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Julia Bailey Wins 2015 Dragon Scottish Championship

30th June 2015

#dragon – Twenty of the top International Dragon crews are gathered in Largs for the 2015 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Dragon Scottish Championship and Edinburgh Cup. The regattas, which take place from 27 June to 3 July, have attracted competitors from across the UK and as far afield as Japan.

After three days and five thrilling races the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Dragon Scottish Championship concluded on Monday evening with the trophy being awarded to Julia Bailey, Keith Tippell, Will Heritage and Pedro Andrade sailing GBR720 Aimee. Team Aimee arrived in Largs as the defending Edinburgh Cup Champions having won both the overall and Corinthian Edinburgh Cup Trophies in Lymington in 2014 with Julia's husband Graham at the helm. Graham was unable to attend this year's regatta so it was Julia's turn to take the helm and she roped in old friend Pedro to complete their team.

From the opening race Cowes based Julia put her stamp on the regatta showing impressive boat speed and tactical superiority. She won three out of the five races and finished third in another with the only blot on her copybook being an OCS disqualification in race two, when she failed to realise she was on the wrong side of the start line.

Julia's nearest rival was Martin Payne from Cornwall, sailing GBR789 Bear with crew Gillian Hamilton and Donal Small, whose constantly improving scoreline of 4, 2, 2, 1 left them three points behind Julia, but clearly still in firm contention for the coming Edinburgh Cup.

Third place overall and the Corinthian Scottish Championship Trophy, for all amateur crews, was awarded to Patrick Gifford of Angus sailing GBR515 Basilisk with his son Michael and guest crew Martin Spall. Patrick was understandably happy with their achievement as their boat is 29 years young and this was the first time they had raced with Martin in the boat.

For Julia her victory was particularly sweet as she noted, "My Grandfather Machlachlan would have been very proud to know that his granddaughter had won the Dragon Scottish Championship." At the prize giving she also paid tribute to the excellent race management provided by the Scottish Sailing Institute's Race Committee headed by Race Officer Chris Hadden, the outstanding quality of the Clyde's sailing waters and the warm Scottish hospitality that has been extended to the competitors since they arrived at Largs Sailing Club.

On Tuesday morning the fleet will begin racing for the Edinburgh Cup, which was presented to the class by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1949 and is awarded annually to the British Open Dragon Champion. Racing will continue until Friday 3 July with up to six championship races plus a crew's race scheduled.

Joining the fleet for this second part of the competition will be a number of top crews including Gavia Wilkinson-Cox sailing GBR761 Jerboa with Mark Hart and Philip Catmur; Tom Vernon sailing GBR795 Excite with Adam Bowers and Oliver Spensley-Corfield; Mike Budd sailing GBR793 Harry with Mark Greaves and Sam Gardiner; and Ron James sailing GBR633 Fei-Lin's Flirtation with Julia Walsh and Mark Pettit.

The Edinburgh Cup is one of sailing's most prestigious trophies and with four days of top level racing ahead of us it promises to be an extremely close competition. Regular updates, results, photos and videos will be posted to the British Dragon Association Blog and via the British Dragons at Facebook.

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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