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Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 were in first place in the final race of the championships when the wind died on Sunday.

It took several attempts to get the race started due to a very shifty and patchy sea breeze and when it got underway, the wind continued to play tricks.

Jaguar was in first place at weather mark but both Jaguar and the regatta leader were then left parked at the leeward gate and the backmarkers were able to take right-hand buoy and stay in the fickle breeze on the final beat to finish. Jaguar and regatta lead boat was scored 'DNF' as they failed to escape the hole at the port buoy.

The event was effectively turned on its head in one race that was unsuccessfully protested by the regatta leader who in turn lost first place in the 11-boat fleet. 

"Great sailing albeit in challenging conditions for competitors and race management", according to the Irish crew. 

The Dublin Bay entry dropped to fifth overall. Results are here

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It was a tough second day for Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 after four races sailed. 

The Dublin Bay entry has dropped to third overall with quite a points gap to second place overall now developed.

Conditions were far shiftier today than in the opening races for the 11-boat fleet. 

Overall leaders (with two wins and two seconds) at Villamoura are Pedro Mendes Leal, Jorge Ferlov and Pedro Rebelo de Andrade of Cascais. 

Three races are scheduled tomorrow. Results are here

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A Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar are lying second overall at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 after two races sailed. 

The Dublin Bay entry broke a spinnaker pole in race one but still finished second. They led the second race until the last leg where they were caught out by a right shift at the top end of the beat.

Conditions have been excellent so far in wind and sunshine for the opening races of the 11-boat fleet. 

Overall leaders (with two wins) at Villamoura are Pedro Mendes Leal, Jorge Ferlov and Pedro Rebelo de Andrade of Cascais. 

Racing continues. Results are here

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Not for the first time, the super-consistent team of Neil Hegarty, David Williams and the evergreen Peter Bowring won the Dragon Irish National Championships in Kinsale YC over the weekend.

In a stunning series, they opened their account with three straight bullets and kept it steady after that to wrap up their series with a 4 point winning margin.

"Phantom" flew her 100% North Sails inventory which consisted of her A7+ mainsail, MH-8H genoa and CD-5 spinnaker.

2nd overall - Ghost IRL 1812nd overall - Ghost IRL 181 Photo: Bob Bateman

2nd overall was Colm Dunne, sailing with Colm Daly and Daniel McCloskey, in his new Dragon "Ghost". Colm split the tie-break with Brian Goggin, Daniel Murphy, Sean Murphy, and John O'Connor on "Serafina" (also 100% powered by North Sails) by virtue of winning two races to the one race won by "Serafina!".

Serafina IRL 1803rd overall - Serafina IRL 180 Photo: Bob Bateman

Talk about TIGHT racing!

Colm and his team only took delivery of the boat this year and this, coupled with their new North Sails inventory of their A14 mainsail, v6-M genoa and R9 spinnaker made them a new force in the class.

Congratulations to all the Dragon fleet on yet another great event by all accounts. The class looks like it's on the rebound and all of us here at North Sails are delighted to be a part of that.

Sail FAST.

Published in North Sails Ireland

The final race of the championship decided the top four places overall of the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon Nationals at Kinsale with Dublin Bay sailors Peter Bowring, Neil Hegarty and David Williams taking the title.

The race was sailed in a consistent 10 knots of breeze from the southeast with a swell.

After a general recall, the fleet started on the U flag.

At the end of the first run, the top four, Serafina, Phantom, Ghost and Little Fella, arrived at the gate only seconds apart and again chose different sides. After rounding the windward mark the second time and while Phantom, Serafina and Little Fella were covering each other on the left side of the run, Ghost came down the right side, took advantage of a slight wind shift and established a substantial lead.

Runners up - Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'ConnorThird overall Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'Connor

Fourth overall - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston Photo: Bob BatemanFourth overall - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston Photo: Bob Bateman

On the final beat, Ghost chose to sail up the middle of the course, followed by Phantom and Serafina while Little Fella went up the right side. Ghost could not be caught and took line honours. Little Fella took advantage of a good lift to recover from 5th to 2nd. Phantom's 3rd, however, was enough to secure Peter Bowring, Neil Hegarty and David Williams the title, Serafina came 4th.

