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Kinsale Yacht Club's 'Little Fella' is Dragon South Coast Champion

5th September 2016
Overall winners Henry Kngston, Simon and Cameron Good Overall winners Henry Kngston, Simon and Cameron Good Credit: GHYC

Dragons from the Dun Laoghaire, Kinsale and UK fleets joined the large Glandore Harbour Yacht Club fleet for the Irish South Coast Championships last weekend.

Racing began on Friday in a fresh 15–knot breeze when International Race Officer, Alan Crosbie, added a third race to the schedule because of expected gales on Saturday.

Defending champion, Cameron Good sailing "Little Fella" from Kinsale, started well with two race wins and a third. David Williams in "Phantom" from the Royal St George YC was consistent ending their day with a 2,3,2.

Martin Byrne's "Jaguar Sailing Team" recovered well to finish 5th in race one but only after returning to the start line to pick up Adam Winkelmann who fell overboard after their first tack and got separated from the boat. The Royal St George YC sailors followed that drama with a 2nd and 1st to lie a close third overall at the end of day one.

On Friday evening Glandore Harbour Yacht Club, who now have the largest Dragon Fleet in Ireland, hosted an excellent reception for the competitors in their Clubhouse by the harbour.

Martin Byrne JaguarMartin Byrne's "Jaguar Sailing Team" recovered well to finish 5th in race one but only after returning to the start line to pick up Adam Winkelmann who fell overboard

Saturday morning brought the expected gales and huge waves so Alan Crosbie made an early decision to cancel racing for the day. This allowed the competitors to enjoy the delights of West Cork in various locations from Skibereen to Schull and Baltimore before the championship dinner in Glandore village later that evening.

The expected forecast of 10 to 12 knots did not materialise on Sunday and the fleet of 17 Dragons had to wait until 1230hrs before race 4 started in a very light breeze. This turned out to be the only race of the day ahead of a deadline of 1400hrs. It turned out to be a competitive race with regular place changes in the shifting breeze.

With no discard coming into play the podium positions were all up for grabs and "Little Fella", "Jaguar" and "Phantom" finished 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall after keeping a close covering eye on each other in very a tactical race.

However it was Patrick Gifford, sailing "Basilisk" GBR 515, from Aldeburgh Yacht Club who won this race easily after leading at the top mark to move up and take 4th overall. Anthony O'Neill sailing "Tenacious" and Adrian Bendon in "Mar J", both from Kinsale were 5th & 6th overall.

The Dragon fleet remain on the South Coast for their National Championships which take place in Kinsale in two weeks time.

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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