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Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston sailing ‘Little Fella’ maintained their lead to defend their Irish National Dragon Championship in Kinsale on Sunday (27 August).

The host club leaders finished with a four-point margin after a total of seven races sailed Dublin Bay’s Phantom, sailed by Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams of the Royal St George YC.

Third in the 17-boat fleet were Kinsale Yacht Club’s Tenacious, sailed by Anthony O’Neill, Arthur Mehigan and Eoghan O'Neill, who pipped the day one leaders Whisper, sailed by Brian Goggin, Daniel Murphy and Sean Murphy, thanks to their single bullet and two third-place results.

This year's national championship gave a taster to all competitors to what racing will be like for the much anticipated Dragon Gold Cup to be held in Kinsale next year.

The crew of Little Fella (Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston) and KYC Dragon class captains Brian Goggin and Daniel Murphy of Cantor Fitzgerald. Little Fella won the Dragon National Championship for the second year in a row Photo: Dave CullinaneThe crew of Little Fella (Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston) and KYC Dragon class captains Brian Goggin and Daniel Murphy of Cantor Fitzgerald. Little Fella won the Dragon National Championship for the second year in a row Photo: Dave Cullinane

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Defending Champions Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston sailing 'Little Fella' have moved into the lead at the Irish National Dragon Championships in Kinsale on Friday (25 August).

The host club leaders have a five-point margin after five races sailed over Dublin Bay's Phantom sailed by Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams of the Royal St George YC.

Third in the 17-boat fleet are the day one leaders Whisper, sailed by Brian Goggin, Daniel Murphy and Sean Murphy.

Racing continues on Saturday.

Second overall - Dublin Bay's Phantom sailed by Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams of the Royal St George YCSecond overall - Dublin Bay's Phantom sailed by Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams of the Royal St George YC Photo: Bob Bateman

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Whisper — sailed by Daniel Murphy, his brother Sean and Brian Goggin — tops the fleet after the first day of racing in the Irish National Dragon Championships in Kinsale on Thursday (24 August).

The home team scored a bullet in the first race with a fourth-place finish in the second, enough to put them ahead of the Royal St George’s Phantom (Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring & David Williams) who placed second and third respectively. Both are on five nett points.

Little Fella, another Kinsale YC home entry and last year’s championship winner, is in third after a stronger performance in the second race, second over their previous fifth.

The highly touted Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St George is much further down the table in eighth place after a disastrous second race which saw them trailing most of the fleet in 15th.

Racing continues on Friday (25 August).

Dragon National Championships 2023 Photo Gallery Day One at Kinsale Yacht Club By Bob Bateman

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Lawrie Smith’s Alfie from Glandore Harbour Yacht Club, crewed by Richard Parslow, Goncalo Ribeiro and Ruairidh Scott, is 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix 2023 Champion.

Peter Gilmour’s YRED of the Japanese Yanmar Sailing Team takes second place overall and wins the new Britannia Trophy for the yacht with the best score without discard.

Defending champion Andy Beadsworth sailing Provezza Dragon completes the overall podium in third place.

Chris Grosscurth’s Fit Chick from the Medway, crewed by Jono Brown and Emma York, wins the Corinthian all amateur Edinburgh Cup Trophy.

The fifth and final race of the 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix was reminiscent of the great 12 Metre battles of the America’s Cup, as two of the World’s most talented sailors went head-to-head. Going into the race four-time World Match Racing Champion and America’s Cup helm Peter Gilmour and Britain’s Olympic Bronze Medallist, America’s Cup helm and Whitbread Race veteran Lawrie Smith knew that, allowing for discard, they were on equal points, each counting two firsts and a second.

After a three-hour delay to allow strong winds and big seas to abate and with a south easterly of 15 to 22 knots blowing down a two-mile beat, war was declared. Pre-start they were clearly sizing each other up, both started at the pin end with Smith slightly ahead and to weather. At the first mark Smith led the race with Gilmour right on his tail. Passing opportunities were few and far between due to a heavily left biased beat, and although Gilmour kept pressing, when Smith still held the lead as the boats turned onto the final run you might have been forgiven for thinking it was all over.

Gilmour was like a dog with a bone though, forcing Smith to pull out his best defensive moves as they constantly traded gybes. Nearing the final leeward mark on starboard Gilmour spotted his moment and took advantage of a timely wave and gust to surge level to leeward. In classic match racing style voices were raised and kites flapped as Gilmour and his team worked to press home their hard-fought gain.

