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Dragons Announce World Championship Plans for Weymouth, UK

23rd April 2013
Dragons Announce World Championship Plans for Weymouth, UK

#dragon – The Notice of Race has been published and online entry is now open for the 2013 Dragon World Championship to be hosted by the Portland and Weymouth Sailing Academy from 5 to 13 September 2013. The event is open to teams who have qualified, either through the International Dragon World Ranking list or via qualification series held by each Dragon sailing nation.  Full details of the qualification process are available form  www.intdragon.net.  As a result only the top Dragon sailors from each country are eligible to race ensuring competition of the very highest level.

The International Dragon fleet recently tested its metal at the 2013 BMW Cascais Dragon European Championship in Portugal where more than 60 Dragon sailors battled it out.  Many of the teams from that regatta are also expected to compete in Weymouth including newly crowned Dragon European Champion Jose Matoso, German America's Cup star Markus Wieser, who came second, and Denmark's Jens Christensen who finished third.  Teams will come from across the globe for the event and already Australia's Marcus Blackmore, sailing with Terry Wetton and Don Cowie, has confirmed his entry with several other Australian boats expected to join them.

As always the British will field a strong home team led by defending World Champion Lawrie Smith.  Other names to watch out for from the British contingent are Klaus Diederichs, who just finished fourth at the Europeans; husband and wife team Graham and Julia Bailey, who finished sixth at the Europeans and will have their sights set on both overall and Corinthian (all amateur) victory; current Edinburgh Cup (British Open) Champion Simon Brien from Northern Ireland; and all round sailing legend Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen.

For those looking to train on the Worlds race area in advance of the event, the British Dragon Association will also be holding the 2013 South Coast Championship and the Edinburgh Cup, for the British Open Championship, at Weymouth. The South Coasts will run from 23 to 24 June and will be immediately followed by the Edinburgh Cup from 25 to 30 June 2013.  The Edinburgh Cup is one of the most prestigious trophies in the International Dragon Class and always attracts a strong international entry as well as teams from across the UK and Ireland.

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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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