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Royal St George team Jaguar Win Dragon East Coast Championships in Tense Final Race

28th May 2018
Dragon Slayers – Wife of Class captain David Williams, Hilary, presents the prizes to winners John Simms (centre) and Martin Byrne. Not pictured is third crew man Adam Winkelmann Dragon Slayers – Wife of Class captain David Williams, Hilary, presents the prizes to winners John Simms (centre) and Martin Byrne. Not pictured is third crew man Adam Winkelmann

The Dragon East Coast Championship concluded yesterday with one race in a light shifting breeze.

Jaguar Sailing Team, skippered by Martin Byrne, retained their overall lead to win the event with a second in the final race. Serafina won the race to claim second overall with Little Fella finishing third overall. The British contender Harry had their worst result with an eighth and dropped to fourth overall.

Download overall results below

The shifting and patchy breeze all over the race course had a big influence on the place changes throughout the long race. Jaguar was marshalled very well by their closest challengers and had a poor start but managed to clear out early and find fresh pressure breeze on the right side of the course. They carried this to the top mark and lead the fleet comfortably. Serafina noticed a shift and was the only Dragon to gybe set at the top mark and immediately jump from 4th to 2nd at the start of the run. Meanwhile, Mike Budd in Harry was deep in 8th position.

On the final beat the biggest shift was 30 degrees to the right allowing Serafina to close the distance to Jaguar, and just take them on the line.

"The next event for the Dragon Fleet is Cork Week where they will have their South Coast Championships"

The next event for the Dragon Fleet is Cork Week where they will have their South Coast Championships. This is a new departure for the fleet designed to appeal to the younger sailors who are sailing Dragons in increasing numbers recently.

Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team will be the only Irish entry at the Edinburgh Cup in Torbay in July and then the Irish fleet reassembles in Glandore in September for the four day National Championships. The appeal of the Glandore venue has attracted a lot of interest from the international fleet and a few visitors are expected to increase the entries there.

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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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