Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Brien Takes Nine Point Cushion into Edinburgh Cup Decider

6th July 2012
Brien Takes Nine Point Cushion into Edinburgh Cup Decider

#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
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating