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#dragon – Dublin Bay's Martin Byrne leads the Irish Dragon class ranking list as the class prepares to divvy out limited places for Irish sailors intending to compete at the world and European class championships in 2013.

World or European championship places are allocated according to a ranking list (see xcel file for download below). The Irish fleet gets 8 places at a World or European Championship (plus one for a current Officer of the IDA). The system used for the past number of years allows sailors to count their best 3 results from the Easts, Nats, Souths and Derg in the calendar year before the Championship regatta.

Unfortunately, this year the East Coasts did not have the requisite number of races to count as a ranking regatta. After consultation with the International Dragon Association Irish officers decided to amend the ranking procedure this year to allow helmsmen to qualify for 2013 events (the Europeans in Cascais 6 – 13 April and the Worlds in Weymouth 5 – 13 September) counting their best three results from the Edinburgh Cup 2012, the Irish Nationals 2012, the Irish South Coasts 2012, the Gold Cup 2012 and the Jack Craig Memorial Bell in Derg 2012.

The attached Ranking List is calculated using the low point scoring system and only Irish Dragon Association members are included in the analysis.

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#dragon – The 2012 season saved the best for last for the Irish Dragon fleet. Ten crews enjoyed moderate breezes, warm sunshine, and sparkling flat water as they competed in Lough Derg YC's Freshwater One Design Keelboat Regatta. Martin Byrne, crewed by Anthony Shanks and Olympian James Espey, won the Jack Craig Memorial Bell with a race to spare with a tally of five firsts in the eight races sailed.

The fight behind was intense on the sprint courses expertly set by the LDYC team. Eventually Garry Treacy crewed by Paul Maguire and Don O'Dowd secured second place, with third place going to Richard Goodbody and Tim Pearson sharing the helm on Diva, and crewed by the Johnson brothers, Rick and Rob, and fourth taken by Maeve Cotter with sons Daniel and Sean.

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#loughderg  – Beautiful Autumn sunshine greeted the combined fleets of Dragons, SB20's, Squibs and J80's as they started the final day of the Lough Derg Yacht Club Freshwater Keelboat regatta. Not a ripple stirred Lough Derg as the fleet left the dock but the forecast South Easterly 10-20 knots soon made its appearance for race 1.

In the Dragon Class, Martin Byrne from RSGYC crewed by Anthony Shanks and James Espey stormed to a decisive victory counting five 1sts and two 3rds to win by a 12 point margin over RSGYC stablemates Gerry Treacy, Paul McGuire and Don O'Dowd. Byrne didn't have to race the final race in the series and left it up to the pack to decide second overall.

The SB20 class clearly enjoyed the fresh and gusty conditions on the trapezoid course today. It was neck and neck between rivals Ben Duncan and Peter Kennedy going into the final races but it was Duncan who scored a 1,3 today over Kennedy's 6,2 to win the midlands title for the first time in its 6 year history. Kennedy who has won this event for the past three years running had to contend himself with second. Third place had to be fought over today by Aidan O'Connell and James Gorman but the Black Flag that Aidan received for being over early in race 1, upset his chances and James took his podium result by a single point lead over Aidan in the end. O'Connell did manage to finish on a high by winning the final race of the series.

In the 2012 SB20 circuit Duncan has all but shown a clean set of results having only lost 1 event this year.

The squibs also shared the Windward/Leeward course today with the Dragons. No results were available last night due to protests but it was James Matthews from Kinsale who scored 3,1,3,1,3 to win over Jonathan Craig's very solid 1,4,2,4,2 Only two points separated the leaders in the end.

The J80's were given a lesson in consistency this weekend by Andrew Deacon who's lead was never in doubt. Scoring 1,1,1,1,1 and discarding a first to win by an 11 point margin over second place Hetty Sanders (5,4,3,2,2). Next on the podium was team "Cougars" helmed by Sue Smithwick and crewed by Adair Leech, Mary Hughes and Alison Smithwick who scored 4,5,2,3,2.

Dinner in the yacht club last night followed by a charity night in the Whiskey Still where Johnny Logan made a guest appearance, keeping the crews entertained.

PRO Claire Toohey and her team did a great job this weekend running the side by side courses. Lough Derg Yacht Club are past masters at this type of event and the combined classes look forward to keeping this an established part of their calendars.

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#loughderg – This weekend sees the gathering of the biggest of the keelboat one design fleets in Lough Derg for the annual freshwater keelboat regatta. For what is fast becoming a popular feature in the trailer sailor one design classes, Lough Derg Yacht Club is hosting a one design weekend for the Dragons, SB20's, Squibs and J80's.