With Phantom, the National Champion, 2nd to 4th ended on 16 points each, and it went to countback. Two wins were enough to secure Ghost - Colm Dunne, Colm Daly & Dan McCloskey 2nd overall with Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'Connor in 3rd. Little Fella - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston had to settle for 4th.

Dragon prizewinners at Kinsale Yacht ClubDragon prizewinners at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo courtesy of Matthias Hellstern

Click here for results. See photo galleries here and day two here

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Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams in Phantom held on to the overall lead during Day three of the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon National Championships.

14 knots of easterly wind and a reduced swell made for near-perfect sailing conditions.

The Royal St. George Phantom was caught OCS in race 5, restarted, and sailed a tactically perfect race to come second. Local boat Ghost took the lead on the first run by coming down the right-hand side of the course. They held on to the lead to take first. Serafina with the Murphy brothers and Brian Goggin secured third.

Race 6 started with slightly lighter winds of 8 – 10 knots. Serafina and Little Fella were jockeying for first place; Serafina held them off and took line honours. Phantom and Ghost were tick tacking for third – Ghost got ahead, leaving Phantom in fourth.
Nothing is certain in the top four places, so the Irish National Dragon Champion 2021 and second and third will be decided in the final race. Testament to the close racing enjoyed over the last three days.

Click here for results. See photo galleries here and day two here

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Two wins for the Royal St. George Yacht Club's Phantom skippered by Neil Hegarty put the Dublin Bay Dragon crew in the lead after day two of the class national championships in Kinsale in County Cork.

After four races sailed (and no discard), Hegarty, sailing with Peter Bowring and David Williams, has three race wins to his credit, giving the Dublin trio a four-point margin over day one leader Cameron Good of the host club. 

Brian Goggin's Serafina, also of Kinsale, is third overall. 

Lighter conditions than the first day led Race Officer John Stallard to make the decision to shorten the race at the end of the second run in race four. MarJ, Adrian Bendon KYC, secured second with Serafina 3rd and Ghost 4th.

With a discard due to kick in tomorrow, three races are left in the championship and light airs are forecast.

Results are here

Dragon Irish Nationals Day two Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

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Local ace Cameron Good leads a fleet of 15 after day one of the O’Leary Life Irish Dragon Championship at Kinsale Yacht Club.

Race 1 got underway with an easterly wind blowing 16 – 18 knots and a 2-metre swell making for heavy conditions.

The local KYC fleet dominated from the off with TBD, James Matthews KYC, in the lead followed closely by Little Fella, Cameron Good KYC, hot on their heels. Serafina, Brian Goggin KYC, was 3rd with a newcomer to the fleet, Ghost, Colm Dunne in 4th.

Aphrodite from Glandore Harbour Sailing Club retired following a MOB incident with the crew recovered safe and well.

Race 2 and TBD was pushing the line at the start resulting in them being OCS and by the time they were able to return to restart they had lost a lot of time. However, they managed to catch the fleet and ended up with a 9th. Phantom, Neil Hegarty RStGYC, had a good start and stayed ahead of Little Fella to take line honours, Little Fella was 2nd, Ghost was 3rd and Serafina 4th.

Today ended with Little Fella lying in first place with 4 points, Phantom has 6 and Serafina and Ghost each have 7.

The heavy conditions suited some boats today, but it is early in the championship and there are lighter conditions forecast for tomorrow which may suit more of the fleet.

Results are here 

Dragon Nationals Photo Gallery Day One By Bob Bateman

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Two final races in glorious sun and moderate breeze completed the six-race Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar in Marstrand. The regatta ended on high drama when no less than five of the top ten boats were disqualified under black flag in the penultimate race, throwing the overall results wide open. Those on the wrong side of the line included Dirk Pramann, Dmitry Samokhin, Andy Beadsworth, Torvar Mirsky and Jens Christensen, who had gone into the day 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th respectively.