But Smith is not an easy man to suppress and at the leeward gate, although Gilmour rounded first by mere seconds, Smith was able to claim the favoured left hand mark forcing Gilmour into the stronger tide for longer and requiring him to make one more tack on the beat. As they came to the line Smith had regained the upper hand crossing just seconds ahead of Gilmour to claim his second Edinburgh Cup win. Crossing the line behind the leading pair came Andy Beadsworth’s Turkish Provezza Dragon, securing him the final step on the podium.

After racing Alfie’s Ruairidh Scott commented, “We just had one race today. There were very strong winds this morning and east going tide made it pretty un-sailable first thing, but when the tide switched the seas moderated and the wind calmed down a bit. So we got one race in this afternoon which was a nice race. The situation meant that the title was between ourselves and Peter Gilmour, so unsurprisingly we started close to each other but we managed to get the better of the start. But Gilly and his team on YRED came into us on both runs and in the end, I think there was maybe only two to three boat lengths in it after a two hour race.”

L-R - RYS Rear Commodore Yachting Bruce Huber presents Emma York, Jono Brown and Chris Grosscurth with the Corinthian Edinburgh Cup Trophy and IDA Championship Coordinator Martin Payne presents them with the UK Dragon Grand Prix prizeL-R - RYS Rear Commodore Yachting Bruce Huber presents Emma York, Jono Brown and Chris Grosscurth with the Corinthian Edinburgh Cup Trophy and IDA Championship Coordinator Martin Payne presents them with the UK Dragon Grand Prix prize

In the Corinthian Division Chris Grosscurth’s Fit Chick team won by a single point from Ireland’s Martin Byrne. Simon Barter’s Bertie, of the local Solent fleet, took third place on countback alone from Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen.

The regatta concluded with a spectacular 75th Edinburgh Cup Gala Dinner sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. The competitors and their guests assembled on the Squadron Platform for predinner Hendrick Gin Neptunia Fizz cocktails, before moving to the Pavilion for dinner and the prize presentations.

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Kinsale Yacht Club is gearing up to host the Irish National Dragon Championships next weekend, which is set to attract boats from the UK, Dublin Bay and Glandore, who will join the strong local Kinsale fleet.

The event, sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald, promises to be a thrilling competition with last year's champions, "Little Fella" helmed by Cameron Good, looking to defend their crown on home waters. However, they won't have it their own way with "TBD" showing early form and winning the South Coasts in Kinsale earlier this season. Other competitors to look out for include Royal St. George's "Phantom" (Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring & David Williams), International Dragon Sailor Martin Byrne, and the Jaguar sailing team, who are rushing back from the Edinburgh Cup to make the start line on time. 

Regatta Director Maeve Cotter is keeping a close eye on the activities as Kinsale Yacht Club will also host the prestigious Gold Cup in September 2024. "We are treating the Nationals this year as a warmup for the Gold Cup next September and are delighted to have principal race officer Con Murphy oversee proceedings," she commented. The racing will take place on the Gold Cup course, well outside the harbor, giving competitors a taste of what they can expect next year. 

"Daniel Murphy and Cantor Fitzgerald are instrumental sponsors of the event, with Kinsale Yacht Club hugely indebted to their significant sponsorship," Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Matthias Hellstern told Afloat.

Daniel, a well-known Dragon sailor, will sail on "Whisper" together with his brother Sean and Brian Goggin. The event is set to kick off next Thursday (August 24th), and the organisers are optimistic that it will be a successful and entertaining competition for all involved.

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There were big gains and big losses across the fleet as teams battled variable shifting breezes and strong tides on the penultimate day of the 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix in Cowes.

Two bullets have given Peter Gilmour a six-point overall lead. The early leader Lawrie Smith drops down into second, with Grant Gordon holding third.

Peter Cunningham jumps up from tenth to fourth overall, while a favourite Andy Beadsworth is Black Flagged in race four.

Ireland's Martin Byrne is lying second in the Corinthian division.

Winning the Dragon Edinburgh Cup has always been regarded as one of the great challenges in one design keelboat sailing, and this 75th edition is proving as challenging as any of its predecessors. Having spent a windless second day ashore, the 41-strong fleet was back out in the Central Solent today for races three and four of the eight-race series, and what cracking races they were. The wind was in the southeast quadrant, shifty and ranging from 10 to 15 knots with occasional short bursts up to 18. With the exception of the first race, a building ebb tide made left the obvious way to go upwind, but how far left was the big question.