The classes share the same race area but split between windward/leeward and trapezoid courses with a common start line.

The dragons assembled early on Friday with 2 races sailed and with a further 4 races today out of a 8 race series. Martin Byrne from the Royal St. George YC is clear ahead by the end of racing with a massive 11 point lead over RIYC rival Richard Goodbody. Martin counts 5 race wins in the 6 races sailed.

In the SB20 class 4 races sailed leaves the two front runners on tied points overnight with two first places and a second each for Ben Duncan and Peter Kennedy (RNIYC) each discarding a 10+ point race for 4 points nett, this being a somewhat familiar result between these two top boats. Further back James Gorman and Aidan O'Connell battle it out for 3rd but the Lough has proven a formidable challenge for all crews with the shifting and gusting southerly breeze. Who will emerge as overall leader is very much yet to be decided.

In the J80s Andrew Deacon is having it all his own way with 3 first places but discarding a Joint first (1.5). He is leading overall by 3.5 points to nearest rival Hetty Sanders with a 1.5,2,3.

At the time of writing the squibs overall was dependent on the outcome of a protest so were not available.

A beautiful October sunny day on Lough Derg, some more trying and difficult conditions tomorrow in the heartland of Ireland.

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#dragongoldcup – After six tough races there were no Irish in the top ten at the Dragon Gold Cup in Kinsale but there were three in the top 15 overall after today's final race. Top Irish trio were former Edinburgh Cup winners Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and Pedro Andrades in 11th with Kinsale's own Cameron Good, Simony Furney and Henry Kingston 12th. Good also won the Corinthian title, for the top non-professional crew in the 60-boat fleet. Byrne's Royal St. George club mates Andrew Craig, Brian Mathews and Mark Pettit were 14th overall.

The 2012 Gold Cup was brought to a close with a final race as dramatic as any Shakespearean play. Going into the day Britain's Lawrie Smith led the fleet on 31 points, Russia's Dmitry Samokhin was second on 43 points and Germany's Tommy Mueller lay third on 51 points. With no discard allowed Smith's lead was far from unassailable and Samokhin clearly had him in his sights. Mueller knew that realistically his chances of victory were slim as not only would he have to sail his socks off, but the other two boats would both need to have bad races if he was to overtake them.

The tension and excitement as the sixty strong fleet, from sixteen nations and four continents, left the dock was palpable and the boats were accompanied down to the race area by a host of spectator boats crammed with supporters keen to watch the final battle. A sudden wind shift forced Alan Crosbie to abandon his first start attempt just a few seconds before the gun. Having adjusted the course the second start was a general recall and so Crosbie went to the Z-flag for his third attempt. This time the fleet got away, but with 8 boats identified as over the line; two of these went back and were given a 20% scoring penalty, but the other six failed to return and were scored OCS.

On the line Mueller had opted for the committee boat end while Smith and Samokhin came off the centre of the line together with Smith to weather. Up the first beat Mueller struck out for the favoured right side while Smith and Samokhin traded tacks up the centre left. The two boats were clearly locked in a battle for supremacy to the exclusion of all else and meanwhile Mueller was sailing a textbook beat to round the first mark in the lead with Hoj-Jensen second, Germany's Tanja Jacobsohn third and Cameron Good from Kinsale fourth.

As the leaders streamed off down the run all eyes turned to the middle of the fleet where Samokhin had got the better of Smith. They rounded the first mark in a bunch of boats in twenty-eighth and thirty-fifth respectively putting Mueller into the overall lead with Smith second and Samokhin third. The breeze dropped off in the second half of the first run making for some tricky sailing. As Mueller stretched out his lead Smith and Samokhin continued to battle it out and as a result they lost more places and rounded the first leeward mark overlapped with Smith thirty-fourth and Samokhin thirty-fifth.

On the second beat there was a massive 20 degree right shift and at the weather mark Mueller and Hoj-Jensen continued to lead with Russia's Evgeny Braslavetz now up into third and Chris Hunt of Cornwall fourth. Smith and Samokhin had made big gains and Samokhin came through in twenty-second with Smith alongside in twenty-third. Now all Smith needed was to gain another three places and the championship would be his.

