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Hegarty's 'Phantom' Takes Dragon East Coast Title By Two Points at Royal Irish Yacht Club

29th May 2022
13 Dragons contested the Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted East Coast Championships on Dublin Bay with seven visiting West Cork boats Credit: Afloat

National Dragon Champion Neil Hegarty of the RStGYC took the East Coast title after six races sailed at the Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted event. 

Overnight leader on Saturday, Hegarty sailing with crew Kevin O’Boyle and Charlie Bolger clinched the championship with a final race win on Sunday.

Winds were easterly and shifting between 60 and 90 degrees up to 12 knots with a short chop off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

(Above and below) Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships Photo: Afloat(Above and below) Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships Photo: Afloat

Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships

Sailing with four up, Kinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O Connor broke the overnight tie with Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke in the Sutton Dinghy Club entry 'Phantom Capital' to take second overall on 13 points.

Kinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O'Connor on Whisper Photo: AfloatKinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O'Connor on Whisper Photo: Afloat

The SDC crew took third overall in the 13-boat fleet on 18 points. 

Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke from Sutton Dinghy Club were thirdRuan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke from Sutton Dinghy Club were third

Kinsale will host the prestigious 2024 Dragon Gold Cup, a high point on the calendar after the disappointing cancellation of the 2020 Cup at that venue due to COVID. 

Results are here

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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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