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Royal St. George Jaguar Keelboat Crew for Dragon Marblehead Trophy at Vilamoura

9th November 2021
Ireland's Dragon trio Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms are competing in Vilamoura this week
Ireland's Dragon trio Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms are competing in Vilamoura this week

The Royal St George Yacht Club has endorsed former Commodore Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team as their representative at this week's Dragon Marblehead Trophy in Vilamoura, Portugal.

A four-time winner of the Irish Dragon Championship and a former Edinburgh Cup (British Nationals) winner Byrne has been competing on the international Dragon circuit for a number of years. But Covid related restrictions has curtailed his team’s activities over the last two seasons.

Normal service has almost resumed and his Jaguar Sailing Team is located in Vilamoura, Portugal for the Dragon winter series.

This week they compete in the prestigious Marblehead Trophy where they will be one of the only Corinthian teams in a small but very hot lineup of international Dragon champions which includes the current Gold Cup and European Champions as well as multiple Olympic medalists.

It’s no surprise that Byrne’s crew includes Adam Winkelmann (RIYC) who has shared in all of the team's successes and is completed by Laser veteran and offshore helm John Simms from Royal Ulster YC.

Byrne’s told Afloat he was relieved the team successfully negotiated the crew weigh-in procedure and that their impressive form in the recent Portuguese National Championships, where they were unlucky to finish 5th, would be no indication as to the "daunting challenge" facing them this week.

More here

Published in Dragon, RStGYC
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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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