The second run was to be the deciding point of the race. The race committee had signaled a change of course and the new leeward mark was a single port rounding buoy instead of the more usual gate. Smith and Samokhin were still trading gybes and both boats lost some ground on the leg. They came into the mark together with a big gaggle of boats with Smith leading but on the outside and Samokin in the middle of the bunch. As they rounded Samokhin got a slight advantage but they were only up to twenty-seventh and twenty-ninth places. Smith now needed to make up nine places on the last beat if he was to claim the title and with the breeze going even further right it didn't look hopeful as he kept to the centre of the course while Mueller, Hoj-Jensen, Braslavetz and the main pack went right.

Yet again Smith sailed a brilliant beat and made up an impressive number of places. On the line Mueller crossed with a huge lead, Hoj-Jensen took second, Braslavetz third and Good fourth.   Mueller clearly felt that Smith had done enough to win and he peeled off back to harbour apparently happy with his race but resigned to second place. However, the race was far from over and everyone was carefully counting off boats as they came to the finish. Smith did his very best and claimed a number of places, but ultimately he just ran out of runway and finished in twenty-second place giving Mueller the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup 2012 by a single point. Mueller was blissfully unaware of his victory until the media team motored up and confirmed that he had taken the trophy for the second time.

In the overall standings Tommy Mueller, Vicent Hoesch and Michael Lipp claimed the title with 52 points. Lawrie Smith, crewed by Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling finished second with 53 points. Russia's Dimitry Samokhin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev finished third on 62 points. Fourth place went to Portugal's Jose Matoso sailing with Gustavo Lima and Stephen Hellriegel and in fifth was London based Klaus Diederichs crewed by Andy Beadsworth and Jamie Lea.

At the prize giving Tommy Mueller paid tribute to his crew, known in the Dragon fleet as the Bavarian Dream Team, and to his wife for her wonderful support of their campaigning. For Tommy this was a second Gold Cup win, his first being in 2002, but for Hoesch it was an incredible sixth win, two of which had been as a helmsman.

In the Corinthian all-amateur division first prize went to Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Cameron Good sailing with Simon Furney and Henry Kingston. Remy Arnaud and his crew of Herald Arnaud and Pascal Civel from France came second and in third was Graham Bailey of the Isle of Wight crewed by Julia Bailey, Dylan Potter and Will Heritage.

The Nations Cup, for the top performing three-boat national team went to Britain, represented by Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, Lawrie Smith and Chris Hunt. The actual trophy was awarded to Hoj-Jensen as the leading British boat in the final race.

Also concluded today was the Irish Dragon Grand Slam competition incorporating the Northern Area Championship, the Edinburgh Cup, the Irish Nationals, the Irish South Coasts and this regatta. The winner of the 2012 Irish Grand Slam was Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen with Klaus Diederichs second, Martin Byrne third, Lawrie Smith fourth and Cameron Good fifth.

The 2013 Dragon Gold Cup will be held in Douarnenez, Brittany, France from 16-24 August

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#dragongoldcup – Dun Laoghaire's Andrew Craig took a stunning win in the penultimate race off Kinsale yesterday to be 11th overall and top Irish boat at the Dragon Gold Cup. Scroll down for video interview with Andrew Craig below.

There were more shocks and upsets as several of the top boats posted poor results and the leader board was shuffled once again. It was another strong wind day and with the sun frequently breaking through the scudding clouds and plenty of spray flying it was a spectacular day in every way keeping the spectators enthralled from start to finish.

The race got underway cleanly at the first attempt and the boats set off up the beat in around 16-18 knots from the West South West punching a building sea. The fleet spread out right across the course and at the first mark those who had come up the centre right had a slight advantage. First to round was Ireland's Claire Hogan followed by Remy Arnaud of France, Brit Mark Dicker, Australia's Richard Lynn, Andrew Craig from Dublin, Lawrie Smith sailing for Glandore YC, Jose Matoso of Portugal, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox from Cowes and London based Klaus Diederichs. For the spectators looking out for the rest of the overall regatta leaders it was a long wait as Hungary's Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, Germany's Tommy Mueller, Denmark's Joergen Schoenherr and overnight leader Dmitry Samokhin were all badly buried well down the fleet.

By the first gate Arnaud had moved up into first ahead of Matoso, Criag was third, Hogan fourth and Smith fifth. Denmark's Lars Hendriksen, sailing for the Ukraine, had moved up to sixth from eleventh. Back in the pack Kis-Szölgyémi and Mueller continued to struggle although Schoenherr and Samokhin had both begun to claw their way back up the fleet.