For overnight leader Pieter Heerema the sight of so many close challengers pulling out must have been a welcome relief. But with no discard in the Gold Cup there was still a lot of racing between him and victory so it was immediately back to the business in hand. Once again this hugely experienced team, which includes past Gold Cup and Double European Championship winning helm Lars Hendriksen and Ukrainian double 49er Olympian and past Gold Cup-winning crew George Leonchuk, sailed fast and smart to finish second behind Anatoly Loginov in RUS27. Loginov had been black flagged in the first race of the series so despite this being his third race win he had no realistic chance of making the podium and was sailing purely for the joy of it. Crossing the line in third came Belgium's Benjamin Morgen, with Demark's Frank Berg fourth and young Australian 49er sailor David Gilmour, helming for the Japanese YRed team in father Peter's absence, fifth.

Going into the final race Heerema and his team had a sixteen point delta on nearest rival Pedro Andrade so their focus was on starting cleanly and staying out of trouble. Andrade got a great start at the committee boat end, tacked right straight away and went on to lead the race comfortably all the way to the finish. Behind him a chasing pack soon broke off the front of the fleet and a tight battle ensued between Andy Beadsworth, Magnus Holmberg, Dmitry Samokhin, David Gilmour and Pieter Heerema. Despite winning the race in spectacular style Andrade knew his reign as Dragon Gold Cup Champion had come to an end as Heerema crossed the line in fourth behind Beadsworth and Samokhin. Holmberg took fifth and Sweden's Martin Pålsson sixth.

In the overall standings, Pieter Heerema claimed victory by thirteen points. Pedro Andrade took second and the Japanese team of David Gilmour, Sam Gilmour and Yashiro Yaju sailing YRed and representing event sponsor Yanmar finished third.

This will be a particularly sweet victory for Pieter Heerema who has spent some 30 years trying to win the Gold Cup and had developed something of a bridesmaid's reputation having made the lower slopes of the podium in 2013, 2018 and 2019, but never quite made it to the top step. But Heerema, a Vendee Globe Race veteran, is not a man to give in easily and that determination has finally paid off. After the prize-giving an elated Pieter Heerema summed up his feelings saying, "I've tried to win this thing a lot of times and I've been several times second, third and fourth, but finally it works!"

For Martin Pålsson his sixth place in the final race moved him up to fourth in the overall standings and confirmed him and his crew of Peter Lindh, Thomas Wallenfeldt and Gustav Gärdebäck as the 2021 Dragon Gold Cup Corinthian Champions. Second in the Corinthian Division was Denmark's Frank Berg with Germany's Benjamin Morgen third.

The Dragon Gold Cup also features a special competition for national teams called the Nations Cup. Three boat teams for each nation are selected based on their finishing position in the opening race of the series. The winners of the 2021 Nations Cup are the Russian team of RUS76 Rocknrolla (Dmitry Samokhin), RUS35 Sunflower (Viktor Fogelson) and RUS27 Annapurna (Anatoly Loginov). The deed of gift states that the trophy shall be held by the helmsman of the team member with the highest overall placing and so the Nations Cup will be returning to Russia with Dmitry Samokhin.

At the prize giving held outside the island's famous Societetshuset community hall the sailors were able to not only salute the victors, but also say thank you to the people of Marstrand, to the staff and members of the Marstrand’s Segelsällskap, the Göteborgs Kungliga Segelsällskap and the Swedish Dragon Class, to the Race Officer Mattias Dahlström and his team and to the event sponsors Yanmar and the many supporting sponsors and suppliers who helped make the event possible.

As the sun finally set on the Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar Martin Pålsson summarised the event beautifully saying, "First Marstrand showed its bad side, I've never seen so many day's ashore here in my whole life, but finally we got three days with super sailing and we got all the races in and they were full length races. The Race Officers and everybody have done a tremendous job, the social life has been well organised and fun despite the COVID-19 restrictions and everything has been great. We've seen some impressive sailing from some young new crews and we've seen the Corinthian teams getting great results overall too."

