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Irish Dragon Class Ready for National Battle at Kinsale Yacht Club

11th August 2021
The beautifully restored Dragon, Titan will be on of 15 boats contesting the Irish Dragon Nationals at Kinsale in September
The beautifully restored Dragon, Titan (Martin Byrne, Ben Cooke, Rui Ferreira) will be one of 15 boats contesting the Irish Dragon Nationals at Kinsale in September Credit: Afloat

After the successful staging of The Sovereigns Cup in June, Kinsale Yacht Club is now preparing for another Championship in early September.

Over 15 teams are expected to battle it out for the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon national title, a title that has never been won by local hotshots "Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, Simon Furney) having watched arch-rival "Phanton" (Neil Hegarty, David Williams, Peter Bowring) take the crown consecutively for the last number of years.

This year, however, Little Fella has won the South Coasts and East Coasts already this year so that the Nationals would give them the Grand Slam!

Racing starts on 2nd of September under race officer John Stallard.

Eight teams from the host club will compete, with another Kinsale crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon) expected to be in the mix if it's windy.

If conditions are lighter, "Serafina" (Brian Goggin, Daniel Murphy, Sean Murphy) or the beautifully restored "Titan" (Martin Byrne, Ben Cooke, Rui Ferreira) could be the ones to watch.

"Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kinston, Simon Fourney) carries local hopes of landing the National Dragon title"Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, Simon Furney) carries local hopes of landing the National Dragon title

Kinsale Dragon crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon)Kinsale Dragon crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon)

Kinsale Yacht Club Vice-Commodore, Matthias Hellstern, commented, "We are delighted to welcome the Dragons to Kinsale for their National Championships next month in what looks like being a very hot fleet. The Dragon fleet numbers are continually growing in Kinsale, and two new teams are already actively seeking boats for next season. I am also delighted to see the initiative to attract young sailors from Glandore with a special reduced entry fee for the under the '30s. Special thanks to our sponsors O'Leary Life who has been a phenomenal supporter of our club over the last number of years, with multiple Sovereigns Cup sponsorships, and we are extremely grateful to have them on board for the Dragon Nationals."

Brian Goggin from sponsors O'Leary Life added, "As a Kinsale dragon sailor myself, O'Leary Life are delighted to support this event. Kinsale Yacht Club are a fantastic club, made up of some incredible volunteers who go above and beyond to ensure the continued success of the yacht club, and O'Leary Life is delighted to acknowledge the same with our support."

Notice of Race and online entry is now available here

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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