As the boats headed off up the second beat the breeze started to build to 20 knots and the sea increased with it. A couple of shifts helped to shake things up again and at the second weather mark Craig led from Germany's Philip Dohse with Arnaud third, Matoso fourth, Hogan fifth, Smith sixth and Hendriksen seventh.

On the second run the leading four held their positions as Hendriksen put on an impressive show of downwind speed to get past Hogan. Germany's Reemt Reemtsma moved into seventh with Smith eighth. Further down the pack Schoenherr was up to fifteenth and Mueller and Samokhin were making gains.

As they started up the final beat the wind began to gust up into the mid 20s and once again the left side of the course was much rougher. With the wind and tide more favourable on the right the majority of the fleet headed out from the mark on port tack. With only one way to go up the beat Craig was able to confidently cover the fleet and he cruised home to victory. Smith and Diederichs both put in hugely impressive beats and sailed themselves up into second and third place respectively with Diederichs just beating Matoso into fourth on the line by a nose. Arnaud crossed fifth followed closely by Hendriksen and Hogan. Looking back down the fleet for the regatta leaders the first to appear was Schoenherr who crossed ninth, Mueller made huge ground on the final beat to finish sixteenth, Samokhin twentieth and Kis-Szölgyémi twenty-fourth.

In the overall standings Lawrie Smith now leads the regatta with 31 points, giving him a 12 point margin over second placed Dmitry Samokhin. Tommy Mueller moves into third on 51 points, three ahead of Joergen Schoenherr.  Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi and Jose Matoso both count 56 points with Matoso claiming fifth on count back. Three further points adrift in seventh is Klaus Diederichs on 59 points. The top ten is rounded out by Anatoly Loginov on 65, Lars Hendriksen on 67 and Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen on 71 points.

In the Corinthian Division for all amateur crews Cameron Good of Kinsale continues to lead the regatta. Overnight second placed Graham Bailey, the reigning Corinthian Gold Cup Champion and winner of races three and four, had a shocker of a day rounding the first mark at the back of the fleet and only recovering to eighteenth (47th overall) which drops him down the Corinthian ranking to sixth overall. Remy Arnaud was today's Corinthian race winner and as a result he now sits in second overall, three points behind Good. A single point further back is Denmark's Frank Berg with Reemt Reemtsma fourth.

In the Nations Cup competition the British Team of Lawrie Smith, Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen and Chris Hunt now lead with 192 points, Russia, represented by Dmitry Samokhin, Anatoly Loginov and Alexander Exhkov, is second on 202 and Germany, represented by Tommy Mueller, Philip Dohse and Stephan Link, is third on 248.

Tomorrow's final race showdown will be an edge of the seat affair as the sixty-strong fleet makes a last bid for gains. With no discard every point counts and both Smith and Good's leads are by no means unassailable so we can expect and edge of the seat finish to what has already been a truly spectacular regatta.

This evening the crews will enjoy the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup Championship Dinner at Kinsale Yacht Club, preceded by an exhibition of black and white Dragon photography taken earlier in the week by renowned local photographer Giles Norman. Brewin Dolphin Executive Chairman Jamie Mattheson and his wife Angela, themselves successful racing sailors, will be joining the competitors for what promises to be a fantastic evening of fun and celebration. Also joining the party will be Olympic Bronze Medallist Ossie Stewart, who normally sails as Lawrie Smith's tactician. Ossie suffered a minor stroke just 10 days ago and so wasn't able to compete this week, but he arrived in Kinsale today and kept an eye on Lawrie's progress from the RIB. The entire fleet is delighted to see Ossie back on his feet and looks forward to racing against him again very soon.

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#dragongoldcup – The Royal St. George's Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and Pedro Andrades are in ninth overall tonight after a strong race four today at the Dragon Gold Cup in Kinsale. Local challenger Cameron Good is now 13th overall and second placed Irish boat with two races left to sail. Full results here.

Day four of the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup threw the regatta wide open as overnight leader Tommy Mueller of Germany suffered his worst result of the series with a 27th and Isle of Wight based Graham Bailey won a second race with a crew that includes 11 year old Will Heritage – the youngest competitor ever to race at the Gold Cup.  It was champagne sailing all the way with good winds, bright sunshine and extremely close competition as the sixty-strong fleet enjoyed race four of the six race, no discard series.

Once again the fleet was too eager on the first attempt to start and PRO Alan Crosbie and his team from Kinsale Yacht Club had to recall them.  He brought out the Z-flag for the second attempt, which carries a 20% penalty for any boat over the line within the final minute, and this persuaded the teams to start cleanly.  With winds from the west and ranging from 10-13 knots on the first beat right up to 18-20 knots on the final leg, lots of tricky shifts plus a considerable difference in the sea state across the course as the wind built there were dozens of variables for the crews to keep track of and lots of place changes on every leg.

