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Royal St. George Yacht Club Dragon Crew Drop to Fifth After Last Race Hiccup at Portuguese National Championships

20th September 2021
(Right to left) Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese Dragon Nationals
(Right to left) Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese Dragon Nationals Credit: Osga

Dublin-Belfast Dragon keelboat trio of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms sailing Jaguar at the Portuguese National Championship 2021 were in first place in the final race of the championships when the wind died on Sunday.

It took several attempts to get the race started due to a very shifty and patchy sea breeze and when it got underway, the wind continued to play tricks.

Jaguar was in first place at weather mark but both Jaguar and the regatta leader were then left parked at the leeward gate and the backmarkers were able to take right-hand buoy and stay in the fickle breeze on the final beat to finish. Jaguar and regatta lead boat was scored 'DNF' as they failed to escape the hole at the port buoy.

The event was effectively turned on its head in one race that was unsuccessfully protested by the regatta leader who in turn lost first place in the 11-boat fleet. 

"Great sailing albeit in challenging conditions for competitors and race management", according to the Irish crew. 

The Dublin Bay entry dropped to fifth overall. Results are here

Published in Dragon
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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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