Peter Gilmour’s was the team of the day, claiming two impressive wins and jumping from fourth to first overall. For others though, it was a day of mixed fortunes, with some leaping up the scoreboard and others tumbling down.

Talking through their day back ashore, Peter Gilmour said, “We obviously had a pretty good day. We started well in both races. Sam did a really nice job of setting a current strategy. It’s always tricky out there and we followed it to the T and it really seemed to work well for us. In the first race we got out to the right in the flood tide and got pushed up to the top mark, and we led around there and won that race. And then in the next race we got over to the left and the relief from the ebb and it made a big difference. In the first race we started at the committee boat and in the second at the pin end, and that very much reflected on where we wanted to go. I think if you can start well and keep your nose ahead and not have a boat underneath you pinching, it gives you a great opportunity to sneak out and just get that first cross which is what we got in the first race.”

Overnight leader Lawrie Smith didn’t fare so well in race three, finishing twelfth, but came back in race two with a second to put him six points behind Gilmour in second. Grant Gordon went into the day in third and came out in third thanks to a ninth and fourth, and now sits three points behind Smith.

Peter Cunningham was the big mover of the day as he and his team found their rhythm in the boat and got to grips with those ever-tricky Solent tides. Race three saw them take second place behind Gilmour and they followed it up with a third in race four, shooting up the overall standings from tenth to fourth.

Also having a good day was Jan Secher whose seventh and fifth put him onto equal points with Cunningham and fifth overall on countback. “We had two good solid races so we’re super happy with that as it’s a really good fleet. Long races though so we’re pretty tired after two races of five legs. But a good day” – Jan Secher

Inevitably when one boat gains another loses, and it was defending Edinburgh Cup Champion Andy Beadsworth who lost out most today. He went into the day in second and tied on points with Grant Gordon. A third in race three put him jointly at the top of the leader board with Gilmour. Sadly, though he fell foul of the black flag in race four and was disqualified, tumbling him down into twelfth overall. No doubt he will be keen to see the single discard introduced after the fifth race.

Likewise falling down the rankings, although not quite so dramatically, was Gavia Wilkinson-Cox. She took a fourth in race three and approached the first weather mark of race four in fifth place, but with a strong foul tide running another boat misjudged its approach, ending up in irons and forcing Wilkinson-Cox to bail out losing her at least ten places. Despite her best efforts she could only finish seventeenth so drops from fifth to sixth in the standings.

In the Corinthian Division overnight leaders Chris Grosscurth and Martin Byrne had solid days and remain in first and second respectively, but Simon Barter has leapfrogged over Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen to move into third. Hong Kong-based William Swigart and his crew had never sailed Dragons before this event and chartered a boat specially to compete. They’d also never sailed in the Solent before. After a quick crash course in both Dragon sailing and complex tidal currents, nothing was going to hold them back, and they finished sixth in race four to round out the Corinthian top five going into the final day.

Will Swigart is based in Hong Kong but hails from California and is a Star sailor of long-standing. He and fellow Star sailors David Ceasar of Canada and Arthur Anosov from the Ukraine decided that the opportunity to sail in the 75th Edinburgh Cup was too good to miss. David Ceasar explains, “We saw this was the 75th Anniversary and thought it was going to be a great event in a great venue, so we decided this was the perfect time to strike, charter a boat and see what Dragon sailing is all about. They are wonderful boats, they set up really nicely, and they love the breeze which we like. We ended up sixth in the second race today.”

With two-mile legs the races are long and test the competitors’ physical and mental endurance. 

Up to four races remain to be sailed on the final day and once five races have been completed the single-race discard will come into play. This is likely to bring significant place changes as all but three of the top competitors are carrying double-figure results.

The forecast for the final day is wet and windy, with nineteen to thirty knots from the east in the morning. By lunchtime, the wind should start to abate, clocking to east-south-east, and the rain will ease, so the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Race Committee is hopefully that whilst completing the full eight-race programme is not realistic, they should nonetheless achieve two more races to decide the winners. A single-scoring discard will be introduced once five races have been completed.

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While the sun shone and temperatures hit the mid-20s, sadly, the wind gods did not smile on day two of the 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix 2023 in Cowes.

