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Royal St. George Phantom Crew Take Irish National Dragon Title in Kinsale

5th September 2021
Royal St. George's Peter Bowring, Neil Hegarty and David Williams are the 2021 Irish Dragon championships winners after a seven-race contest off Kinsale
Peter Bowring, Neil Hegarty and David Williams are the 2021 Irish Dragon championships winners after a seven-race contest off Kinsale Credit: Bob Bateman

The final race of the championship decided the top four places overall of the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon Nationals at Kinsale with Dublin Bay sailors Peter Bowring, Neil Hegarty and David Williams taking the title.

The race was sailed in a consistent 10 knots of breeze from the southeast with a swell.

After a general recall, the fleet started on the U flag.

At the end of the first run, the top four, Serafina, Phantom, Ghost and Little Fella, arrived at the gate only seconds apart and again chose different sides. After rounding the windward mark the second time and while Phantom, Serafina and Little Fella were covering each other on the left side of the run, Ghost came down the right side, took advantage of a slight wind shift and established a substantial lead.

Runners up - Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'ConnorThird overall Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'Connor

Fourth overall - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston Photo: Bob BatemanFourth overall - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston Photo: Bob Bateman

On the final beat, Ghost chose to sail up the middle of the course, followed by Phantom and Serafina while Little Fella went up the right side. Ghost could not be caught and took line honours. Little Fella took advantage of a good lift to recover from 5th to 2nd. Phantom's 3rd, however, was enough to secure Peter Bowring, Neil Hegarty and David Williams the title, Serafina came 4th.

With Phantom, the National Champion, 2nd to 4th ended on 16 points each, and it went to countback. Two wins were enough to secure Ghost - Colm Dunne, Colm Daly & Dan McCloskey 2nd overall with Serafina - Daniel & Sean Murphy, Brian Goggin & John O'Connor in 3rd. Little Fella - Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston had to settle for 4th.

Dragon prizewinners at Kinsale Yacht ClubDragon prizewinners at Kinsale Yacht Club Photo courtesy of Matthias Hellstern

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

Published in Dragon, 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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