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Royal St.George's Byrne Fifth Overall in Edinburgh Cup, Narrowly Missing Target Podium Finish

14th July 2017
Martin Byrne's Jaguar team were winners of the UK Dragon South Coasts and fifth overall in the Edinburgh Cup Martin Byrne's Jaguar team were winners of the UK Dragon South Coasts and fifth overall in the Edinburgh Cup Photo: Fiona Brown

Martin Byrne's Jaguar Sailing Team were fifth in the final race of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup in Cowes today. Together with a first place scored yesterday this lifted the sole Irish entry to fifth place overall.

'Given that our target was a podium finish we are somewhat disappointed with this overall result', Byrne told Afloat.ie

However, Byrne, sailing wih son Conor and pro sailor Pedro Andrades recognise this year's Edinburgh Cup was the toughest of the four he has competed in to date and, he says, the strength of the international opposition was easily the toughest challenge he has faced.

By his own admission, Byrne says the 'vagaries of sailing in the Solent was our undoing on day two when we had two poor results. Also a technical problem with a brand new mainsail on day one, didn't help our cause either.'

Nevertheless, Byrne finished strongly with a first & fifth in the final races. And together with this, his win in the pre-event British South Coast Championships, made for what he is calling a 'reasonably successful week'.

conor byrne Pedro andradesConor Byrne and Pedro Andrades aboard Irish Dragon Jaguar in Cowes

Byrne paid tribute to his crew. Conor and Pedro's fitness and strength, together with their team work and tactical awareness, brought us back up towards the front of the fleet at the finish. He also paid tribute to his wife Triona who made logistics and life ashore much easier for the team.

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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