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Royal St.George Phantom Crew are Still Ahead, But Last Dragon Race at Kinsale Could Be the Decider

5th September 2021
Dragon racing at Kinsale in the 2021 Irish Championships
Dragon racing at Kinsale in the 2021 Irish Championships Credit: Bob Bateman

Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams in Phantom held on to the overall lead during Day three of the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon National Championships.

14 knots of easterly wind and a reduced swell made for near-perfect sailing conditions.

The Royal St. George Phantom was caught OCS in race 5, restarted, and sailed a tactically perfect race to come second. Local boat Ghost took the lead on the first run by coming down the right-hand side of the course. They held on to the lead to take first. Serafina with the Murphy brothers and Brian Goggin secured third.

Race 6 started with slightly lighter winds of 8 – 10 knots. Serafina and Little Fella were jockeying for first place; Serafina held them off and took line honours. Phantom and Ghost were tick tacking for third – Ghost got ahead, leaving Phantom in fourth.
Nothing is certain in the top four places, so the Irish National Dragon Champion 2021 and second and third will be decided in the final race. Testament to the close racing enjoyed over the last three days.

Click here for results. See photo galleries here and day two here

Published in Dragon, RStGYC, Kinsale
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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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