For the second day running Bailey got a great start and then worked the shifts perfectly to lead at mark one from Dublin's Martin Byrne with Sweden's Jacob Wallenberg third followed by Denmark's Joergen Schoenherr, Brits Gavia Wilkinson-Cox and Lawrie Smith, Russia's Dmitry Samokhin, Simon Brien of Belfast, and Evgeny Braslavetz of the Ukrain.  Overnight leader Tommy Mueller from Germany wasn't having a good day and rounded the first mark down in the mid-20s putting his overall lead in serious jeopardy.

Despite numerous challenges Bailey successfully defended his lead from this point forward but behind him it was anyone's game.  At the first gate Wallenberg had moved up into second with Byrne third, Schoenherr fourth, Samokhin up to fifth and Smith sixth.  The wind increased on the second beat and this time it was Samokhin who trailed Bailey around the top mark with Smith third, Schoenherr still fourth and Wallenberg now fifth.

On the final run the breeze dropped off to sub 10 knots and Smith managed to sneak past Samokin to round the gate just behind the Baileys, Samokin was a close third followed by Schoenherr, Wallenberg, Braslavetz , Matoso and Wilkinson-Cox.  As they set up off the final beat the breeze began to pick up again increasing rapidly up to around 20 knots.

For the final beat the race committee signalled a change of course to the right and there was another big righty to come.  As the wind increased the waves on the more exposed left side of the course built rapidly leaving those on the right in flatter water, with a slight tidal advantage, with some benefit from the wind bend off the cliffs and in the right place to take the incoming right-hander.  Bailey gave a master class in covering a large fleet whilst everyone else vied for the remaining podium positions.  On the line Bailey had a significant margin, Samokhin crossed in second with Matoso third, Braslavetz fourth and Smith fifth.  Falmouth's Chris Hunt sailed an impressive final beat to pull up from twelfth to sixth.   Despite trying pretty much every trick in the book Mueller was never able to recover from his disastrous start and he finished the race in 27th.

In the overall rankings Dmitry Samokhin's second place today takes him into a six-point lead with 23 points.   Lawrie Smith, whose needs crutches to get around ashore thanks to the knee injury he sustained on day one but fortunately is still able to cope in the boat, now lies in second place with 29 points.  Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, who came to Kinsale fresh from victory at the Hungarian Dragon National Championship on Lake Balaton, is three points behind Smith on 32 points and Tommy Mueller is now lying fourth on 35 points.

The Corinthian Division, for the all-amateur crews, is calculated as an entirely separate series and whilst Bailey is now the top ranked Corinthian in the overall standings, in the Corinthian Division he lies in second place, four points behind Kinsale's Cameron Good and six points ahead of Germany's Reemt Reemtsma.

One of the other features of the Dragon Gold Cup is the Nations Cup competition, a team competition open to any nation fielding three or more competitors.  Each national team is decided following the first day of racing with their top three finishers of that day being eligible.  Great Britain, represented by Lawrie Smith, Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen and Chris Hunt, now lead the Nations Cup with 145 points.  In second place is the Russian team comprising Dmitry Samokhin, Anatoly Loginov and Alexander Ezhkov, on 149 points.  The German team of Tommy Mueller, Stephan Link and Philip Dohse is third on 191 points, and Ireland, represented by Martin Byrne, Cameron Good and Gary Treacy, are in fourth with 262 points.

With two more races left to sail the competition is really hotting up.  The weather forecast is for strong winds again tomorrow so we can expect another exciting day off the Old Head of Kinsale

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#dragongoldcup – Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Cameron Good is back as top Irish boat at the Dragon Gold Cup tonight after a day of snakes and ladders as the wind swung into the west at around 14-16 knots and became extremely shifty, putting the tacticians firmly in the hot seat. Good crewed by Simon Furney and Henry Kingston are ninth overall three places ahead of Dubliner Martin Byrne in 12th who scored a disappointing 33 today.

The UK's Graham Bailey was most certainly man of the match on day three of the event where he claimed both Overall and Corinthian victory in race three of the six race series.

