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Royal St. George Jaguar Dragon Team are Seventh at Régates Royale in Cannes

25th September 2019
Martin Byrne’s (right) Jaguar Sailing Team with Adam Winkelmann (centre) and Mark Pettit from the Royal St. George Yacht Club Martin Byrne’s (right) Jaguar Sailing Team with Adam Winkelmann (centre) and Mark Pettit from the Royal St. George Yacht Club

Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team with Adam Winkelmann and Mark Pettit from Dublin Bay are lying seventh overall after day two in a 43-boat fleet of Dragons from 14 countries at the annual Régates Royale in Cannes.

After two days racing in a mixture of very light and very heavy breezes, the Royal St George team have scored 13, 5, 15 & 2 in the four races sailed. They are the only Irish team competing at this event ahead of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta in San Remo in two weeks time where the entry stands at 163 Dragons so far with nine Irish boats among the number.

Byrne commented that he was pleased with the team’s heavy air performance when they returned a 5th & 2nd at the front of a very professional fleet with multiple world champions and Olympic medalists competing as usual.

“Starting well is a huge challenge when the lines are biased as they have been in the very shifty conditions but our top five results so far have been as a result of very good starts in the heavier breezes. In the lighter airs we have been struggling for speed against the very best professional teams so there is room for improvement there”.

The event continues until Friday with another six races scheduled.

Published in Dragon Team

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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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