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Dublin Bay's Jaguar Dragon Sailing Team Returns to do Battle at Edinburgh Cup

27th June 2018
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Conor Byrne (left) will be sailing with father Martin and Adam Winkelmann (not pictured) at next week's Dragon Edinburgh Cup in Torbay Conor Byrne (left) will be sailing with father Martin and Adam Winkelmann (not pictured) at next week's Dragon Edinburgh Cup in Torbay Photo: Afloat.ie

Martin Byrne’s, Jaguar Sailing Team, travel to Torbay on the south-west coast of England later this week, as in 2017, the only Irish entrant in the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2018.

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of this event which is the British Dragon National Championships. This famous trophy was presented by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, in 1949.

While Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St George YC were winners and runners-up in 2011 and 2012 they have never fallen below fifth overall in their attempts to regain the trophy since. However, this year they return for the first time as a Corinthian team. Martin’s son Conor (a former Irish Laser National Champion) will renew his partnership with Adam Winkelmann at the business end of his dad’s Dragon.

At home, Byrne was the winner of last month's East Coast Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Next week in Torbay they compete against the best of the International Dragon Fleet where their competitors include five former Edinburgh Cup winners, four World Cup Champions, two Gold Cup Winners and among the teams crewing, up to eight Olympic medalists.

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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