The fleet was initially over eager but after a general recall they settled down and got away cleanly at the second attempt. The majority headed right for the cliffs but it was those who stayed centre left that got the best of the shifts and Graham Bailey sailed an absolute blinder of a first beat to lead the fleet by twice the distance of the spreader leg at the first weather mark. Behind him the pack was bunched with Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi second closely followed by Tommy Mueller, Remy Arnaud, Dmitry Samokhin, Tim Pearson and Anatoly Loginov.

Bailey held his lead nicely on the first run whilst Mueller slid up into second with Arnaud now up to third and Kis-Szölgyémi down to fourth. The second beat brought a huge right-hander, which really shook up the fleet. Bailey's apparently unassailable lead disintegrated as Claire Hogan took full advantage of the shift, climbing from ninth to first to lead Bailey around the second weather mark. Kis-Szölgyémi had pulled back up into third with Loginov fourth, James Matthews fifth, Tanja Jacobsohn sixth, Simon Brien seventh and Andrew Craig eighth. Muller rounded ninth with Lawrie Smith in tenth.

Hogan, Bailey, Kis-Szölgyémi and Loginov held their places on the second run as Brien moved up into fifth with Jacobsohn sixth and Matthews seventh. The final beat was to feature an epic battle between Hogan and Bailey. Bailey takes up the story, "We took the left side of the beat and Claire took the right, so we split and the running boats came down through the middle separating us. Then all we could do was work with what we'd got. Sometimes they looked great - sometimes we looked OK. As we came toward the finished we just crossed ahead of them and had to decide do we tack or do we not. We didn't tack, but I didn't feel too good about that when they went to the left and the wind went 20 degrees their way and things didn't look too flash for a while. Coming into the finish we were bow to bow and we just managed to tack underneath them. The committee boat was favoured and we were on the right and just got it." While Bailey and Hogan were slugging it out Mueller was working hard to consolidate his overall lead in the regatta by sailing himself up from ninth to third, Kis-Szölgyémi crossed the line in fourth and Smith was fifth.

At the half way point in the regatta, Germany's Tommy Mueller, who won the Dragon Gold Cup in 2002 and is sailing with Michael Lipp and Vincent Hoesch, himself a five time Gold Cup Champion, now leads the no-discard series with eight points. Russia's Dmitry Samokhin, who is crewed by Russian Olympic Tornado sailor Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev - has gone from fourth into second place on 21 points. British Olympic Bronze Medallist and reigning Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith, who is nursing a serious knee injury sustained earlier in the week and is crewed by Tim Tavinor and Joost Houweling, has jumped from seventh to third overall on 24 points and Hungary's Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi goes from ninth to fourth and is now just one point behind Smith. Overnight second placed Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, a five time Dragon Gold Cup champion, and third placed Joergen Schoenherr, who has won it three times, both had decidedly mediocre days with Hoj-Jensen finishing 34th and Schoenherr 28th. As a result Schoenherr has slumped to seventh overall and Hoj-Jensen to eighth.

Race three winner Graham Bailey from Cowes, whose crew includes 11 year old Will Heritage - the youngest competitor in the regatta, also led the Corinthian fleet across the line with Frenchman Remy Arnaud second and Cork native James Matthews, who recently returned to sailing after a four year break, third. Overnight leader Reemt Reemtsma from the Netherlands, had a mediocre day adding a 13th to his score line whilst Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore Cameron Good, who went into the day second overall, took 7th. In the overall Corinthian standings Good now leads the regatta on 12 points whilst Reemstma, Bailey and Matthews are all counting 17 points and lie second to fourth respectively on count back.

Three races remain to be sailed and the regatta continues until Friday 14th September. With a forecast for more strong winds over the coming days the crews are bracing themselves for three more days of extremely challenging sailing.

Full results here

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#dragon – Dublin's Martin Byrne is fifth overall after an action packed second day of the Brewin Dolphin sponsored Dragon Gold Cup in Kinsale gave the sixty strong fleet another tough work out as they completed race two of the series in big seas and winds of up to 28 knots from the West. Byrne is sailing with regular crew Adam Winkelmann and Pedro Andrade who last season lifted the Irish title and the 2011 Edinburgh Cup.

Byrne was more aggressive at the start today in order to stick to a plan to protect the right all day due to a micro analysis of the weather forecast.