Rob Brown and his Royal Yacht Squadron Race Committee initially announced a two-hour postponement to see if a sea breeze would develop and then extended it to three hours when signs of cumulus clouds began to develop over the mainland shore. But sadly, it was not to be, and at 12.30, the decision was made to abandon racing for the day and allow everyone to enjoy a good lunch instead.

Whilst sailing might not have been possible, the sailors nonetheless enjoyed a wonderful day. Football fans were able to watch England’s Lionesses beat Australian Matilda’s in the Women's World Cup, refreshing swims were enjoyed from the beach, boats were tweaked, and tours of some of the Island’s attractions were organised.

And at 3pm everyone reconvened on the Royal Yacht Squadron lawn to enjoy “Not” Après Sailing drinks. Having been postponed the previous evening, the Day One Prize giving was also held with overall race one winner Lawrie Smith and Corinthian race winners Dun Laoghaire's Martin Byrne and Jono Brown amongst those receiving engraved glassware and bottles of Hendricks Neptunia Gin.

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Lawrie Smith, sailing Alfie for the Glandore Harbour Yacht Club in West Cork, gave a sailing masterclass in perfect Solent conditions to claim twin victories on the opening day of the 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix in Cowes. Andy Beadsworth’s Provezza Dragon from Turkey claimed a fourth and a second, while Grant Gordon’s Louise Racing took a pair of thirds, leaving the two boats tied on six points, with Beadsworth standing second overall and Gordon third on countback.

Chris Grosscurth leads the Corinthian (all amateur) fleet from Royal St. George's Martin Byrne of Dublin Bay and Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen.

For the 42-strong fleet, conditions really could not have been better, with hot sun and a lovely sea breeze that built from around 10-12 knots at the start of racing to the mid-teens by the end, gently clocking from south-west to west as the day wore on. The Royal Yacht Squadron’s Race Committee, led by Race Officer Rob Brown, used their well-rehearsed course “walking” technique, which involves moving the marks for each leg to counteract the tide's influence, on an approximately two-mile course over the Bramble Bank.

After racing Nigel Young, tactician aboard Ron James’ Fei-Lin’s Flirtation, summed up the day perfectly saying, “Today the conditions were a typical sea breeze enhanced wind and the sun was shining. A regatta that’s run by the Royal Yacht Squadron is always really sweetly run, and the Race Committee were fantastic today. And the socials organised by Gavia are always going to be good, so it’s hard not to enjoy yourself!”

In both races the fleet was initially over eager, and the general recall flag got a workout, but they got away cleanly on the second attempt each time. The fleet was well spread along the line, although the pin was clearly favoured. Smith did a great job of both starts and led from the outset, seeing off the only real challenges to his supremacy before the first marks. Having established dominance in the early stages of each race he went on to extend and take both by an impressive margin.

Whilst Smith may have been off and away, there was no lack of action in the chasing pack, with both races seeing constant place changes. Ireland’s Martin Byrne followed Smith around the first mark of race one, closely followed by Switzerland’s Dirk Oldenburgh, Peter Gilmour and his Japanese YRED Yanmar Racing team and Cowes-based Gavia Wilkinson-Cox in Jerboa. By the first leeward mark, Gilmour had made his way up into second and there he stayed, but the fight for third was still on. Gordon had rounded the first mark in eighth then worked his way up into third, but it was Andy Beadsworth, helming the Turkish Provezza Dragon, who surprised everyone with a spectacular recovery from a decidedly mediocre start, dragging himself from well buried in the pack up into fourth with Sweden’s Jan Secher in Miss Behaviour fifth, Wilkinson-Cox sixth and Byrne seventh.

The Race Committee did an excellent job of turning the races around quickly, and once again Smith dominated from the outset, winning by an even bigger margin than race one. Whilst neither particularly shone on the first beat, by the end of the first run Beadsworth was up into second place with Grant hard on his heels. On the second beat Gordon had got through into second, but Beadsworth kept pressing and overtook him again on the final beat. Following Gordon home for fourth place was Germany’s Hannes Hollaender in Grace, with Martin “Stavros” Payne sailing True Story fifth and Gilmour sixth.

In the overall standings Lawrie Smith counts two points and has a four-point lead over Andy Beadsworth and Grant Gordon, who both have six points. In fourth place overall on eight points is Peter Gilmour with Gavia Wilkinson-Cox rounding out the top five.

