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Dragons Converge On Largs For 2015 Scottish Championship

26th June 2015

#dragon – The British Dragon Fleet is currently converging on Largs, Scotland for the start of the 2015 Dragon Scottish Championship and the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup, which get underway this Saturday 27 June. The twenty strong fleet of Dragons from across the UK and as far afield as Japan but unfortunately none from Ireland is making a historic return to Scotland, which last hosted the Edinburgh Cup back in 2003.

The events are organised by Largs Sailing Club in association with the Scottish Sailing Institute and the British Dragon Association. Racing for the Scottish Championship takes place from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 June with up to five races scheduled. The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup, for the Dragon British Open Championship, will be raced from Tuesday 30 June to Friday 3 July with up to six championship races scheduled.

The Dragon's connection with Scotland goes back to the very start of the class in the UK in 1933 when A H Ball, a member of the Clyde Yacht Club, was on a cruising holiday in Scandinavia, where he was much taken with the design of the Dragon. He returned from his holiday with a copy of the plans and the idea of establishing a class caught on. The first Dragon to come to Britain was Anita in 1936, owned by J.Howden Hume. The same year McGruer built 9 Dragons at Clynder and regular class racing began with 14 boats, including an international regatta won by a Swedish boat.

In recent years the Dragon fleet in Scotland had dwindled, but interest is once again growing in Scotland, which has precipitated the running of the Scottish Championship for the first time in over a decade and the return of the Edinburgh Cup north of the boarder. The fleet is delighted to welcome four Scottish Dragons to the events in the shape of Henry Boyd's GBR343 Wizz Too, Richard Leask's GBR489 Kestra, Cathy Sedgeworth's GBR509 Kismet and British Dragon Association Chairman Ron James sailing GBR633 Fei-Lin's Flirtation. All four of these boats will be racing under the flag of the Royal Forth Yacht Club.

Leading the visiting fleet is defending Edinburgh Cup Champion Julia Bailey at the helm of GBR720 Aimee. Julia is also the current Corinthian Edinburgh Cup Champion, the element of the competition open to all amateur crews, and will be very much hoping to become the first person to ever won consecutive Edinburgh Cups in both overall and Corinthian divisions. Others who have the potential to prevent Julia in achieving her aims include Martin "Stavros" Payne at the helm of GBR586 Full Speed, who first engraved his name on the Edinburgh Cup in 1999 and will be hoping to do so again this time out; Gavia Wilkinson-Cox sailing GBR761 Jerboa, who has come close to claiming this prestigious trophy on several previous occasions and must surely feel that this year its her turn to be the bride; and Mike Budd, who already has a number of dinghy national championships to his name and travels to Largs from Abersoch with high hopes of adding the Edinburgh Cup to his CV.

Racing will take place on windward leeward courses to the north of Great Cumbrea Island and there will also be an excellent programme of social events with the Scottish hosts going all out to prove that their reputation of great hospitality is well deserved.

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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