The 2022 Dragon Gold Cup will take place in Ostend, Belgium from 21 to 26 August, while the next major event in the International Dragon calendar will be the Italian Grand Prix and the Dragon European Grand Prix Finals in Sanremo, Italy from 26 to 31 October 2021. And, as regular Afloat readers will know, the Dragon Gold Cup comes to Kinsale, County Cork in 2024.

Overall Top Ten

1st - NED412 - Troika - Pieter Heerema - 1, 2, 5, 3, 2, 4 = 17
2nd - POR89 - Pedro Andrade - Petti Portugal - 2, 6, 8, 7, 6, 1 = 30
3rd - JPN56 - David Gilmour - YRed - 13, 25, 2, 12, 5, 8 = 65
4th - SWE401 - Martin Pålsson - Nono - 14, 11, 9, 10, 25, 6 = 75
5th - SWE345 - Jan Secher - Miss Behaviour - 8, 27, 20, 5, 7, 9 = 76
6th - SUI311 - Magnus Holmberg - Sophie Racing - 20, 1, 30, 13, 9, 5 = 78
7th - DEN266 - Frank Berg - My Way - 28, 3, 14, 20, 4, 12 = 81
8th - RUS27 - Anatoly Loginov - Annapurna - BFD, 10, 1, 1, 1, 7 = 91
9th - GER1180 - Benjamin Morgen - Rosie - 12, 5, 33, 25, 3, 14 = 92
10th - GER1207 - Nicola Friesen - Khaleesi - 9, 8, 27, 16, 27, 10 = 97

Corinthian Top Five

1st - SWE401 - Martin Pålsson - Nono - 2, 3, 2, 2, 16, 1 = 26
2nd - DEN266 - Frank Berg - My Way - 12, 1, 5, 6, 2, 3 = 29
3rd - GER1180 - Benjamin Morgen - Rosie - 1, 2, 17 10, 1, 5 = 36
4th - BEL80 - Ben Van Cauwenbergh - FL4T OUT - 4, 8, 11, 1, 11, 9 = 44
5th - RUS35 - Viktor Fogelson - Sunflower - 7, 5, 9, 16, 4, 6 = 47

Click here for full results

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After the successful staging of The Sovereigns Cup in June, Kinsale Yacht Club is now preparing for another Championship in early September.

Over 15 teams are expected to battle it out for the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon national title, a title that has never been won by local hotshots "Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, Simon Furney) having watched arch-rival "Phanton" (Neil Hegarty, David Williams, Peter Bowring) take the crown consecutively for the last number of years.

This year, however, Little Fella has won the South Coasts and East Coasts already this year so that the Nationals would give them the Grand Slam!

Racing starts on 2nd of September under race officer John Stallard.

Eight teams from the host club will compete, with another Kinsale crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon) expected to be in the mix if it's windy.

If conditions are lighter, "Serafina" (Brian Goggin, Daniel Murphy, Sean Murphy) or the beautifully restored "Titan" (Martin Byrne, Ben Cooke, Rui Ferreira) could be the ones to watch.

"Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kinston, Simon Fourney) carries local hopes of landing the National Dragon title"Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, Simon Furney) carries local hopes of landing the National Dragon title

Kinsale Dragon crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon)Kinsale Dragon crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon)

Kinsale Yacht Club Vice-Commodore, Matthias Hellstern, commented, "We are delighted to welcome the Dragons to Kinsale for their National Championships next month in what looks like being a very hot fleet. The Dragon fleet numbers are continually growing in Kinsale, and two new teams are already actively seeking boats for next season. I am also delighted to see the initiative to attract young sailors from Glandore with a special reduced entry fee for the under the '30s. Special thanks to our sponsors O'Leary Life who has been a phenomenal supporter of our club over the last number of years, with multiple Sovereigns Cup sponsorships, and we are extremely grateful to have them on board for the Dragon Nationals."

Brian Goggin from sponsors O'Leary Life added, "As a Kinsale dragon sailor myself, O'Leary Life are delighted to support this event. Kinsale Yacht Club are a fantastic club, made up of some incredible volunteers who go above and beyond to ensure the continued success of the yacht club, and O'Leary Life is delighted to acknowledge the same with our support."

Notice of Race and online entry is now available here

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