6 5 5
7 IRL180 Serafina Maeve Cotter Daniel Murphy Brian Goggin KYC 24 8 4 6 6
8 IRL110 Aphrodite Peter Hayes Tiernan Brown Killian Forde/Ruairi Brown GHYC 31 7 8 8 8
9 IRL157 Tenacious Anthony O'Neill Dave Horgan Eoghan O'Neill KYC 36 9 7 10 10


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Martin Byrne's Jaguar Sailing Team were fifth in the final race of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup in Cowes today. Together with a first place scored yesterday this lifted the sole Irish entry to fifth place overall.

'Given that our target was a podium finish we are somewhat disappointed with this overall result', Byrne told

However, Byrne, sailing wih son Conor and pro sailor Pedro Andrades recognise this year's Edinburgh Cup was the toughest of the four he has competed in to date and, he says, the strength of the international opposition was easily the toughest challenge he has faced.

By his own admission, Byrne says the 'vagaries of sailing in the Solent was our undoing on day two when we had two poor results. Also a technical problem with a brand new mainsail on day one, didn't help our cause either.'

Nevertheless, Byrne finished strongly with a first & fifth in the final races. And together with this, his win in the pre-event British South Coast Championships, made for what he is calling a 'reasonably successful week'.

conor byrne Pedro andradesConor Byrne and Pedro Andrades aboard Irish Dragon Jaguar in Cowes

Byrne paid tribute to his crew. Conor and Pedro's fitness and strength, together with their team work and tactical awareness, brought us back up towards the front of the fleet at the finish. He also paid tribute to his wife Triona who made logistics and life ashore much easier for the team.

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Page 10 of 24

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago