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Day three today and with just three races to go in the Dragon National Championships at Glandore Harbour YC, where 21 boats make up the fleet, it’s tight at the top.

Cameron Good on Little Fella from Kinsale YC leads on countback after winning both races yesterday.

Title holders Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams on Phantom are still in the hunt with four-time National Champions Jaguar Sailing Team with Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and Mark Pettit.

This group are just ahead of Danish multi Olympic–medalist Paul Richard Hoj Jensen who is sailing with Simon Brien and Mick Cotter both former Irish Dragon National Champions.

Results downloadable below

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Kinsale Yacht Club victorious Dragon crew stopped off at the Bulman Buoy this evening on the way home from Cork Week. The purpose of the impromptu break in the voyage was to photograph RCYC's famous 'Thomas Lipton Trophy' – won earlier off Crosshaven – on the well known Kinsale mark. 

Helmsman Brian Goggin with Daniel and Sean Murphy in Serafina were one point clear after seven races sailed in Cork Week's second biggest fleet.

Another Kinsale boat, Cameron Good's Little Fella was second overall in a show of Dragon class strength for the West Cork club. 

Celebrations will continue tonight at Kinsale Yacht Club!

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Light and shifty winds combined with a sea left over from the big onshore breezes of the previous day created new challenges for the 28 teams competing in the Dragon Edinburgh Cup at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club writes Rupert Holmes.

The day's first race got away cleanly in 6-8 knots of breeze. Laurie Smith's Alfie tacked onto port early, which quickly gained him an early lead and he was soon followed by a number of others. Around 15 minutes after the start the wind began to swing to the right as a band of light rain moved across the course, giving those in the right a significant advantage.

Smith was first to round the windward mark, followed by Bocci (Atsushi) Aoyama's Yevis ll and Louise Racing. Peter Cunningham's Power Play rounded fourth, followed by the only lady helm in the fleet, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, in Jerboa. However, Bailey – overall leader after the first two races – was unusually buried, languishing back in 16th place.

The leaders extended away quickly on the run, but the wind then eased as the sun returned, leading to a tricky balance between sailing high and gybing through less painfully large angles. Louise Racing rounded the right hand leeward mark first, followed closely by Power Play and Jerboa. However, Klaus Diederichs's Fever and Alfie were first to the advantaged left-hand side of the gate. Fever took first place, ahead of Jerboa and Alfie, while Power Play benefitted from being the left-hand most boat among the leaders to finish fourth, while Gordon took fifth.

"We were fourth or fifth on the first beat and on the downwind leg we got stronger wind coming from the right," said Diederichs. "Then we were first to get to the left hand mark at the gate. We protected our position form there, but Gavia had good speed and height, and challenged us hard."

The fourth race in the series started in more consistent conditions, with a 6-8 knot easterly breeze. Jono Brown's Storm and Peter Cunningham's Power Play appeared to be best placed of the boats near the pin and the fleet quickly tacked onto port as the wind shifted left after the start.

Aimee then flipped back onto starboard, becoming one of the left-hand most boats in the fleet in the early stages of the first beat. Meanwhile, Alfie remained on the right-hand side, while Louise Racing held a more intermediate position between the two. The latter rounded the windward mark first, followed by Tom Vernon's Badger, Alfie, Storm and Jerboa.

The boats on the right hand side of the first run again appeared to be advantaged. By the end of the leg Louise Racing had pulled out a 43 second lead on Storm, with Badger dropping down to third, while Alfie slid down to fourth place, 10 lengths further back. Gordon then continued to extend his lead for the rest of the race, finishing more than two minutes ahead of Eric Williams' Ecstatic. Alfie took third and Jerboa fourth.

A vibrant social scene is a core part of the success of the Dragon class and the day ended with a barbeque, prize giving and live band, hosted by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox. Among the daily prize winners, Grant Gordon won the spectacular Terry Wade Trophy for winning the fourth race of the series.

Gordon now holds the overall lead, one point ahead of Alfie, with Aimee retains third overall, a further 10 points adrift. Jerboa is fourth, on equal points with Power Play. Aimee still leads the Corinthian fleet, ahead of Storm and Bertie.

