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Don Street of Glandore Gets Top International Dragon Honour at 90th Anniversary Regatta

14th October 2019
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Tough going for a classic – in the very varied weather for the 160-boat fleet at the 90h Anniversary International Dragon Regattta at San Remo, the large classics division had to take the rough with the smooth along with the rest of the fleet Tough going for a classic – in the very varied weather for the 160-boat fleet at the 90h Anniversary International Dragon Regattta at San Remo, the large classics division had to take the rough with the smooth along with the rest of the fleet

The stupendous 90th Anniversary International Dragon Class Regatta at San Remo in Italy has concluded with overall victory going to Jens Christensen of Denmark, crewed by Anders Bagger and Thomas Schmidt.

But the most special celebration at the prize-giving was reserved for 89-year-old Don Street of Glandore in West Cork, whose classic boat Gypsy (IRL 15) was the oldest boat in the regatta at 86 years. The award was as a result of a vote by all the Dragon racers present for the skipper they thought best represented The Spirit of the Dragon Class, and in his acceptance speech Don said:
“I sailed a 1937 boat at the 75th Anniversary Regatta, here I’ve sailed an 86-year-old boat and I’m 89 years old, and I’m aiming to do the 100th Anniversary Regatta too!”

don street sailing2The ever-young Don Street during his deep-sea sailing days with the yawl Iolaire – he is now the holder of the Spirit of the International Dragon Class trophy

Published in Dragon
WM Nixon

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WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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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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