Speaking after racing Andy Beadsworth commented, “Obviously Lawrie did very well today with two bullets, we had a fourth and a second and Grant had two thirds so it’s pretty tight at the front, but it’s still wide open I think. It’s the first day of the regatta, you can’t win it but you could lose it and we’re in the hunt so we’re pretty happy.”

In the Corinthian Fleet for all amateur crews, Chris Grosscurth’s Fit Chick from the Medway put in an excellent showing taking two ninth places overall and a second and first in the Corinthians. Second Corinthian overall and Corinthian race one winner is Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team, with Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen third overall, Simon Barter’s Bertie fourth and William Swigart’s Full Speed from the Royal Hong Kong YC fifth.

The Dragon fleet is famed as much for its fun and camaraderie as for its world-class sailing, so after racing, the crews repaired to the Royal Yacht Squadron for Après Sailing Drinks. After that, it was on to the Island Sailing Club for a Celebration Cocktail Party.

The forecast for the second day of racing is for more beautiful sunshine, but much lighter wind, particularly in the morning. By early afternoon there is the possibility of 7-11 knots from the eastern quadrant and so the race committee remains hopeful of achieving racing, although an initial postponement is quite likely. Two of the eight scheduled races have now been completed and the regatta continues until Friday 18 August. A single scoring discard will be introduced once five races have been completed.

Provisional Top Ten After Two Races

  • 1 - Lawrie Smith - GBR815 Alfie - 1, 1 = 2
  • 2 - Andy Beadsworth - TUR12 Provezza Dragon - 4, 2 = 6
  • 3 - Grant Gordon - GBR820 Louise Racing - 3, 3 = 6
  • 4 - Peter Gilmour - JPN56 YRED - 2, 6 = 8
  • 5 - Gavia Wilkinson-Cox - GBR831 Jerboa - 6, 7 = 13
  • 6 - Hannes Holleander - GER1075 Grace - 11, 4 = 15
  • 7 - Jan Secher - SWE800 Miss Behaviour - 5, 11 = 16
  • 8 - Chris Grosscurth - GBR753 Fit Chick - 9, 9 = 18 (1st Corinthian)
  • 9 - Torvar Mirsky - AUS551 Yeahnah - 8, 12 = 20
  • 10 - Martin Payne - GBR818 True Story - 18, 5 = 23
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Ireland's Tony O’Gorman, winner of four Edinburgh Cups between 1978 and 1984, was a special guest at the Opening Ceremony and Cocktail Party at the Royal Yacht Squadron to mark the official start of the 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix. 

The sailors and their guests enjoyed champagne and canapes as Regatta Chair Gavia Wilkinson-Cox welcomed the competitors and thanked everyone involved in making the regatta possible and the many sponsors for their generous support.

Defending 2022 Edinburgh Cup Champion Andy Beadsworth, who was racing earlier this summer in Dun Laoghaire, will be racing with his Turkish Provezza Dragon team of Simon Fry and Enes Çaylak.

 L-R - 75th Edinburgh Cup Regatta Chair Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, 1963 Edinburgh Cup winner Martin Parry and reigning Edinburgh Cup Champion Andy Beadsworth. All images (c) Rick and James Tomlinson L-R - 75th Edinburgh Cup Regatta Chair Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, 1963 Edinburgh Cup winner Martin Parry and reigning Edinburgh Cup Champion Andy Beadsworth. Photo: James Tomlinson

41 teams from 12 nations and 4 continents will race for the honour of having their name engraved on the historic Edinburgh Cup, which has been awarded to the winner of the Dragon Open British Championship since it was presented by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1949. With the event also incorporating the UK Dragon Grand Prix, one of just four European Grand Prix Circuit events in 2023, it has attracted an exceptionally high calibre entry.

Ireland’s Martin Byrne, owner/helm of Jaguar Sailing Team and winner of the 2011 Edinburgh Cup is looking forward to the competition. "It’s the 75th Anniversary this year but the Edinburgh Cup is an event we would not want to miss at any time. Clearly, the competition is at its highest in this Anniversary year and that will be our biggest challenge. We enjoy the welcome we receive each year when we travel over from Ireland to compete. The Edinburgh Cup has always been a must-do event for us, but Irish Dragons have a long and successful history in this competition, and we are proud and privileged to continue this tradition."

