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Howth's Laura Dillon in Winning Form at Dragon Edinburgh Cup

5th July 2018
Howth's Laura Dillon (left) with Grant Gordon with the Trevor Wade Trophy on day two of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup at Torbay Howth's Laura Dillon (left) with Grant Gordon with the Trevor Wade Trophy on day two of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup at Torbay Photo: Rupert Holmes

Light and shifty winds combined with a sea left over from the big onshore breezes of the previous day created new challenges for the 28 teams competing in the Dragon Edinburgh Cup at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club writes Rupert Holmes.

The day's first race got away cleanly in 6-8 knots of breeze. Laurie Smith's Alfie tacked onto port early, which quickly gained him an early lead and he was soon followed by a number of others. Around 15 minutes after the start the wind began to swing to the right as a band of light rain moved across the course, giving those in the right a significant advantage.

Smith was first to round the windward mark, followed by Bocci (Atsushi) Aoyama's Yevis ll and Louise Racing. Peter Cunningham's Power Play rounded fourth, followed by the only lady helm in the fleet, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, in Jerboa. However, Bailey – overall leader after the first two races – was unusually buried, languishing back in 16th place.

The leaders extended away quickly on the run, but the wind then eased as the sun returned, leading to a tricky balance between sailing high and gybing through less painfully large angles. Louise Racing rounded the right hand leeward mark first, followed closely by Power Play and Jerboa. However, Klaus Diederichs's Fever and Alfie were first to the advantaged left-hand side of the gate. Fever took first place, ahead of Jerboa and Alfie, while Power Play benefitted from being the left-hand most boat among the leaders to finish fourth, while Gordon took fifth.

"We were fourth or fifth on the first beat and on the downwind leg we got stronger wind coming from the right," said Diederichs. "Then we were first to get to the left hand mark at the gate. We protected our position form there, but Gavia had good speed and height, and challenged us hard."

The fourth race in the series started in more consistent conditions, with a 6-8 knot easterly breeze. Jono Brown's Storm and Peter Cunningham's Power Play appeared to be best placed of the boats near the pin and the fleet quickly tacked onto port as the wind shifted left after the start.

Aimee then flipped back onto starboard, becoming one of the left-hand most boats in the fleet in the early stages of the first beat. Meanwhile, Alfie remained on the right-hand side, while Louise Racing held a more intermediate position between the two. The latter rounded the windward mark first, followed by Tom Vernon's Badger, Alfie, Storm and Jerboa.

The boats on the right hand side of the first run again appeared to be advantaged. By the end of the leg Louise Racing had pulled out a 43 second lead on Storm, with Badger dropping down to third, while Alfie slid down to fourth place, 10 lengths further back. Gordon then continued to extend his lead for the rest of the race, finishing more than two minutes ahead of Eric Williams' Ecstatic. Alfie took third and Jerboa fourth.

A vibrant social scene is a core part of the success of the Dragon class and the day ended with a barbeque, prize giving and live band, hosted by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox. Among the daily prize winners, Grant Gordon won the spectacular Terry Wade Trophy for winning the fourth race of the series.

Gordon now holds the overall lead, one point ahead of Alfie, with Aimee retains third overall, a further 10 points adrift. Jerboa is fourth, on equal points with Power Play. Aimee still leads the Corinthian fleet, ahead of Storm and Bertie.

Results after Day 2:

PosSail NoBoatHelmCrew1Crew2Crew3R1R2R3R4Pts
1 GBR820 Louise Racing Grant Gordon Ruairidh Scott James Williamson Laura Dillon 1 3 5 1 10
2 GBR815 Alfie Lawrie Smith Joao Matos Rosa Goncalo Ribeiro Diogo Pereira 3 2 3 3 11
3 GBR782 Aimee Graham Bailey Julia Bailey William Heritage Wiliam Bedford 2 1 12 6 21
4 GBR761 Jerboa Gavia Wilkinson‑Cox Mark Hart Lauren Fry Carl Feeney 12 8 2 4 26
5 CAY9 Power Play Peter Cunningham Pedro Rebelo de Andrade Charles Nankin   7 10 4 5 26
6 GBR810 Badger Thomas Vernon Ollie Spensley‑Corfield Adam Bowers   4 7 11 7 29
7 GBR819 Fever Klaus Diederichs Diego Negri Jamie Lea   8 5 1 16 30
8 GBR770 Storm Jonathan Brown David Brown Lynette Brown Frances Wood 8.5 8.5 8 9 34
9 GBR763 Bertie Simon Barter Donald Wilks Joanna Richardson   5 4 7 21 37
10 GBR408 Joanna Dimitry Bondarenko Vadim Statsenko Alexander Shalougin   6 14 13 11 44
11 GBR682 Ecstatic Eric Williams Rory Paton Katie Cole   14 9 20 2 45
12 GBR818 Harry Mike Budd Mark Greaves Chris Gowers   15 11 9 10 45
13 JPN50 Yevis II Bocci (Atsushi) Aoyama Martin Stavros Payne Junichiro Shiraishi   11 29 6 8 54
14 GBR722 Avalanche Mark Wade Amanda Wade Nigel Cole   16 12 15 14 57
15 SUI318 CK1 Wolf Waschkuhn Andy Beadsworth Pete Cumming   10 6 29 15 60
16 GBR777 Furious Owen Pay Dr. Jonathon Mortimer Tom Hicks   13 13 23 12 61
17 GBR788 Quicksilver VI Rob Campbell Penny Anderson Paul Fletcher   20 19 22 13 74
18 GBR696 Good Grief! Patrick Lomax Georgina Dewar Simon Cash   17 20 19 19 75
19 IRL201 Jaguar Martin Byrne Conor Byrne Adam Winkelmann   9 29 17 23 78
20 GBR806 Vixen Tim Saunders Carole Holme George Davies   24 16 21 17 78
21 GBR753 Fit Chick Simon Raw Chris Grosscurth Emma York   25 18 14 22 79
22 GBR669 Suprmacy Andrew Millband Rob Goddard Rob Smith   18 29 10 25 82
23 GBR704 Ganador Martin Makey Tim Wilkes Teresa Wilkes   22 17 18 27 84
24 GBR617 FlameAgain David Hall Geoff Butcher Julie Thomas‑Page   19 21 25 20 85
25 GBR633 Fei‑Lin's Flirtation Ron James Julia Walsh Peter Aitken   23 29 16 18 86
26 RUS2 Riassa (809) Michael Cope Rob Eldridge Susie Delves Lomax Daniela Urban 21 15 26 26 88
27 GBR644 Tsunami Colin Brereton Chris Mills Andy Wilkins   29 29 24 24 106
28 FRA341 Nanouck IV Eric Le Bon Muriel Requet‑Barville Aurore Declerck   29 29 29 29 116
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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