Results after Day 2:

PosSail NoBoatHelmCrew1Crew2Crew3R1R2R3R4Pts
1 GBR820 Louise Racing Grant Gordon Ruairidh Scott James Williamson Laura Dillon 1 3 5 1 10
2 GBR815 Alfie Lawrie Smith Joao Matos Rosa Goncalo Ribeiro Diogo Pereira 3 2 3 3 11
3 GBR782 Aimee Graham Bailey Julia Bailey William Heritage Wiliam Bedford 2 1 12 6 21
4 GBR761 Jerboa Gavia Wilkinson‑Cox Mark Hart Lauren Fry Carl Feeney 12 8 2 4 26
5 CAY9 Power Play Peter Cunningham Pedro Rebelo de Andrade Charles Nankin   7 10 4 5 26
6 GBR810 Badger Thomas Vernon Ollie Spensley‑Corfield Adam Bowers   4 7 11 7 29
7 GBR819 Fever Klaus Diederichs Diego Negri Jamie Lea   8 5 1 16 30
8 GBR770 Storm Jonathan Brown David Brown Lynette Brown Frances Wood 8.5 8.5 8 9 34
9 GBR763 Bertie Simon Barter Donald Wilks Joanna Richardson   5 4 7 21 37
10 GBR408 Joanna Dimitry Bondarenko Vadim Statsenko Alexander Shalougin   6 14 13 11 44
11 GBR682 Ecstatic Eric Williams Rory Paton Katie Cole   14 9 20 2 45
12 GBR818 Harry Mike Budd Mark Greaves Chris Gowers   15 11 9 10 45
13 JPN50 Yevis II Bocci (Atsushi) Aoyama Martin Stavros Payne Junichiro Shiraishi   11 29 6 8 54
14 GBR722 Avalanche Mark Wade Amanda Wade Nigel Cole   16 12 15 14 57
15 SUI318 CK1 Wolf Waschkuhn Andy Beadsworth Pete Cumming   10 6 29 15 60
16 GBR777 Furious Owen Pay Dr. Jonathon Mortimer Tom Hicks   13 13 23 12 61
17 GBR788 Quicksilver VI Rob Campbell Penny Anderson Paul Fletcher   20 19 22 13 74
18 GBR696 Good Grief! Patrick Lomax Georgina Dewar Simon Cash   17 20 19 19 75
19 IRL201 Jaguar Martin Byrne Conor Byrne Adam Winkelmann   9 29 17 23 78
20 GBR806 Vixen Tim Saunders Carole Holme George Davies   24 16 21 17 78
21 GBR753 Fit Chick Simon Raw Chris Grosscurth Emma York   25 18 14 22 79
22 GBR669 Suprmacy Andrew Millband Rob Goddard Rob Smith   18 29 10 25 82
23 GBR704 Ganador Martin Makey Tim Wilkes Teresa Wilkes   22 17 18 27 84
24 GBR617 FlameAgain David Hall Geoff Butcher Julie Thomas‑Page   19 21 25 20 85
25 GBR633 Fei‑Lin's Flirtation Ron James Julia Walsh Peter Aitken   23 29 16 18 86
26 RUS2 Riassa (809) Michael Cope Rob Eldridge Susie Delves Lomax Daniela Urban 21 15 26 26 88
27 GBR644 Tsunami Colin Brereton Chris Mills Andy Wilkins   29 29 24 24 106
28 FRA341 Nanouck IV Eric Le Bon Muriel Requet‑Barville Aurore Declerck   29 29 29 29 116
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Glandore Harbour Yacht Club (GHYC) will host the 2018 National Dragon Championship from 6-9 September.

Boats will come from all over Ireland, to enjoy four days of highly competitive racing between the top Irish Dragon sailors, joined by some boats from the UK adding an international flavour.

GHYC is preparing to support the largest number of Dragons participating in the National Championship for many years, due to the size of the resident fleet, and the attraction of the beautiful Glandore Harbour and its friendly pubs.

GHYC is currently home to the largest Dragon fleet in Ireland, with 16 resident Dragons, including one of the oldest racing wooden Dragons 'Gypsy', helmed by veteran Don Street.

Fehily Timoney, a Cork-based multidisciplinary management, engineering and environmental consultancy company has made it possible for GHYC to host this prestigious event through the sponsorship by their Managing Director, Eamon Timoney, himself an active Dragon sailor in the GHYC fleet and a generous supporter of local sporting events.

Download Notice of Race below

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Martin Byrne’s, Jaguar Sailing Team, travel to Torbay on the south-west coast of England later this week, as in 2017, the only Irish entrant in the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2018.

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of this event which is the British Dragon National Championships. This famous trophy was presented by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, in 1949.

While Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St George YC were winners and runners-up in 2011 and 2012 they have never fallen below fifth overall in their attempts to regain the trophy since. However, this year they return for the first time as a Corinthian team. Martin’s son Conor (a former Irish Laser National Champion) will renew his partnership with Adam Winkelmann at the business end of his dad’s Dragon.

At home, Byrne was the winner of last month's East Coast Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Next week in Torbay they compete against the best of the International Dragon Fleet where their competitors include five former Edinburgh Cup winners, four World Cup Champions, two Gold Cup Winners and among the teams crewing, up to eight Olympic medalists.

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

Download results below

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Racing at the event is due to start tomorrow.

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

Published in North Sails Ireland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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