Fresh from victory in the Dragon Class at Cowes Week 2023 comes 1999 Edinburgh Cup winner Martin Payne who has been impressed with the organisation so far. “We have all the ingredients for a fantastic event. Huge thanks to Gavia Wilkinson-Cox for the exceptional organisation, to the measurement team led by our IDA measurer Bence Toronyi, and to all the Cowes Yacht Haven Staff for helping launch the boats. The registration at the RYS has been a delight and we all look forward to a great 75th Edinburgh Cup.”

Racing in his first Edinburgh Cup will be Australia’s match racing legend Peter Gilmour, at the helm of the Yanmar Racing Team’s Y-RED with crew Jasuhiro Yaji and Sam Gilmour. “The 75th Edinburgh Cup is going to be a tremendous event. It’s exciting for the Yanmar Racing team to be a part of it and for the Yanmar Group to be a supporting sponsor. The amazing prestige and heritage of the Edinburgh Cup goes hand in hand with Yanmar’s long history. There is a tremendous field of sailors, and it will be interesting once again to take on the tricky and challenging conditions of the Solent. A big thanks from Yaji san, Sam and myself for letting us be a part of it.”

Very much looking forward to the competition is Graham Bailey, current Turkish Open Dragon Champion, Bronze Medallist at the 2023 Dragon Worlds and three-time Edinburgh Cup winning helm, who will race the 75-year young Bluebottle with Julia Bailey, Will Heritage and Mark Lees. “It’s wonderful to be here for the double celebration of Bluebottle and the Edinburgh Cup’s 75th birthdays. There are some strong teams entered and we’ll put our best foot forward, but one thing we are certain of is that we are going to have fun!”

Also racing will be British Olympic Bronze Medallist Lawrie Smith, top French sailor Gery Trentesaux, Danish double Olympic Gold Medallist and five-time Edinburgh Cup Champion Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, Australian World Match Racing Champion Torvar Mirsky, TP52 and MOD70 veteran Peter Cunningham from the Caymen Islands, top Hong Kong Dragon sailor Marc Castagnet, and a host of other top names from across the UK and Europe.

Racing will take place from Tuesday 15 to Friday 19 August with up to eight races scheduled over the four days with a first warning signal at 10:55 daily. Racing will take place on windward-leeward courses in the central Solent under the supervision of the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Race Officer Rob Brown, himself a past Edinburgh Cup winner.

The forecast for the opening day is promising plenty of sunshine with a light 3 to 8-knot westerly breeze in the morning, which is expected to back to south-westerly and build to 10 to 15 knots with gusts into the low twenties during the afternoon. With Wednesday's forecast threatening very light winds, the Race Committee has announced that it intends to run three races on the opening day.

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Ireland will be represented at The Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes this month when the club hosts the 75th Edinburgh Cup and International Dragon UK Grand Prix starting this Sunday, August 13th.

Royal St. George's Martin Byrne of the Jaguar Sailing Team in Dun Laoghaire, who is a past winner of the event, will be Ireland's sole representative at what promises to be the biggest in over a decade, with participants from 12 different countries, including Scandinavia, Turkey, Australia, Japan, and the Cayman Islands. See entries here.

Championship racing will take place from Tuesday, August 15th to Friday, August 18th, with a social program that includes an Opening Ceremony sponsored by Yanmar and a Gala Prizegiving Dinner sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. This year, the trust is presenting a new perpetual trophy for the Edinburgh Cup, which is a maquette of a Royal Yachtsman's statue commissioned in 2011 in memory of all who served aboard BRITANNIA. The trophy will be awarded to the top-scoring Dragon, counting all race results.

Bluebottle, the legendary Dragon built by Camper & Nicholson and presented to Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip at their wedding in 1947, will be present at the event. The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust rescued Bluebottle after it fell into disrepair and she will be raced by past Edinburgh Cup winners Graham and Julia Bailey. The duo recently won the Turkish National Championship and claimed third place at the 2023 Dragon World Championship in Bodrum, making them a team to watch during the Edinburgh Cup.

The Edinburgh Cup's rules allow for a single race discard in the overall score for the regatta, but in the early years of the competition, all races counted towards the overall result. The new Britannia Trophy will be awarded to the top-scoring Dragon, counting all race results. With so many countries represented and top-performing teams vying for the coveted trophy, the 75th Edinburgh Cup and International Dragon UK Grand Prix is set to be an exciting and competitive event.

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