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Displaying items by tag: Dragon Edinburgh Cup

#dragon – A third in yesterday's race on home waters gives Simon Brien a nine point lead going into the final race of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup on Belfast lough this morning.

After a shocking start where an Australian competitor, Gordon Ingate, with an Americas Cup pedigree, forced the defending champion Martin Byrne into the pin end boat.  The Dun Laoghaire boat rounded the top mark in 26th position in a fresh 20knot + breeze and played catch up all round the race course to eventually finish eighth.

Byrne has moved up to second overall just two points ahead of current world champion Lawrie Smith with several others snapping at their heels.

Technically any of the top eight could still win in the single title race decider tomorrow.

The penultimate day of the 2012 Dragon Edinburgh Cup sponsored by Belfast Harbour brought big winds and big changes in the overall leader board.

There was just one race to complete so the committee set a full two-mile beat and with the wind gusting up into the high 20s it was to be a day that would truly sort the men from the boys. This fifth race in the series also brought the single discard into play and as a result there were major gains and losses with several of the early favourites dropping out of serious contention whilst others jumped up the rankings.

The man who made the biggest gain of the day was Simon Brien who went from second overall, ten points behind Julia Bailey, to first overall with a nice but not unassailable nine point lead over fellow Irishman Martin Byrne, who discarded a 39th place in favour of today's eighth to scoot up from ninth into second. Tonight reigning Edinburgh Cup Champion Brien was relieved to still be in contention to defend his title at all. On the start line he was caught up in a major incident caused by another boat and ended up rounding the first mark back in 25th place before fighting his way back up through the fleet.

There are now only four points separating second to fifth and technically any of the top eight boats could still win the regatta. Lawrie Smith finished the race in fourth and moves up into third overall, just two points behind Byrne. A single point behind him is Jens Rathsack who makes an even bigger leap up the scoreboard from 12th to fourth thanks to adding a sixth and discarding an OCS.

For Julia Bailey it was definitely not a good day. She did her best to recover from a lousy start but ended up getting her worst result of the series at 22nd place and drops down from first to fifth overall, one point behind Rathsack. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox put in another very solid performance to finish fifth, but the discards did not work in her favour so she drops from third to sixth overall.

Today's race winner was double Olympic Gold Medallist Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen who took control off the line and never gave a moment's though to relinquishing it as he delighted in the stronger conditions. His win puts him in seventh place overall, four points behind Wilkinson-Cox, and still in with a slim chance of claiming a record equalling sixth Edinburgh Cup title. Andrew Craig is the final player still in with a long shot at the laurels. His ninth place in race five leaves him four points behind Hoj-Jensen but 24 points behind Brien. Rounding out the top ten are Cameron Good and Klaus Diederichs who clearly loved the stronger winds and crossed the line in second place after a spectacular tousle amongst the leading pack.

One final race remains to be sailed tomorrow and with a forecast for lighter winds it remains anyone's championship.

With the championship race completed it was the turn of the crews to take the helm in the traditional Edinburgh Cup crews race which proved to be every bit as cut throat and exciting. One or two of the regular helms found themselves a bit disconcerted to be on the bow in well over 20 knots of breeze but the crews showed no mercy. Henry Kingston sailing Cameron Good's Little Fella was the ultimate victor although he was challenged hard by 11-year-old Will Heritage sailing Julia and Graham Bailey's Aimee. Ross Vaughan sailing Gordon Patterson's Bear took third with Guy Clarabut in Jono Ratnage's Fit Chick hard on his heels. Will Heritage was declared the very deserving winner of the special prize for young helms Under 30.

Published in Dragon

#dragon –Belfast hosts were the top performing boat of the day as Simon Brien's IRL214 KIN, crewed by Mark Brien and David Gomes took third in race three before going on to win race four in style by leading the fleet the entire length of the course. As a result Brien leaps up the scoreboard from 13th to second place overall counting 34 points.

Defending champion Martin Byrne won race three but slipped in race four to count a 39th and be ninth overall after four races.

Day two of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup sponsored by Belfast Harbour brought just about every possible weather condition bar snow. The day started and ended with rain, there was thick fog for several hours followed by a spell of lovely hot sun and the wind came from almost every direction possible at some point in the day. Despite the delays for fog and the very shifty and mainly light conditions the race committee was able to run two further races, races three and four of the six race series. For the competitors it was an extremely challenging day's racing with a number of boats having decidedly mixed results on only three boats managing an all top ten score.

