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Kinsale Yacht Club Cancel 2020 Dragon Gold Cup

21st May 2020
The Dragon Gold Cup at Kinsale has been cancelled The Dragon Gold Cup at Kinsale has been cancelled Photo: Giles Norman

Kinsale Yacht Club have today confirmed that the 2020 Dragon Gold Cup, due to be sailed from the 5 to 11 September, has been cancelled.

“Clearly the global COVID-19 crisis has already impacted many events and our thoughts and prayers are with those personally affected by the crisis.” commented Regatta Director Tony Kingston whilst adding “We had sought consultation with all of our stakeholders, including the International Dragon Association, Irish Sailing and of course our wonderful sponsors. With up to 500 visitors expected to travel to Kinsale from all corners of the world, we needed to be sure that our borders will be open without quarantine restrictions and unfortunately, we simply do not have the clarity we need at this stage to be able to pursue our goal of running a world-class event”.

"We simply do not have the clarity we need"

Headline Sponsor for the Gold Cup, Ciaran Fitzgerald of the Blue Haven Collection added “The Blue Haven Collection were honoured to be headline sponsor for the Gold Cup and was excited to welcome everyone to Kinsale this September. We were supported by Heineken Ireland and the Kinsale Good Food Circle and had looked forward to showing everyone why Kinsale is the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. As a hotel located in the heart of our town, I have seen first-hand how difficult local businesses have found this lockdown, but Kinsale has overcome many battles over the years, will come back stronger than ever and we would be delighted to welcome the Dragon Class to Kinsale at any stage in the future”.

Speaking of the announcement, Kinsale Yacht Club’s Commodore Michael Walsh said “We are obviously disappointed to have to cancel this prestigious event. We believe it is the correct decision based on the information we currently have, and people’s health is to the forefront of our minds. Kinsale Yacht Club was privileged to be selected to host the Gold Cup for 2020 building on the success of the 2012 event, an event I personally participated in. I have seen first-hand the hard work that Tony and his entire team have put in behind the scenes and whilst it saddens us all to cancel, we would be hopeful of hosting another major Dragon event at Kinsale Yacht club in the near future”.

Chairman of the International Dragon Association, Jens Rathsack, concluded by saying “On behalf of all Dragon sailors who were eagerly anticipating a return to Kinsale - one of the class’s best-loved venues - we would like to thank Kinsale Yacht Club’s Gold Cup 2020 organising team for their herculean efforts to make the event possible. Sadly, the likely restrictions on international travel have made it impossible to proceed, but we will return to this beautiful venue again soon and when we do I am quite certain that we will enjoy another superb regatta with famous Irish hospitality!”

The Kinsale Dragon class are now working towards “Irish Dragon Week” which would be a South Coast and National Championships combined into the same week scheduled for the Gold Cup, however news of the viability of this event will be announced in July.

Kinsale Yacht club and the organising committee would like to take this opportunity to thank our Gold Cup 2020 sponsors:

  • Blue Haven Collection – Headline Sponsor
  • Heineken Ireland - Drinks Partner
  • Cork County Council & Pure Cork
  • Brendan O’Regan of Zenith Technologies
  • Kinsale Good Food Circle
  • Dubarry Ireland
  • Brewin Dolphin
  • Glebe Country House
  • Trident Hotel
  • Actons Hotel
  • Perryville House

Full refunds of all entry fees will be processed over the coming weeks

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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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