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Russians Knock Byrne off Top Spot in Cannes

21st September 2011
Russians Knock Byrne off Top Spot in Cannes

The Russians have bounced back at the Regatta Royales in Cannes today, knocking Dublin Skipper Martin Byrne off the top spot in the 58-boat Dragon fleet.  The Royal St. George Commodore sailing Jaguar had a disappointing second day but still lies third overall with it all to play for tomorrow.

A postponement kept the fleet ashore until 1pm waiting for the light to moderate breeze to fill in from the south. The Irish champions suffered the rath of an on the water Jury decision when they were deemed to have committed a foul after what seemed like a perfect start at the committe boat end of the line. The subsequent penalty turns were very costly and a 29th finish was disappointing.

Another good start in the second race of the day saw Jaguar lead the fleet for much of the first beat only to be undone by a 30 degree wind shift as they approached the the top mark. A 16th on that Race 5 sees them slip to third overall on 22 points narrowly behind the last years winner Russian Anotoly Loginov and Olympic and Dragon legend Poul Ricard Ho Jenson.

Day 2 marked the comeback of Longinov on Annapurna. With a twelfth and a second, the Russian skipper managed to keep his competitors at bay and jump on top of the provisional ranking with 36 points.

Ever consistent Hoj Jensen on Danish Blue, scoring a third and a 15th is now second on the overall scoreboard distanced by only one point.

Italian Giuseppe Duca on Cloud, with a second and a sixth, and having discarded a black flag disqualification he got yesterday, is now fourth and still close to the top trio. HRH Prince Heinrik of Denmark on White Lady is now fifth in the overall standing at 26 points and British Ivan Bradbury on Blue Haze sixth a 33 points.

The points are tight with three races remaining.

Published in Dragon
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The Dragon was designed by Johan Anker in 1929 as an entry for a competition run by the Royal Yacht Club of Gothenburg, to find a small keel-boat that could be used for simple weekend cruising among the islands and fjords of the Scandinavian seaboard. The original design had two berths and was ideally suited for cruising in his home waters of Norway. The boat quickly attracted owners and within ten years it had spread all over Europe.

The Dragon's long keel and elegant metre-boat lines remain unchanged, but today Dragons are constructed using the latest technology to make the boat durable and easy to maintain. GRP is the most popular material, but both new and old wooden boats regularly win major competitions while looking as beautiful as any craft afloat. Exotic materials are banned throughout the boat, and strict rules are applied to all areas of construction to avoid sacrificing value for a fractional increase in speed.

The key to the Dragon's enduring appeal lies in the careful development of its rig. Its well-balanced sail plan makes boat handling easy for lightweights, while a controlled process of development has produced one of the most flexible and controllable rigs of any racing boat.

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