'The port hand tack was faster as we crossed the waves easier before a tough starboard tack into monstrous waves to the weather mark' Byrne told Afloat.ie

After an initial general recall the fleet got away cleanly at the second time of asking. At the first mark those who had worked the centre left came out on top with Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, sailing HUN57 Bear, leading the fleet from Tommy Mueller, sailing GER1123 Sinewave, second and Frank Berg, sailing DEN266 My Way, third. Hard on their heels came a pack of boats led by Byrne, in IRL201 Jaguar, whose port tack approach fell foul of starboard tacker Joergen Schoenherr, sailing DEN406 African Queen. Although Byrne rounded the mark ahead he then had to do a pair of turns to exonerate himself and by the time he'd pirouetted his way down the spreader leg he had been passed by Jens Rathsack, in MON2 Jeanie, Klaus Diederichs, in GBR758 Fever and Dimitry Samokhin, in RUS76 Strange Little Girl.

Although Byrne opted to do a two turn penalty it was costly as it dropped the Irish boat into the high teens.

Kis-Szölgyémi did his best to defend on the first run but he was no match for the impressive speed of Mueller. By the first gate Mueller had the lead with Kis-Szölgyémi second, Schoenherr had moved up into third and Diederichs was fourth, just ahead of Berg. Having rounded the gate in eighth Byrne decided it was time to get his skates on and up the second beat he worked the shifts that came through under a heavy rain squall to best advantage. By the second weather mark he was up into third behind Mueller and Schoenherr and just ahead of Kis-Szölgyémi, Diederichs and Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, sailing GBR775 Danish Blue.

Down the second run both the breeze and the wave height had increased and as the sun broke through the dark clouds the fleet made a spectacular sight surfing flat out against a backdrop of rolling Irish countryside. At the second gate Schoenherr had closed up on Mueller but it wasn't enough and on the final beat Mueller stretched out his lead again leaving Schoenherr to trail him across the line. The battle for third place was fraught and was only decided in the closing moments with Diederichs crossing the line just ahead of Byrne and Hoj-Jensen.

'Fourth today pulls Jaguar into fifth overall after two races but we were really happy with our speed and tactics against such an experienced international fleet Byrne' told Afloat.

In the overall standings overnight leader Lawrie Smith, sailing GBR763 Alfie, exacerbated a knee injury sustained yesterday and struggled to finish the race crossing the line in 18th place so drops down into seventh overall. Today's race win takes Tommy Mueller to the top of the league table with five points while Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen's steady fifth means he remains in second overall on seven points. Joergen Schoenherr has jumped up into third place and is just a single point behind Hoj-Jensen with Dimitry Samokhin fourth on eleven points and Martin Byrne fifth on fifteen.

In the Corinthian Division for the all-amateur crews today's race winner was Reemt Reemtsma, sailing GER1121 Caroroo, who also claimed sixth place in the overall division. Second place went to Remy Arnaud, sailing FRA396 Legend, Frank Berg was third and local boy Cameron Good, sailing IRL211 Little Fella was fourth. In the overall Corinthian standings Reemtsma now leads the fleet on four points from Good on five with Berg third counting eight points and Arnaud fourth on nine points.

This evening the crews are enjoying a cocktail reception, supported by Kinsale Town Council and OPW, at the historic Charles Fort, which has guarded the entrance to Kinsale Harbour since the 17th century.

Four more races are scheduled and the regatta continues until Friday 14th September.

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Dragon Gold Cup - Race One. Two Irish Yacht Club Commodores lead the home challenge at the Dragon Gold Cup in Kinsale with race one completed in a windy 20 knot south westerly breeze today. Cameron Good, Commodore of Kinsale YC finished in seventh while Dubliner Martin Byrne, Commodore of Royal St George YC finished 11th in the 70 boat international fleet.

The race was won by current Dragon world champion Lawrie Smith followed by double Olympic gold medalist Poul Rickard Hoj-Jensen. Racing continues until Friday.

Over 250 competitors, supporters and guests attended the Opening Ceremony for the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup 2012 at a reception at Kinsale Yacht Club.

The Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup 2012 got underway in spectacular style as the 60 competitors from 16 nations and 4 continents completed their first race in strong winds and big seas off Kinsale.

The Dragon Gold Cup is legendary for being one of the toughest championships in keelboat racing as it is raced over huge 12+ mile windward leeward courses and there is no discard in the six race series. Today's rough seas and winds of up to 25 knots from the south certainly ensured it was also a test of stamina as well as skill and there were incidents aplenty with a number of spectacular broaches and some exciting mark roundings as the sailors contended with the confused seas and blustery conditions.