Also very consistent was Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, sailing GBR716 Jerboa with Martin Payne and Rui Boia, who placed ninth then fourth to move up from ninth to third overall, four points behind Brien.

Julia Bailey, Graham Bailey, Dylan Potter and Will Heritage sailing GBR720 Aimee retain their overall lead of the regatta despite a wobble in race three which saw them finish twentieth. Fortunately they came back hard in race four fighting their way out of the pack to finish second and secure a ten point overall lead.

Owen Pay, sailing IRL204 Seabird with Jon Mortimer and Steve Richardson proved that consistency pays with a tenth and 15th to move up a place in the ranking from fifth to fourth, just one point behind Wilkinson-Cox.  Ron James, Julia Walsh and Nigel Young sailing GBR633 Fei-Lin's Flirtation have moved up from 11th to fifth and also provided the closest finish of the day when they crossed the line in race for absolutely neck and neck with Mick Cotter's IRL213 Whisper crewed by John Driscoll and Kenny McCullough.  Lawrie Smith, crewed by Tim Tavinor and Ossie Stewart in GBR763 Alfie took a fifth in race three but then a 26th in the day's second race moved him down the leader board from fourth to sixth.

Another boat that reveled in the conditions today was Andrew Craig's Chimera, crewed by Brian Matthews and Mark Pettitt, who were the only other team to finish in the top ten in both races with a second in race three and a sixth in race four. Sadly for them they are still carrying a Black Flag disqualification from yesterday's race two so they currently lie in 16th place overall and will be very happy to see the discard come into play after the fifth race.

Whilst some made the most of the conditions others struggled including Jens Rathsack, sailing MON2 with Stefan Waak and Mario Wagner. Having gone into the day second overall they were over eager on the start line in race three but failed to return when the individual recall flag was hoisted. Things improved for them in race four where they finished ninth, but they now lie 12th overall and will also be very glad to see the discard kick in.

Martin Byrne and his crew Pedro Andrade and Adam Winkleman aboard IRL201 got their day of to a fantastic start by winning race three. Sadly they could not get the measure of race four and were bitterly disappointed to finish 39th, ruining a previously all top ten score card and moving them down the overall rankings from second to ninth.

In the Corinthian Division for the all amateur crews Julia Bailey again continues to lead the fleet, Simon Brien has moved up into second place and Owen Pay has dropped down into third.

At the post racing prize giving at Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club Brewin Dolphin's Executive Chairman Jamie Matheson presented the daily awards and also presented a truly unique prize to the overall leader Julia Bailey and her Aimee team of beautifully engraved sterling silver cufflinks.  Today's special Sebago prize of footwear for the entire crew went to Mark and Mandy Wade and Simon Cash of GBR722 Avalanche.

This evening the crews are getting all dressed up in best bib and tucker for the Edinburgh Cup Gala Dinner, hosted by the Belfast Harbour Commissioners at the historic Harbour Office and sponsored by Brewin Dolphin. For more than 150 years the Harbour Office has been the headquarters of the Belfast Harbour Commission and its elegant public rooms house many fascinating and unusual works of art and artifacts connected with Belfast's maritime history.

The Edinburgh Cup sponsored by Belfast Harbour continues until Saturday 7 July with two further races still to be completed. The single discard will come inot play once race five has been raced. One championship race is scheduled for tomorrow and in addition the traditional and highly competitive Crews Race will also be run tomorrow with contenders for this prestigious title including 11 year old Will Heritage from Aimee and teenager Harry Strauss who is crewing for his parents Quentin and Nikki aboard GBR708 Rumours.

Top Five After Four Races

1.  GBR720 - Aimee - Julia Bailey -  1, 1, 20, 2 = 24

2.  IRL214 - KIN - Simon Brien - 4, 26, 3, 1 = 34

3.  GBR716 - Jerboa - Gavia Wilkinson-Cox - 12, 13, 9, 4 = 38

4.  IRL204 - Seabird - Own Pay - 10, 4. 10, 15 = 39

5.  GBR633 - Fei-Lin's Flirtation - 16, 10, 7, 10.5 RDG = 43.5

Published in Dragon

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