The fleet got away cleanly at the first time of asking by PRO Alan Crosbie, and the first beat saw the boats spread out very evenly across the course. At the first weather mark those who had opted to go right had the advantage and it was reigning Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith, sailing GBR763 Alfie, who led the fleet from double Olympic Gold Medallist Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, sailing GBR775 Danish Blue; Dimitry Samokhin sailing RUS76 Strange Little Girl; 2010 Gold Cup winner Anatoly Loginov sailing RUS27 Annapurna; and Cameron Good, sailing IRL211 Little Fella.

Whilst Smith and Hoj-Jensen then held their positions around the course the battle behind them for third place was fierce. By the start of the final beat Tommy Mueller, sailing GER1123 Sinewave, had pulled up into third just ahead of Samokhin, Good was fifth and Loginov sixth with Lars Hendriksen, sailing UKR7 Bunker Boys, moving up into seventh.

Hoj-Jensen pushed Smith hard on the final beat but both boats also had to defend their positions on the chasing pack. At the line Smith won from Hoj-Jensen whilst Samokhin pulled back up into third with Mueller fourth. Hendriksen, who has claimed the Gold Cup on two previous occasions, sailed a wonderful final leg to cross the line in fifth. Joergen Schoenherr, sailing DEN406 African Queen, also showed blistering pace to go from 11th to sixth on the last beat, just pipping Good on the line.

Cameron Good, Commodore of the Kinsale Yacht Club, also claimed victory in the Corinthian Division, for the all-amateur crews. Dublin's Gary Treacy, sailing IRL198 Dublin Bay, took second place in the Corinthians with Reemt Reemtsma, sailing GBR1121 Caroroo, in third and IDA Chairman Richard Blickman, sailing NED393 Cobweb, fourth.

One of the most impressive stories of the day came from the Australian team aboard AUS222 Puff III. They were running very deep in sixth place on the second run when a rogue wave caught the transom and span them into a Chinese jybe. Helmsman Richard Lynn found himself being swept out of the boat as his crew, Ian Olson and Aussie sailing legend Roger Hickman, battled to get their spinnaker, which was now doing a very good job of trawling for supper, back under control. Fortunately Richard just managed to grab the spinnaker sheet on his way out of the boat and by the time the boys had the kite under control he was back on board. They had lost a number of places but they dug in on the final lap and managed to pull back up into ninth place, keeping themselves firmly in contention.

Five more races are scheduled and the regatta continues until Friday 14th September. Lighter airs are forecast for the next couple of days but strong airs are expected to return later in the week.

The Dragon Gold Cup is considered the open World Cup of Dragon Sailing with 60 boats from 16 countries and several world champions and ex-olympians competing for this prestigious trophy, hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club from 8th-14th September.

Cameron Good, Commodore, Kinsale Yacht Club welcomed all the competitors and supporters and introduced Guest of Honour, Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who congratulated Kinsale Yacht Club for hosting this international sailing event and wished everyone good sailing for the week ahead.

Also in attendance were Lieutenant Commander Brian Sweeney, Captain of the LE Ciara Naval Vessel, that docked in Kinsale on Saturday, together with Lieutenant Ronan McLoughlin.

Additional guests included Billy Lynch, Mayor of Kinsale, Conor Grimley from Tilman Brewin Dolphin, Dublin who is participating in the Dragon Gold Cup and Niamh McCutcheon, President of the Irish Sailing Association.

Some of the top sailors competing for the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup include British Olympic Bronze Medallist and reigning Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith, Danish double Olympic Gold Medallist and five time Dragon Gold Cup winner Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, past Dragon Gold Cup and World Champion Tommy Mueller from Germany, double Dragon Gold Cup and European Champion Lars Hendriksen from Denmark, three time Dragon Gold Cup winner Joergen Schoenherr, also from Denmark and Russia's Anatoly Loginov who won the Gold Cup in 2010.

With teams from sixteen nations competing including visitors from across Europe and as far afield as Australia, Hong Kong, Russia and the Ukraine competition is expected to be fierce.

Two of the top female Dragon helms will also be competing in the form of Britain's Gavia Wilkinson-Cox and Germany's Tanja Jacobsohn, both of whom are more than capable of putting in winning performances.

The Irish Dragon Fleet is well represented by current Edinburgh Cup holder Simon Brien from the Royal North of Ireland YC, Martin Byrne from the Royal St George YC and Andrew Craig, also from the Royal St George YC and recent Irish South Coast Champion, Cameron Good from Kinsale

Regatta Director is Julie Silfverberg; the Race Management team is headed up by Alan Crosbie and the M.Yves Léglise is Chairman of the International Jury.

Published in Dragon
Page 13 of 19

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